I realise most of it isn’t rocket
science, but as a neurosurgeon, I’m used to looking at figures of outcomes and
mortality. I’m puzzled.
In January last year the winter
mortality in the UK was just about 1500 deaths per day. The daily death rate
fell to around 1200 by 31 March 2019. The cause of the excess
deaths (1500 – 1200 = 300) was due to an increase in respiratory infections,
mainly in the elderly.
I have not seen the current daily
death rates for this year, but it remains unclear to me whether the figures
given out for Covid-19 are to be included in the normal daily death rate or
whether they are on top of the known seasonal excess winter death rates.
So, we’ve hit the 1K mark for
deaths. The PM says it’s going to get worse. We know this already. If we all
behave and don’t touch anyone else, we may keep the deaths to a minimum but not
before the death rate peaks.
Seems to me there is some pretty
flawed thinking about who is at risk. Front-line NHS workers I suspect are among
those who are most exposed to the Covid-19 virus. The Government is wanting to
test them because… because what?
The average doctor in ITU whether
he has PPE or not, may or may not have the virus at any one point in time.
It has come to my attention…
That’s the way all unpleasant missives begin, after all, isn’t
Look people, there seem to be a lot of you who still don’t
understand what we are facing here. If the epidemic peaks badly like in Italy,
the mortality will quadruple. All the intensive care facilities will be taken
up (average stay is about 8 days in ITU). Infected people will not get
treatment and more and more will die.
We bandy figures around like 1% mortality but in Italy, the
mortality over all is over 8% because as facilities get used up there are more
people dying at home without ventilatory support.
A nineteenth century traveler called Charles Kinglake published his travelogue of a journey across the Mediterranean
and Middle east (Eothen). I had to study it for ‘O’ levels. At the time I
couldn’t understand why there were frequent references to plague and weird superstitions
about things like: if you have a cold you can’t catch plague. He thought he was
lucky to get a bad head-cold on his journey. Maybe I understand him a little
It seems to me that even when
confronted by facts and scientific truths we still cling to foolish
superstitions in the hope that hope will save us.