Weekend – with war in Europe dominating the headlines, the US and much of Europe seems to have forgotten we’re in the tail end of a pandemic.
Cases are down – but still higher than much of the last two years.
Friday – Hong Kong planning to test all residents, shops rationing some food and medicines.
Thursday – Live coverage from the Guardian looks to be over. Newsroom is focused instead on war in Ukraine.
Wednesday – the end of Omicron is being mistaken for the end of Covid.
Tuesday – the smaller, child sized, shots of Pfizer are less effective. Stops serious illness, but doesn’t prevent infection.
Monday – European war, and the potential for massive global escalation, has given The Guardian newsroom a completely different focus. No daily aggregates from The Guardian in almost a week.
This time 2021 – vaccine rollout well underway; 28M in US with two shots. A great early lead.
This time 2020 – I was in the office, running an architecture design session, no social distancing. All of the talk was about the coronavirus. 2 March 2020 – State Of Emergency declared in Washington State. Work from home officially started on 6th March.
Like many other sites, large and small, well known to obscure – I’ve been getting a lot of external and malicious traffic.
Some slight tightening of security, mandating newer TLS versions and cipher suites.
Weekend – looks like The Seattle Times and The Guardian are down to weekday updates – which is unsurprising.
UW reporting "end of the pandemic". Locally cases are "much lower" than the peak of a few months ago.
Wednesday through Friday – Ukraine invasion. Newsrooms have put most coronavirus news way below the fold. General trend is lifting restrictions and mask requirements; continue to encourage vaccinations and boosters.
Tuesday – most COVID restrictions in UK, Ireland, US starting to be removed. On the other side – 100K new cases in Brazil. Free testing to end in England.
Monday – possible war in Ukraine has taken Covid off the headlines globally. NZ ends vaccine mandates.
This time last year – vaccination systems went online, and were swamped. 500k US deaths from COVID.
This time 2020 – this was the week when panic buying really started. Cleaning products, face masks, hand sanitiser, paper towels, toilet paper – all stripped from stores.
Weekend – potential for Ukraine invasion has bumped Covid reporting off the Guardian for the weekend. Second booster shot being considered. Queen tests positive for COVID.
Weekly infographic from The Seattle Times shows rapidly falling positive cases, and the overwhelming variant at the end of January was Omicron. Mask mandates are going away rapidly.
Friday – Omicron wave reaches South Korea. Building concern around Omicron variant BA.2 – this from BBC early in February.
Thursday – continued re-opening in the US. Washington State and King County removing mask mandates.
Wednesday – Omicron keeps heading east, across Europe, in it’s wake countries are emerging from and lifting most restrictions.
Tuesday – Canada, US, Europe – "protest convoys" and what looks to be some pretty major astroturfing.
Monday – Microsoft announce a broad plan to return to the office; most employees have been at home for two years. Flexible working will be the new normal.
This time last year – mutations, variants, "over by Christmas" which could have been the case in so many ways.
This time 2020 – still in the office, still looking at the handful of cases emerging in Washington State and New York. Regular, weekly blogging started in March 2020.
Weekend – still >9000 cases per day in Washington State, but that’s nothing compared to the peaks of a few weeks ago. Death rates are peaking, hospitalisation rates are falling. Warning that the next variant will "kill many more" as England drops all restrictions.
Friday – UK looking to eliminate all free testing – both PCR and lateral flow – to save money. All Covid regulations to be gone in two weeks in UK. Political rather than scientific.
Thursday – fast follow from yesterday; and outdoor mask mandates in Washington State for large gatherings will be gone next week. I expect indoor masking to be gone by end of month. In the UK Prince Charles has Covid for the second time; Queen has no symptoms. "Africa transitioning out of pandemic stage of Covid" – WHO.
Wednesday – I am somewhat hopeful for a return to the new normal this spring and summer. Locally there is a vast majority vaxxed and boosted; and the omicron cases have swept through quickly. Hospitals were stretched to breaking point, there were many deaths, there is loss and change everywhere. A "new normal" that we saw last summer/autumn isn’t bad: require proof of vaccination for indoor bars, dining and events. Use that as the carrot and the stick to slowly nudge people forward.
Tuesday – restrictions are being dropped across the US – as Omicron quickly tails off, and the number of vaccinated, boosted and previously exposed is relatively high. My prediction is for a late summer/early autumn booster to be produced, probably in conjunction with the annual flu shot. The next wave will really affect those who are unvaccinated and/or isolating.
Monday – potential exposure again, rapid lateral flow test shows negative. The advantages of having plentiful, cost effective, home tests are numerous. I wish the US had more lateral flow tests in the system back in November and December. Continuing anti-vac protests (and I question whether these are really astroturfing) in the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand.
This time last year – coming out of the first big winter wave in Washington State and the US. Vaccination starting slowly. UK ahead of the vaccination curve with 21% vaccinated.
This time 2020 – still in the calm before the storm; this was the few weeks of cruise ships being the main vector of transmission, watching the Diamond Princess in quarantine off Japan, watching a tiny number of cases in PRC start accelerating, the novel coronavirus was named "Covid-19".