Wednesday – King County Omicron cases are dropping, by over 40% in the last week, hopefully a positive sign that vaccinations, boosters, immunity will give us a healthier summer. Many places emerging from Omicron and removing restrictions.
Tuesday – Possible conflict in Ukraine and the woes of Boris Johnson are pushing Covid news below the fold.
Monday – US federal and state governments are shipping N95/KN95 masks and lateral flow tests to homes. Our WA State tests arrived within 2 days, via Amazon.
This time last year – vaccines, supply and demand, variants and testing. Watched the documentary "76 Days". Mask wearing is hyper partisan.
This time 2020 – the daily blog pre-amble. Looking back at diaries, planners and notes – this was still "in the office" and there was some nervous talk about the "Chinese flu" and the recent case in Washington. One of the team had recently flown through SE Asia returning from vacation, and spread a virulent cold/cough through the team.
Weekend – Omicron is spreading in New Zealand; hopefully the previous lockdowns and vaccination drives (>93% fully vaccinated) mean this is as uneventful as possible.
UK Omicron cases peaked in adults, continue to build in kids, who are now passing it back to parents. (@ProfColinDavis)
Weekly look at Washington State. A couple of days lag on the reported data; but hopefully the peak in cases has passed us.
Still only 63% of the State fully vaccinated; still very patchy and closely aligned with voting patterns.
Friday – "2 shots and a booster"; or to be more succinct – a three course immunisation. New Omicron variant "BA.2" in the wild.
Thursday – US Gov starts to provide N95 masks and lateral flow tests; good, but tbh three+ months late. Looking forward, there is a distinct "post omicron" sense that masks, restrictions and testing are going to go away, and Covid just becomes endemic. I predict a quiet summer and another combined "flu/covid" winter. Boosters and flu shots delivered in one.
Wednesday – We managed to get lateral flow tests from Target (a miracle!) negative on both. PCR tests done yesterday, waiting for those results.
Tuesday – 500k new cases in France, Italy 230k cases. UK on the down side of the curve. More Covid exposure in the house; and similar "numb nose, strange smell" symptoms. PCR test done.
Monday – "majority of Seattle areas 200k unvaccinated, will not get the vaccine" meaning variants, breakouts and one of the mutations will kill thousands.
This time last year – two years sine the first COVID case in Washington State. Mutations and concern about breakouts. Vaccinations ramping up. The Seattle Times link naming goes around again – adding -2 to urls.
Weekend – the usual glimpse at state data, and there are a lot of cases, hospitalisations, and the death rate is flat. 77% omicron. UK case rates are still 80k+; but falling rapidly.
Friday – school districts locally continue to move to remote learning due to staff shortages. That rapid peak of cases, the wave of hospitalisations and deaths is coming behind.
Thursday – UK cases are dropping; virus traces in sewage in Boston, MA show that cases may also have peaked.
Wednesday – rapidly approaching the two year anniversary of the first cases of Covid in the US, here in Washington State. Schools are closing because of cases in teachers, support staff, bus drivers, etc.
Tuesday – record breaking case counts across Western Europe; UK looks to be declining; SA see omicron rapidly burning out. CDC now recommending N95/KN95 masks. “Up to 60% of KN95 masks are counterfeit”
Monday – record hospital admissions in the US – over 132k hospitalised. Work from home mandate in Sweden. New Zealand preparing for omicron; there’s a lot that can be learned.
This time last year – “will variants evade the current vaccines”, the shock of 60k+ cases per day in the UK, 2500 cases in Washington State.
Weekend – Omicron wave in the US looks to be driven by teens and young adults; certainly a large uptick locally. Oh – and that local uptick; a vast number of tests being done, and a corresponding number of positive cases.
Friday – The last day of 2021; the day before year 3 of Covid. US expecting a “Viral Blizzard”, South Africa seeing the start of a rapid burnout and decline of omicron cases. Those UK numbers – the jump yesterday in hospitalisation, the slight jump in deaths. Sign of the next month I fear. The US probably looks similar.
Thursday – University of Washington are overwhelmed with PCR tests; so restrictions going in to only test sympomatic and contact traced people. Short version – pooling becomes less effective when 50% of your tests are positive.
Wednesday – Florida seeing record cases, hospitalisation surge to follow. New Year’s Eve celebrations “should be cancelled”. 183k cases in the UK. By close of week the step jumps from 40k per day, to 85k per day, to 130k up to 180k+ is going to look like a rocket taking off. Exponential growth.
Tuesday – here’s the first part of the pre-Christmas data from the State. Not unsurprising – there’s a massive jump in positive cases; this is most likely on the back of the leap in tests being performed. The ten days before Christmas there was a huge rush to get tested, and there were shortages of home lateral flow tests. Infographic as always from The Seattle Times. King County reports almost 200% jump in positive cases, US health officials are looking at an early January surge. 13% of PCR tests in Seattle were positive.
Monday – reporting figures look partial due to the holiday weekend. UK shows 98k positive cases.
This time last year – “soon this will be a full year of working from home, and school from home”, early vaccine rollouts in the US were “being botched”
Weekend – Record new cases around the globe, US and UK included, families getting together for Christmas. NSW, Australia Health Minister says “get vaccinated, we’re all going to get omicron”.
Friday – 1.7M new Covid cases in the UK last week.
Thursday – escalating daily cases in the UK. Today – almost 120k. Four vaccinations may be needed to give enough protection.
Wednesday – UK NHS planning for a “super surge”. 106k cases in the UK yesterday. Early reports from Scotland suggest that omicron is serious, but may not have the same level of hospitalisations as delta. That being said; still early; and even a small fraction of positive cases at this number will overwhelm health systems.
Tuesday – UW moves to online learning again in the new year. Negative tests in the house. That’s a relief. 90k+ positive cases in the UK for almost a week. Carefully watching hospitalisation data, which lags by ~15 days.
Graphic from The Guardian.
Monday – heading into Christmas and New Year with raging positive cases, and the potential of a huge funnel leading to hospital collapse. Potential positive exposure in the house; PCR test done, waiting for results. There are no lateral flow tests to be had within 100 miles.
This time last year – “the mutation is everywhere” – the story repeats. The shock of 40k cases daily in the UK.