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COVID – week 91 – December 6 – December 12

Weekend – a quick look at the Washington State details – and that flattening of cases looks like an uptick. :\ On the positive side – Western Washington is >70% fully vaccinated. Infographic from the Seattle Times again. In the UK the apparent duplicity of the Government around Christmas parties last year, when everything was fully locked down, has knocked Omicron off the top of the headlines. An additional 75k deaths in England alone forecast by end of Spring 2022.

Friday – UK daily cases still climbing; there is no sharp climb and spike like Winter 2020 – this is 30-60k cases per day, since June. Hospitalisation remains lower than last winter. In Washington State, the case numbers have flattened.

Thursday – Booster jabs approved in US for 16+ . UK lockdowns “Plan B” returning.

Wednesday – “Three Pfizer jabs neutralise Omicron; Moderna or Novavax after AstraZenaca provides high immunity” – boosters look to provide protection against the Omicron variant.

UK cases are still climbing, and 50k cases per day; 300k+ per week.


Tuesday – “stealth omicron variant difficult to sequence as omicron by PCR tests” is a concern, I think this means PCR tests show positive, but not which variant. May just be some process iteration and tweaking to improve that. Still hope that current vaccines (and boosters) are effective.

Monday – Omicron all the time in the news. More transmissible, large R0 in unvaccinated.

This time last year – massive cases in Washington, the US and around the globe. 3000+ deaths per day in the US.

The Guardian The Seattle Times
6 Dec here here
7 Dec here here
8 Dec here here
9 Dec here here
10 Dec here here
11 Dec here here
12 Dec here

COVID – week 90 – November 29 – December 5

Weekend – A great weekend away in BC, vaccination proof being looked at for all indoor bars and restuarants, masks being worn everywhere. Limited protests.

Weekly data from The Seattle Times shows a worrying uptick in positive cases in the last few days; but that could be related to Thanksgiving travel.

Friday – BC vaccination app is everywhere; proof of vaccination, QR code on phone, links to live “vaccinated or not” backend system. No real protests, and it felt much like Washington State in many respects.

Thursday – for the first time since the start of this pandemic, a trip outside the US. Land travel to British Columbia, Canada. ArriveCAN for entry, proof of vaccination, proof of negative test. Long lines at the border heading into Canada. We were worried that the omicron variant would close the border into Canada, or require additional testing while there, or for return.

Wednesday – Omicron variant was “in Europe, weeks ago”. Positive cases everywhere; including the US.

Tuesday – Boosters may protect against Omicron; they may not; a new vaccine may be needed; new vaccine within 100 days. Much not understood yet. Saw long lines for student booster shots in Capitol Hill, Seattle last night.

Monday – the news is all Omicron variant. South Africa being both vilified and held up as a great model of healthcare. Certainly testing and sequencing got early data out. Still lots of unknown factors. WHO says “very high” global risk.

This time last year – the start of the discussion about vaccinations, and breaking through the antivax rhetoric. WA Notify – the Washington State Notification App launched.

The Guardian The Seattle Times
29 Nov here here
30 Nov here here
1 Dec here here
2 Dec here here
3 Dec here here
4 Dec here here
5 Dec here

COVID – week 89 – November 22 – November 28

Weekend – I predict it’s all Omicron until the end of the year. Two cases sequenced in the UK; also Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Hong Kong. R is about 2.

Meanwhile, locally, cases are still trending down; we’re back to August levels of cases and hospitalisation.

Friday – that moved quickly. From sequencing, to reporting, to variant of concern, to travel restrictions in Europe and the US. B.1.1.529 is now the “Omicron variant”. Concerns around transmissibility and evasion of immunity.

Thursday – Thanksgiving here in the US. Thankful for vaccines, boosters and a local view that masked and vaxxed is the route back to some semblance of normal. Rumblings of a new variant from southern Africa (B.1.1.529) – first sequenced mid-November.

Wednesday – that multi-month long run of 30-40k cases in the UK is really concerning. That’s 4.5MM+ people in the UK who have had COVID since July, in a country with almost 70% fully vaccinated. The long term effects are unknown. Pictogram from The Guardian


Tuesday – new COVID cases rose by 32% in children under 18 in the US. Back to school, masks, slow vaccination. It’s the new vector for transmission. CDC/NIH approve vaccinations for kids 5+ now.

Monday – booster shots approved for all US adults.

This time last year – records being broken, the accelerating climb to the winter peak. 20% of tests returning positive in parts of Washington State. Looking back – this really was the worst period locally. Lots of cases, lots of illness, too much hospitalisation and death.

The Guardian The Seattle Times
22 Nov here here
23 Nov here here
24 Nov here here
25 Nov here
26 Nov here here
27 Nov here here
28 Nov here

COVID – week 88 – November 15 – November 21

Weekend – quite a miserable weekend of news. Bright spots in the local trends, and behaviours (masking, vaccinations, high rates of vaccination).

Friday – looking ahead just a few months, when the calendar rolls around again and into the third year of the pandemic. What to do? Continue daily updates? It certainly seems that after 20 months the pattern is: vaccinations, mandates, protests, cases and lockdowns.

Thursday – continuing the theme. Restrictions on the unvaccinated (Europe, some of the US), bans on vaccination mandates and testing (some of the US). Maddening.

Wednesday – it has been a while since looking at the JHU dashboard; this was go-to-reading at the start of the pandemic. Clear

Global cases show a clear fourth wave building.


Tuesday – in Europe, more cases, more lockdown, more restrictions on the non-vaccinated. In the US – law suits against all of these.

Monday – heading towards Thanksgiving and the holiday season. King County has >76% vaccinated; close, but still breakout cases.

This time last year – the leap in local, positive cases. 20% positive test rates. Huge pre-Thanksgiving test lines.

Monday (16 Nov 2020) – talking with friends about the last 36 weeks about “lockdown”: no school (all from home), no work (all from home), seen friends twice (socially distanced, wearing masks, outside), been outside the town a handful of times (to collect flour and visit Orcas Island for some isolated time away). This has not been normal, it’s not been with people. Our bubble of four has has had near zero contact with anyone else.

The Guardian The Seattle Times
15 Nov here here
16 Nov here here
17 Nov here here
18 Nov here here
19 Nov here here
20 Nov here here
21 Nov here

COVID – week 87 – November 8 – November 14

Weekend – vaccine mandates are on, off, on again – with court cases across the US and Europe. Meanwhile CDC moves away from getting to herd immunity – meaning breakouts, variants and Covid becoming an endemic disease.

Weekly update from The Seattle Times.

Friday –

Thursday – case numbers plateauing in Washington State; rising elsewhere in the US again. Austria discusses “lockdown for the non vaccinated”, The Netherlands warns of new lockdowns. Continued legal challenges against vaccine mandates for staff.

Wednesday – the roll call of cases and deaths continues across Europe and Russia.

Tuesday – US Government (via the NIH) and Moderna arguing around patents.

Monday – this week I’ll get a booster, as will the eldest child. Moderna for both – so Pfizer-Pfizer-Moderna. International travel restrictions into the US start being lifted.

This time last year – post election, lots of new cases, folk urged not to travel for Thanksgiving. 1M new cases in the US per week.

The Guardian The Seattle Times
8 Nov here here
9 Nov here here
10 Nov here here
11 Nov here here
12 Nov here here
13 Nov here here
14 Nov here

COVID – week 86 – November 1 – November 7

Weekend – US rollout of vaccine to kids starting.

Friday – European restrictions on vaccine requirements landing – similar to much of the US and other parts of the world

Thursday – slowly, slowly the UK hospital and death rates are ticking up; slow following the wave of positive cases. Graphic from The Guardian.


WHO: “Europe at center of pandemic” with >500k more deaths to follow.

Wednesday – US to start vaccination of children aged 5-11.

Tuesday – UK death rates climb, multiple European countries reporting new peaks of cases.

Monday – “vax” is the OED word of the year. JHU estimates “at least 5M deaths from Covid”. Australian border re-opens after almost 20 months.

This time last year – US hitting a million new cases per week; this was the build up to the massive, pre-vaccine, spike. Election day. Masks and politics.

The Guardian The Seattle Times
1 Nov here here
2 Nov here here
3 Nov here here
4 Nov here here
5 Nov here here
6 Nov here here
7 Nov

COVID – week 85 – October 25 – October 31

Weekend – Negative covid tests here in the house; putting the last few weeks to rest.

Meanwhile – cases continue to decline in Washington State and across the US. Cases continue to surge in the UK.


Friday – non-vaccinated refusers, vaccine mandates, protests.

Thursday – back to the list of locations where cases are surging. Singapore and across SE Asia, much of Europe and especially Eastern Europe.

Wednesday – AY.4.2 variant is now >9% of UK cases; not unexpected to see variants emerge from the vast pool of positive cases in the UK; this one is of concern. Meanwhile >43k cases in the UK, cases surge in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Tuesday – Those UK numbers are still terrifying. Planning a trip to England later this year to close out some business; and I am wondering about the safety and wisdom of such a trip.


Monday – out of isolation. First booster (Moderna) in the house. Looking back – just four months ago, in June 2021, I was wondering “when to stop the covid blogging“. With over 80% vaccinated locally then, and >93% 12+ fully vaccinated now – it certainly felt like the beginning of the end. Locally the mask and vaccination mandates are enforced; but there are still lots of under-vaccinated areas of the county and state.


This time last year – on the rapid climb into the winter infections wave of 2020, pre-vaccine and huge numbers of cases, hospitalisation and sadly deaths.

The Guardian The Seattle Times
25 Oct here here
26 Oct here here
27 Oct here here
28 Oct here here
29 Oct here here
30 Oct here here
31 Oct here

COVID – week 84 – October 18 – October 24

Weekend – slight uptick in cases in Washington State; but a good 6-8 weeks of downward trend now.

Friday – Plenty of reports on mixed boosters – anecdotally it looks like “MMM”, “MMP”, “PPM” in order are the most effective. One of the house is getting Moderna booster (“MMM”) next week. 

Thursday – boosters, mixed boosters – both approved by the CDC and FDA. Children 5-11 will soon be eligible. That’s another big vaccination target to remove transmission vectors. If there can be >80% vaccination Covid will move from being a pandemic to endemic. As noted last year – that means an annual “covid shot”, probably in conjunction with a flu shot, targeted at the current variant of concern. In the UK >50k cases, much discussion about the real, non-symptomatic rate being above 100k. What this looks like (plans B and C) for winter isolation and protecting NHS and other key workers). New variant “AY.4.2” more infectious than delta.

Wednesday – 3% of Washington State employees are gone after not meeting the vaccine deadline. In context – that’s less than the “normal” attrition rate through retirement or moves. School north of Seattle closes because of Covid outbreak.

Tuesday – Washington State University fire their high profile football coach. Multiple Washington State Patrol staff leave WSP.

Monday – Tests for all of the family. Two positive, two negative. Isolating in the home.

This time last year – Continuing ramp of European cases, stable in Washington State.

The Guardian The Seattle Times
18 Oct here here
19 Oct here here
20 Oct here here
21 Oct here here
22 Oct here here
23 Oct here here
24 Oct here

COVID – week 83 – October 11 – October 17

Weekend – positive test for the house member. That’s thoroughly annoying. I’ll save my rant for private.

NZ hosts “vaxathon” – over 2.5% of the population jabbed in a single day.

Cases in Washington State trending downwards.

Friday – Uh oh – a house member has been exposed to COVID through a potentially unvaccinated co-worker. Off to get tested in an abundance of caution.

Thursday – US travel restrictions lifting. Still >40k daily cases in the UK.

Wednesday – Russia >30k cases. Still generally high transmissions around the globe.

Tuesday – Moderna to join Pfizer in approval for booster shots. Mixed boosters also to be considered.

Monday – Cases still dropping in Washington.

This time last year – European wave, looking forward to Thanksgiving being a super-spreader event.

The Guardian The Seattle Times
11 Oct here here
12 Oct here here
13 Oct here here
14 Oct here here
15 Oct here here
16 Oct here here
17 Oct here

COVID – week 82 – October 4 – October 10

Weekend – we’ve been out a few times in the last month – and every time it’s been to vaccination required, masks required venues. Bands, movies, sports. This is going to become the new normal; and it’s been made easier with the higher vaccination rates in the Seattle area.

In Washington State, positive cases are declining. In King County >80% adults and around 70% of all residents are fully vaccinated.

Friday – Good numbers coming from US CDC about vaccination numbers – but it’s still very skewed.

Thursday – flu shot. Good line of folk getting first, second or booster Covid vaccines.

Wednesday – flu shot booked for tomorrow, reported shortages.

Tuesday – UK still at >30k cases per day, 100k kids off school.

Monday – Russia urging vaccinations. Booster shots live in the US.

This time last year – the beginning of the massive Covid ramp in the UK.

I wrote this week retrospectively; so shorter notes.

The Guardian The Seattle Times
4 Oct here here
5 Oct here here
6 Oct here here
7 Oct here here
8 Oct here here
9 Oct here here
10 Oct here