Friday 10 September 2021

Coronavirus gambling with lives and reopening the bookshop

The question I am often asked is. "Why is Michael's Bookshop in Ramsgate still closed?"

The answer, so far, is. "The risk of killing us and our customers remains too high."

With the narrow passageways, the impossibility of cleaning all 30,000 books on the shelves, I think it fair to say that we, the people who work here, that is, would definitely catch coronavirus.

The main thing that I look at, when updating this information, is how likely reopening the bookshop would kill us and our customers. 

So for me and a lot of my customers who fall into the 60-69 age group and have been double vaccinated, the chance of death if we were to contract Coronavirus, based on the most recent figures is 1 in 200.

Back in March 2021 when I last did the basic research the figures were at least 10 times worse, so the vaccines have made a huge difference.  

The crude mortality rate for influenza is about 1 in 6,500

The other main figure is, how likely are you to get infected.

So if like me, you are in the 50 to 69 age group, in any given week you have about a 1 in 200 chance of catching it. Although I guess this isn't strictly true as the figures are for testing positive.

This doesn't actually translate into. if you are between 60 and 69, in any week, at the moment, you have a 1 in 200 chance of getting coronavirus and 1 in 200 chance of death if you get it, but it will do as close enough for me.

I think that if you are fairly carful vaccinated, mask, hand washing, avoiding crowded indoor places, then in your 60s you have a better that 1 in a 1,000 chance of dying of coronavirus this year. The figure for unvaccinated people in their 60s is too low how to make difference to the vaccinated. However I think the crude approximation for an unvaccinated person dying of coronavirus this year is about 150 to 1

Here in the UK a very big factor that gets missed from the figures is the massive UK death rate so far compared to most other countries. By this I mean that many of the people most likely to die of coronavirus have already done so. Despite this the UK death rate is still very high compared to most other countries.   

The results of some big studies in America link show those who were unvaccinated were 4.5 times more likely than the fully vaccinated to get infected, over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It doesn't look as though there will be any move in the direction to protect shop workers better, compulsory masks or even vaccination passports, which were being talked about for non-essential shops seem to be on hold. 

Another update published today 13th September.

Out of more than 51,000 Covid deaths in England between January and July 2021, only 256 occurred after two doses.

To put this another way the crude statistic is you were 200 times more likely to die of coronavirus if you hadn't been vaccinated during that period link

Of course less people were vaccinated then and those who were were more likely to die.

Trying to predict where we are likely to go this year compared to last year isn't so encouraging 

The other COBR figures published about now, 15th September 2021 are 

These figures are much more encouraging.

There are lots of different and conflicting figures here  

This post is a draft in progress, that should eventually make it easier to update the bookshop website. 

Initial indicators for the boosterjab are looking good link 

Once again travel is the biggest problem link

The situation with pregnancy Link

Covid third leading cause of death in England in August

Covid-19 was the third leading cause of death in England in August, up from the ninth leading cause in July, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says.

This is the highest ranking for Covid since March, when it was also the third leading cause of death.

In Wales, the disease was the seventh leading cause of death in August, up from 22nd place in July and the highest ranking since March.

Provisional figures from the ONS show that in August 2021 there were 40,460 deaths registered in England and 2,614 in Wales, both higher than the five-year (2015 to 2019) August average (10% and 5% higher, respectively).

The rate of deaths due to Covid was significantly higher in both England and Wales in August 2021 compared to the previous month. BBC Link

Merck says antiviral pill cuts COVID deaths in half

The pharmaceutical company said the drug - molnupiravir - reduced COVID hospitalisations and deaths by 50% in people recently infected with the virus. 

If cleared, Merck's pill would be the first shown to treat COVID, a potentially major advance in efforts to fight the pandemic. 

The study results were released by the company and have not yet been peer reviewed. 

However, an independent group of medical advisers monitoring the trial recommended stopping it early because the interim results were so strong. 

Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said early results showed patients who received the drug within five days of displaying COVID symptoms had half the rate of hospitalisation and death as those who received a placebo.

The study tracked 775 adults with mild-to-moderate COVID who were considered higher risk for severe disease due to health problems such as obesity, diabetes or heart disease. 


Shop workers most likely to catch COVID in Ireland – data

Retail and supermarket staff were hardest hit by COVID in the last two coronavirus waves to batter Ireland, new figures show. 

Data from the Central Statistics Office shows retail assistants, cashiers and checkout operators were the workers most likely to contract the virus in the second and third waves of the pandemic.

This was a significant shift from the early stages of the pandemic, when healthcare staff and social workers were most likely to catch the virus - making up 60% of cases among workers in April 2020. 

The new figures show that in the first wave of COVID, as the country locked down, 6% of the total cases in workers were in nurses and midwives.

That level, the data indicates, fell to 4% in the next two waves of the virus. 

Retail staff and checkout operators made up 6% of cases among all employees in the same time period. 

UK Europe's covid hotspot BBC link

Flu kills about 11,000 people on average every winter in England, and along with other winter viruses also leads to more than 1,000 hospital admissions a day.

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