An additional 3,105 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the UK, and the number has surpassed 1,000 just a few weeks ago and appears to be growing rapidly.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Spain and France, and we are once again hearing horrible stories of hospitals being overwhelmed at certain hotspots.
It is very similar to the miserable days of March, when the disease first spread across the country. Should I panic once again?
The short answer is no.
Image: COVID-19 cases appear to be increasing rapidly
We must be prudent and prudent, and we must be prepared for more cases and more deaths.
However, data so far point to an outbreak of a character that differs significantly from what we endured in spring. And that’s (carefully) good news.
There are two important lessons from last time that we should remember.
The first is that we tend to follow in the footsteps of others.
It may seem unbelievable, but in March many people were skeptical about whether Britain could follow in the footsteps of Spain and Italy.
However, we were delayed by 2-3 weeks, with infection and death increasing in approximately the same trajectory.
The same thing is happening this time.
Like March/April, the British epidemic seems to be closely following France and Spain. And what we learn there is that cases and deaths are on the rise, but much less quickly than April/May. Compare the trajectory of death: this time from Spain and last time (two yellow lines here) pic.twitter.com/pcmD8BWSMq
— Ed Conway (@EdConwaySky) September 15, 2020
The UK case seems to follow the exact same route we see in France and Spain.
They also increased from 1,000 to 3,000 in about 30 days (actually Spain is a little faster, but the rates are very similar).
And in much the same way that France and Spain had 3,000 a few weeks ago, the UK is likely to have 10,000 or so within a few weeks, just like Spain today.
After all, that happened last time, and at least so far, the data suggests that we are following a similar path.
But think for a moment about those numbers. Yes, they are rising, but they do not multiply at the same rate as spring.
At that time, deaths (the best measure of the spread of the disease at the time) doubled every three to four days. This time, cases are doubling roughly every 10 days.
Finally, the prevalence of the disease (as best as we can determine) doubled every 3/4 days. This time it doubles about every 15 days. It’s huge if you’re curious what makes a difference Is bigger than the spacing between these two lines pic.twitter.com/0CM8VYz8RT
— Ed Conway (@EdConwaySky) September 15, 2020
These differences are incredibly important, and do not forget about the second lesson-the power of exponential growth.
Both of the above growth rates are a type of exponential growth, but small differences like this add up quickly.
This is similar to the difference between a disease transmitted from Germany in the spring and a disease transmitted from England and Italy.
And what we’re seeing in Spain, France and England now looks a lot more like the former than the latter.
It’s in its infancy now, and this figure can change soon, so be very careful.
Image: Coronavirus testing takes place in South London.
Cases may still accelerate in Spain and France.
But in fact, the latest news from Spain (at least on the case) is tentatively encouraging.
There are about 9,437 cases in the last 24 hours, and the average daily run was actually around 9,000 to 10,000 last week.
In fact, the Spanish Ministry of Health, based on its own modeling, determines that the reproductive rate in its country (the main R number representing the number of people with the disease in each infected person) is not only less than 1, but also less than 0.5%.
This is great news if you can trust it.
If you look at the data at the risk of repeating it, you can see that we are following in the footsteps of Spain and that we need to watch very closely how the disease progresses there.
None of this can be refuted that hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise in Spain and France. But it’s not as fast as spring. What matters here is the index. We have to keep remembering it. And keep an eye on the data-it gets worse because it’s not impossible pic.twitter.com/ViktcTHEYl
— Ed Conway (@EdConwaySky) September 15, 2020
As with death, hospitalization is on the rise.
In some areas, including the Spanish capital, the health system is under pressure.
However, while admissions are actually increasing, the evidence suggests that so far is increasing at a slower rate than in spring.
UK COVID-19 cases will continue to increase over the coming weeks. They will likely reach 10,000 in a few weeks. Hospitalization will increase. Death will increase. However, the increase should be gradual in cases like Spain/France.
There is an important clue. The case in Spain appears to be being controlled by the measures imposed by the government, not when there is no action.
In Spain, they have limited gatherings like the UK through the “Rule of 6” (their rule is 10). They don’t “rip it apart”.
And despite being criticized domestically, Spain’s testing and tracking system appears to be resilient despite the disease.
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Similar rules have been enforced here in the UK, but there are concerns about the robustness of test systems that are already creaking with increasing demand.
Insiders say this is not a major problem for the UK. Because they hope that the “law of six” will be very important in controlling the spread of disease. But we will see.
The next few weeks will be very important and bother you.
The disease will spread and you will be worried.
COVID-19 test’attempt to fix’
The test system may not be able to meet the demand for several weeks because the additional capacity can still rest for several weeks.
But, at least so far, there is a decisive difference from the first wave of this disease.
So far this is not the same as what we faced last time. I hope I can keep saying that over the next few weeks.
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