The Anonymous Widower

Tracking COVID-19 Vaccination Statistics

This post contains COVID-19 vaccination statistics gathered from this page.

First Vaccinations To Date

  • 11th January – 2474205
  • 12th January – 2639309, 165104
  • 13th January – 2918252, 278943
  • 14th January – 3234946, 316694
  • 15th January – 3559179, 324233
  • 16th January – 3857266, 549920
  • 17th January – 4062501, 205235

Second Vaccinations To Date

  • 11th January – 363925
  • 12th January – 428232, 64307
  • 13th January – 437977, 11745
  • 14th January – 443234, 5257
  • 15th January – 447261, 4127
  • 16th January – 449736, 2475
  • 17th January – 452301, 2565

Note.

The first figure is the cumulate and the second figure is the daily increment.

January 13, 2021 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Covid: Large Trial Of New Treatment Begins In UK

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the first three paragraphs.

A large-scale trial of a new treatment it is hoped will help stop Covid-19 patients from developing severe illness has begun in the UK.

The first patient received the treatment at Hull Royal Infirmary on Tuesday afternoon.

It involves inhaling a protein called interferon beta which the body produces when it gets a viral infection.

The product is from Synairgen and I should declare an interest.

When I heard about the company and their plans about six months ago, I made a modest four-figure investment in their shares.

I wrote about my reasons in Coronavirus: Protein Treatment Trial ‘A Breakthrough’

I have been very well rewarded.

January 13, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , | 2 Comments

‘Natural’ Nasal Spray Could Stop Virus Before It Enters The Body

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the two introductory paragraphs.

A Canadian nasal spray that has been shown to stop the coronavirus from spreading through the body will begin its first UK clinical trial tomorrow.

The SaNOtize nitric oxide spray is designed to prevent the virus from passing through the nose to the respiratory system. The trial will be run by Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey.

I shall be watching SaNOtize‘s development with interest, as something that could be similar got my life on track!

I am 73 and I was a very sickly child, despite the persistence of the GP, who delivered me, who was the superbly-named Dr. Egerton White, to try and sort out my problems.

I was always, having terms off school with respiratory problems, probably caused by the London smogs of the 1950s. We lived in Southgate and they had as bad smogs as anyone.

In the end, with the connivance of a pharmacist called Halliday, they formulated a nasal spray, that worked. I can still smell it!

My health improved with the Clean Air Act and during University in the seaside city of Liverpool.

Later, I worked for ICI on chemical plants and there was an unfounded story, that the pensions were good, as working on ammonia plants and the like kept you clear of all the viruses going around. But on retirement in all that clear air, you got everything that was going and died soon after leaving work. Hence the pension scheme had more money than it needed.

My health also improved, when at fifty I was diagnosed as a coeliac and went gluten-free.

Now after returning to London after the death of my wife and son to cancer, and suffering a serious stroke, my head is all choked up by the pollution. The Covid-19 lockdown makes it difficult to take the cure, which is a couple of days by the sea. Biarritz, Gdansk and Liverpool work a treat.

Trump Got It Wrong!

Trump was advocating injecting bleach to cure the Covids.

  • Note that bleach is a strong alkali
  • This spray is based on nitric oxide, which when mixed with water forms nitrous acid.
  • Wikipedia says not to mix-up the weak nitrous acid with nitric acid.

So Trumkopf couldn’t tell his alkali from his acid, which surely is a recipe for disaster.

Nitric Oxide

This is part of the introduction in the Wikipedia entry for nitric oxide.

An important intermediate in industrial chemistry, nitric oxide forms in combustion systems and can be generated by lightning in thunderstorms. In mammals, including humans, nitric oxide is a signaling molecule in many physiological and pathological processes. It was proclaimed the “Molecule of the Year” in 1992. The 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for discovering nitric oxide’s role as a cardiovascular signalling molecule.

I remember a fascinating BBC Horizon program about nitric oxide’s role as a signalling molecule.

  • It started with research done by a veterinary professor at Glasgow University, who believed that after experimenting with penises from dead bulls, concluded that nitrous oxide had something to do with it.
  • But his ideas were so out-of-kilter with established thought, that his research was sidelined at conferences in journals.
  • Reasons like it was a poison and such a simple molecule were given.
  • Then in London, someone who knew of his research, had a patient dying of toxic shock syndrome.
  • He suggested injecting the lady, with large amounts of nitrous oxide, in the hope they could save her life.
  • Her partner agreed.

And as it worked, there was a very happy ending.

 

I

January 10, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Two More Life-Saving Covid Drugs Discovered

The title of this post, is the same as this article on the BBC.

With all the reporting of the shenanigans going on with Trump in the United States, this important story seems to have been buried in the news.

This is the first two paragraph of the BBC articles.

Two more life-saving drugs have been found that can cut deaths by a quarter in patients who are sickest with Covid.

The anti-inflammatory medications, given via a drip, save an extra life for every 12 treated, say researchers who have carried out a trial in NHS intensive care units.

The drugs are tocilizumab and sarilumab, which appear to be readily available.

So what was that sore-loser Trump doing?

Certainly nothing to fight the most dangerous pandemic to hit the world for a hundred years.

If he had got to grips with the pandemic in the United States, his name would have gone down in history for all the wrong reasons.

Instead, he’ll be remembered for two words beginning with I; idiot and infamy.

Is There A Link Between Tocilizumab And Coeliac Disease?

I always check new drugs proposed for the covids against coeliac disease, ever since I found that Dexamethazone could be used to treat coeliacs, who couldn’t stick to a gluten-free diet.

I found nothing for sarilumab, but I did find this article for tocilizumab (Actemra), which is entitled Will You Have Celiac Disease With Actemra?.

This is the summary.

Celiac disease is found among people who take Actemra, especially for people who are female, 50-59 old, have been taking the drug for 1 – 6 months.

The phase IV clinical study is created by eHealthMe based on reports of 55,370 people who have side effects when taking Actemra from the FDA, and is updated regularly.

Strange! Like the incorrect American spelling!

 

January 7, 2021 Posted by | Health, World | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Lockdown Scepticism Is Part Of The Brexit Divide

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article on the London School of Economics web site.

It is a must-read article about the views of the British on lock-down.

This is a paragraph.

Additionally, there are indications that lockdown scepticism is becoming increasingly entwined with the Leave/Remain divide that dominates most aspects of British politics. Many pro-Brexit Tory MPs are increasingly critical of the high costs of lockdown on individual freedoms and the economy and have been pushing, both publicly and privately, for easing of the restrictions.

If this view is reflected in the general population, will it increase your chance of Brexiteers getting the Covids, simply because they may be more tempted to break the rules?

January 6, 2021 Posted by | Health, World | , , , , | 4 Comments

Likelihood Of Dying From A Positive Test For The Covids

Bob, one of my mentors on making sense of data always suggested looking at ratios, when you wanted to investigate a database.

These ratios are the chance of dying after a positive test for Covid-19 in various places in the UK, based on Government statistics.

At the moment, the ratios are mainly  from England, but I may expand them with time.

Countries

  • England – 2.8 %
  • Northern Ireland – 1.7 %
  • Scotland – 3.3 %
  • Wales – 2.3 %

Regions

  • London – 2.0 %

London Boroughs

  • Barking and Dagenham – 1.9 %
  • Barnet 2.4 %
  • Bexley – 2,0 %
  • Brent – 3.0 %
  • Bromley – 2.0 %
  • Camden – 1.7 %
  • Croydon – 2.8 %
  • Ealing – 2.1 %
  • Enfield – 10.1 %
  • Greenwich – 1.8 %
  • Hackney – 1.7 %
  • Hammersmith and Fulham – 1.8 %
  • Haringey – 1.8 %
  • Harrow – 2.9 %
  • Havering – 2.8 %
  • Hillingdon – 2.1 %
  • Hounslow – 2.1 %
  • Islington – 1.5 %
  • Kensington and Chelsea – 2.1 %
  • Kingston upon Thames – 2.2 %
  • Lewisham – 2.3 %
  • Merton – 2.5 %
  • Newham – 1.7 %
  • Redbridge – 2.1 %
  • Richmond upon Thames – 2.3 %
  • Southwark – 1.4 %
  • Sutton – 2.2 %
  • Tower Hamlets – 1.1 %
  • Waltham Forest – 1.9 %
  • Wandsworth – 1.9 %
  • Westminster – 2.0 %

Big Cities

  • Belfast – 1.9 %
  • Birmingham 2.8 %
  • Bradford – 2.3 %
  • Bristol – 1.3 %
  • Cardiff – 2.5 %
  • Coventry – 2.3 %
  • Derby – 3.3 %
  • Edinburgh – 3.4 %
  • Glasgow – 3.0 %
  • Hull – 3.1 %
  • Leeds – 2.1 %
  • Leicester – 1.9 %
  • Liverpool – 2.6 %
  • Manchester – 1.9 %
  • Newcastle – 1.8 %
  • Nottingham – 1.9 %
  • Sheffield 2.6 %

Medium-Sized Towns and Cities

  • Blackpool – 4.6 %
  • Bolton – 3.0 %
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole – 2.4 %
  • Brighton and Hove – 1.9 %
  • Luton – 2.6 %
  • Middlesbrough – 2.8 %
  • Milton Keynes – 2.0 %
  • Peterborough – 2.2 %
  • Plymouth – 2.2 %
  • Portsmouth – 1.8 %
  • Reading – 3.0 %
  • Rotherham – 4.0 %
  • Salford – 2.9 %
  • Southampton 2.1 %
  • Southend-on-Sea – 3.0 %
  • Stoke-on-Trent 3.5 %
  • Stockport – 3.2 %
  • Sunderland – 3.8 %
  • Wakefield – 3.1 %
  • Warrington – 2.8 %
  • Wigan – 3.8 %
  • Wolverhampton – 2.9 %
  • York 2.0 %

English Countryside

  • Bath and North East Somerset – 1.6 %
  • Bedford – 3.7 %
  • Buckinghamshire – 2.3 %
  • Cambridgeshire – 2.6 %
  • Central Bedfordshire – 3.7 %
  • Cheshire – 4.0 %
  • County Durham – 3.5 %
  • Cumbria – 4.1 %
  • Derbyshire – 3.6 %
  • Devon – 3.0 %
  • Dorset – 3.4 %
  • East Riding of Yorkshire – 4.0 %
  • Essex – 2.7 %
  • Gloucestershire – 4.6 %
  • Hampshire – 3.3 %
  • Herefordshire – 7.8 %
  • Hertfordshire – 8.3 %
  • Isle of Wight – 3.4 %
  • Kent – 2.9 %
  • Lancashire – 3.1 %
  • Leicestershire – 2.9 %
  • Lincolnshire – 3.9 %
  • Medway – 2.6 %
  • Norfolk – 3.2 %
  • North Yorkshire – 3.1 %
  • Northamptonshire – 3.7 %
  • Northumberland – 3.6 %
  • Nottinghamshire – 3.0 %
  • Oxfordshire – 2.0 %
  • Redcar and Cleveland – 3.2 %
  • Rutland – 3.3 %
  • Shropshire – 4.0 %
  • Staffordshire – 4.0 %
  • Sussex – 3.0 %
  • Suffolk – 4.9 %
  • Surrey – 2.8 %
  • Torbay – 4.0 %
  • Warwickshire – 3.6 %
  • Windsor and Maidenhead – 2.6 %
  • Worcestershire – 4.0 %

Miscellaneous

  • Cornwall and Isles of Scilly – 2.8 %
  • Highland – 2.7 %
  • Isle of Wight – 3.4 %
  • Orkney Islands – 5.1 %
  • Scottish Borders – 3.8 %
  • Shetland Islands – 4.7 %

Note that all values are rounded to one decimal place.

Conclusions

Can I draw any conclusions from the data.

The Four Countries

The mean for the whole of the UK, is 2.8 %, which is the same as England.

  • Given that England is the largest country, this is not surprising.
  • But why is Scotland at 3.3 % higher than England and Northern Ireland and Wales substantially better than England?

Is this a result of devolution? Or a result of national character?

Town Or Country

Looking at English cities and larger towns, their values seem to be lower than the countryside.

I wonder why this is?

To be continued…

January 5, 2021 Posted by | Health | | 9 Comments

A Thought On Covid-19

I am a Control Engineer, Mathematical Modeller and Statistician and have been following the data since the pandemic started.

Consider.

  • Systems like the pandemic want to get to an equilibrium. And preferably one where they are in control. The virus tries to infect more people, so they can pass it on.
  • But anybody, who is immune to the virus acts as a moderator does in a nuclear reactor, to slow the reaction down. So the more, who are immune in the population the better.
  • As of today, 2,713,563 have tested positive for the virus and sadly 75,431 have died. That means at least 2.6 million have had the virus and survived. Are these people now immune to the virus? If they are, can they be added to those who are vaccinated?
  • Also, how many people have had the virus and were not tested, but treated it like they might a cold? Are these safe from the virus, a second time around?
  • What about children, who seem to have lower susceptibility to the virus?
  • We can add in by the end of this week over a million, who have received the vaccine.
  • We are at the present time having about 350,000 positive tests in a week. If these people with positive tests isolate as they should, that will be breaking the transmission of a lot of carriers.
  • And then if the vaccine makers deliver two million a week and they are all used, that takes a lot of people out of the mix.
  • How many people are shielding or working from home and never giving the virus a chance to infect them? It must be a couple of million.

These are all big numbers, but most of them are on our side and not that of the virus.

I watched BBC News at six and Emma Vardy said that in Northern Ireland, the vaccine might be having a positive effect. I wouldn’t have expected that this early!

I am more optimistic, than I was before I started to write this post.

Could the combination of lockdown and increasing numbers of vaccinations cut the rate of transmission of the virus?

January 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 6 Comments

Class 777 Train Update

This news story on the MerseyTravel web site is entitled New Trains Programme Update.

This is the first paragraph.

Merseytravel has confirmed that the phased introduction into service of the new fleet of trains for the Merseyrail network will not begin this year due to ongoing challenges as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

As the story is dated the 17th December 2020, the news isn’t as bad as it first appears.

January 4, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

A Reason To Be Cheerful

I have a good reason to be cheerful.

When my wife died in 2007, I had the problem of what to do, with the money from the sale of her Porsche.

Peer-to-peer lending was just starting, so as a trained control engineer and mathematical modeller, I gave them a good check out!

I then put the money into an automatic peer-to-peer lender, where you deposit the money, forget it and the computer lends it out. Some of my family and friends, including my accountant were horrified.

Then came 2008 and the banking crisis. Like a Flower-Class corvette in the teeth of an Atlantic gale, it bounced safely through the crisis.

Since, then it has earned more than the stock market and grown.

And it repeated a similar safe passage through the Covid-19 crisis.

It does seem that there are always people with a good credit ratings that want to borrow money.

How much of the money borrowed in 2020 was for home improvements to cater for a home office or home schooling?

Conclusion

I blame my mother! I got my skill with and feel for numbers, from her genes and the tutoring she gave me,

She had won a scholarship to Dame Alice Owen’s School, but was unable to go to University, due to lack of funds, so she became a comptometer operator in the Account’s Department at Reeves, who used to make artist’s materials and were based just round the corner from where I now live.

That was probably, the only sort of job a mathematically bright young lady could do in the 1920s.

January 3, 2021 Posted by | Finance | , , , | Leave a comment

How Cambridge University Test Students For The Covids

In Tom Whipple’s excellent article in The Times today, which is entitled In Search Of A Less Painful Route Through The Long Covid Winter, there is this paragraph.

They also point to a different, smaller-scale, test. In the summer, Cambridge University decided to go its own way on testing. Each “bubble” of students put their swabs to be tested together. If they contained a positive — validated through a far more effective laboratory test — they were each retested. At the start of the autumn term, the university experienced the usual run of cases. In the final week, when other universities were seeing mass outbreaks, all 10,000 students were tested. There were zero positives.

Could this simple method, speed up mass testing of residential areas, care homes and other universities?

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Health | , | 1 Comment