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COVID Lockdown

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Disclaimer: The following is intended to be an opinion piece based on current events and personal events regarding COVID-19, and is not medical advice. This article is for the purpose of expressing opinion only.

The reason for writing this article is simply because I've had a few discussions with friends recently and there are various misconceptions about COVID and how vaccines will affect the spread of the virus. I therefore want to clarify expectations for both myself and them, based on what we know so far and what can be expected to be seen in the future.

With that all out of the way, let's get into this.

Introduction

As you may or may not be aware, this little known thing called COVID-19 was detected and spread from Wuhan China, way back in December 2019. We know the problematic strain of COVID came from Wuhan because that's where the number of cases exploded from - despite claims from the WHO that it could have come from anywhere, cases of COVID exploding in no other population prior to that outbreak. It may be an inconvenient truth to China's CCP, but the global pandemic was spread on their watch.

The CCP may or may not have been responsible for the creation and/or initial infection of COVID-19, but they most definitely have signifiant blame for its subsequent spread after becoming aware of it. Don't let records forget the fact that they sent everybody in Wuhan on a Chinese public holiday, told the WHO that it was not transmissible (despite there being hundreds of cases at this point) and called any Country who locked down their border Xenophobic.

I personally narrowly missed travelling through China on a transit journey on my way back from the UK to NZ, missing out on a ticket due to a web page timeout whilst I was rummaging for my credit card to make the payment. I ended up with a more expensive ticket, and not flying through China. When I got to NZ, my sister, who worked at the time in a medical profession, messaged me panicked asking if I eventually did go through China. It was at this time, in late January 2020 that I first became aware of COVID. At this time, there were 150 or so known active cases in Wuhan, but the curve was exponential. I distinctly remember seeing this exponential curve and telling people in the room "this will be bad, that's a high R0". Little did I know how true those words would end up being.


Side note: What is R0? This is a number that describes a spread rate, in particular the average number of people any one infected person will spread to. An R0<1 means that each person will spread to less than one person, and it will die out on its own accord. An R0=1 means each person on average spreads to another person. An R0>1 means that each person spreads to more than one person. Note that these can be fractions, as it is an average.

The equation is 1:

R0=βcD

Where β is the transmission probability, c is the number of contacts and D is the average infection time. You can read more information here.


The WHO (World Health Organisation), which is mostly funded by the US and was setup and funded to prevent such a global pandemic, has fallen short at almost every possible event. They failed to perform a root cause analysis in Wuhan and to this day, have not been allowed unrestricted access to Wuhan, more than one year after COVID-19 initially spread 2.

Infection model based on China's data

Infection model based on China's data

Early on in the pandemic I wrote a prediction model to figure out the spread of COVID based on the numbers coming out of China. Based on their initial reporting, we were not going to see greater than 80k cases worldwide. Of course, this made one simple assumption: The CCP's reporting of COVID cases is accurate. This turned out to be an incorrect assumption. To this day, the numbers officially reported by the CCP are impossibly low based on the known R0.

By about the 19th of February 2020, you can see containment in China has completely failed. About this time it was well underway in places like Italy, which had unfortunately not locked down their borders based on information from the WHO. After hitting Europe, it was pretty soon after it spread to everywhere else too.

Lockdowns

It was around the time of March 2020, when China begin to declare their victory over COVID-19 due to the 'decisive action' of authoritarian lockdowns in China, where they quite literally welded people in their homes. After having been in lockdown for quite a while, they began to ease lockdowns and mysteriously saw no rise in cases - despite no vaccine existing at this time. This is counter to the experience of every other Country.

After seeing the 'success' of China's lockdowns and the news media working with governments into scaring the public, authoritarian lockdowns were rolled out globally as literally the only action governments could enforce. At the time, medical facilities are told to inflate numbers in any way they possibly can - with essentially any death of a person that happened to also have COVID being attributed to COVID. These inflated numbers were then used as propaganda and to drive policy decisions in governments around the world.

The problem is, because these numbers were fake, governments really had no idea how bad the problem really was and still do not know to this day. At the time of writing the Telegraph reports leaked NHS data that shows more than half of all 'COVID hospitalisation' counts in the UK are from people who tested positive after being hospitalised. That is to say, they were hospitalised for an independent condition prior to contracting COVID, and then contracted it in the hospital after the fact.

So how effective have lockdowns been? The real answer is that nobody has a clue - there is not a single data source out in the wild that is reliable. Numbers have been inflated at every level. And bare in mind, we have not even begun to discuss the negative impact of lockdowns either, in terms of mortality and economic issues it has rained down upon people around the world.

To clarify my position - COVID is real. People are dying from this virus. But people die all the time from many things, in fact, evidence suggests that you will most likely die from something. When figuring out how to respond to anything that causes increased deaths, we must perform some kind of risk analysis. These kinds of morbid number crunching exercises happen every day. For example, when allocating funding the NHS, one million pounds less means one less facility, and some number of people will die as a result. It is not possible to feasibly save everybody, we simply do the best with the resources we have.

Understandably, after more than a year of lockdowns, people are pretty annoyed with them. Governments have been able to keep people locked up with the promise that 'when a vaccine becomes available, people will be allowed out'. This understanding between governments and the frustrated public was stretched further with the idea that some critical number of people must be vaccinated, to reach heard immunity.

This critical point is where the UK currently finds itself, with most people now having both doses of vaccination.

UK Vaccines

At the time of writing, at least 46 million people in the UK have been vaccinated with at least one dose. Phase 1 was to see 'priority' groups be vaccinated first, i.e. persons most likely to die from contracting COVID. The UK is now comfortably in the phase 2 stage, with people between the ages of 18-49 now receiving the vaccine.

Vaccinations by age group

Vaccinations by age group

After phase 2, apparently the UK government will start offering vaccinations to children under the age of 18, a group that is exceptionally unlikely to die from COVID. There is still a question around whether it is even beneficial to vaccinate children in any case.

Vaccine roll out has been successful in the UK. It won't get much better than the current numbers, we will never reach 100% vaccinations - some people will simply never be vaccinated either due to risk or option.

I have the current screenshots from the Worldometer website that appears to be responsible for collecting all of the data from around the world on active COVID cases. I believe it has been trustworthy so far, but I'm not entirely sure where they came from and who funds them. They appear to be particularly closed about exactly who they actually are, but apparently they are based in the United States. CNN also find this particularly suspicious. I specifically remember that at the start of the pandemic the Worldometer website listed itself as being based in Shanghai China, something that is now changed on their website 3.

UK daily active cases

UK daily active cases

As you can see, there are several 'infection waves' in the daily active cases graph. The most important consideration is the delta cases, i.e. the rising edge on the curve, indicating a growing number of cases. Each time this is an exponential increase, and lockdown measures are applied to reduce the rate of infection.

UK daily deaths

UK daily deaths

In the daily deaths graph, we see an increase in daily deaths approximately increasing at the point we see a riding edge on the daily active cases graph. Some points to note about this:

  1. In the first wave of the death graph, I believe this is based on elevated statistics that essentially counted anybody who died and happened to also have COVID. This was done on purpose to help justify the legal framework for the lockdowns themselves.
  2. As the first wave is likely elevated, the second wave is most likely more reflective of the actual death rate that can be expected from COVID. Bare in mind though that this was not for the delta (India) variant, which appears to have a higher mortality rate.
  3. Once a death spike raises it can take many months to come back down again, as some people hold out on life-support machines, etc. Some people die the first day they get COVID, some people take months before they give up the fight against the infection.

What do we see? So far, the death rate is not even remotely close to the daily active cases. This indicates that the UK's vaccination program has been effective at reducing deaths, but not the spread of COVID. This is likely the result of freedom day encouraging people to meet one another and celebrate after such a long time, going from isolation to abnormally high amount of social contact. I would expect the daily cases to now fall off within the next few weeks, with zero government intervention.

Given the high vaccination rate in the UK, I suspect other governments cannot expect a better result than this. The reason for writing this article is exactly because governments have done a very poor job of managing expectations for what a successful vaccine roll-out will look like. Many people are under the false impression that we should expect daily cases to drop to zero, which is a disillusion.

The fact of the matter is, a vaccine essentially just prepares your immune system to tackle COVID when it eventually meets it. People will still contract the virus, but their infection time is reduced and therefore the R0 spread factor should also be greatly reduced. The expected behaviour here is that people will still contract COVID, just less of them will die as a result.

This is the best result we can reasonably hope for. Aiming for zero deaths is impossible and unattainable. Again, I believe the UK government and governments around the world have managed vaccination expectations very poorly, especially after scaring people for the last year or so to keep them in a strict lockdown.

Governments must immediately begin an education campaign to manage vaccine expectations. If they fail to do this, COVID hysteria will increase and they will struggle to get their workforce back into action for what will already be a long and painful economic recovery process.


  1. Note that is equation is simplified as it does not consider death rate or total population size, as well as other contributing factors.

  2. As of current day, the CCP have still not officially apologised for the spread of COVID-19.

  3. I heavily suspect there is a political element to the information displayed on Worldometer. For example, China's total active cases on the website is recorded to be 92k, despite COVID starting there and lockdowns having been lifted in China. I suspect this website is run by CCP state actors.