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A World War 2 Trilogy - By FRED NATH (Novelist and Neurosurgeon)
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Covid-19 [5]
Covid-19 [4] The NHS
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Fred's Blog

March 2020

Covid-19 [4]

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.

Covid-19 [3]

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.

COVID-19 Again

COVID-19 again.
It has come to my attention…

That’s the way all unpleasant missives begin, after all, isn’t it?

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.

COVID-19

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 better now.
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.