‘If it bleeds it leads‘ as the say but when things are changing fast, yesterdays research report inevitably becomes not be the ‘latest thing‘ on the very day it is published.
The Herald is keen to keep you on edge and anxious for the latest on this risk to your life but they’re ‘behind the curve’ on this.
I didn’t need to go far in to the report to confirm what I guessed would be the case from my time in HE:
Over the last two weeks there has been a step change in the course of the epidemic with a sharp rise in case numbers and hospital and ICU admissions. A new variant of SARS- CoV-2 called B.1.1.7 or VOC-202012/01 which can be transmitted more easily than other variants is now circulating widely in Scotland. The latest evidence from Imperial College, published on 31st December presents a consensus that this new variant has a substantial transmission advantage, with an increased rate of transmission estimated to be somewhere between 0.4 and 0.7.
See those dates? The latest evidence was published on the 31st of December?
They should have checked with their own Health Correspondent, Helen McArdle. On January 11th, she informed us:
THE prevalence of a new more contagious strain of Covid could be declining in Scotland, according to the latest infection survey. The latest data from random sampling indicates that the UK variant accounted for 22 per cent of positive tests around the new year period, compared to 38% earlier in December.
See that graph? It goes up to 7th of January. See the wee downturn? I wonder if that continued and if it did, would the prognosis be more optimistic?
Ah, so the 7-day average of new cases began to plateau on Jan 5th and to fall on the 8th.
As for overwhelmed, we’ve been here before. General Covid bed occupancy is at around only 50% of capacity and ICU occupancy at only 20%. I appreciate that there will be regional variation but the regions are right next to each other – transfers? Don’t we do that kind of thing all the time?