SOME GOOD NEWS?

Apologies for being late with the weekly pandemic report from London. We have just had a sunny Easter bank holiday weekend, and that meant four days when people could either break the law and potentially infect and kill people, or stay mainly indoors; or 'exercise' a lot in gardens, parks and streets.

The police asked sunbathers and BBQers to 'move on'. The PM has second-homed it, but few mind, as he has survived. Meanwhile, the less impressive of his cabinet run the daily press briefings flanked by the scientists and medics who 8 weeks ago wanted herd immunity to rip through the country and kill off the weak, and who now solemnly demand we social distance to save the NHS. Hypocritical Oaf, as one headline said in a similar context.

The good news is that though deaths, factoring in those in the community and care homes, is about 900 to 1,000 a day in the UK from Covid-19, the curve is flattening, it appears.

This means my prediction from a week ago is somewhat off. I had predicted 15,000 deaths and 150,000 new announced cases. There are over 12,000 reported from hospitals, and around 1,800 more in the community - so 14,000 or so; and around 100,000 reported cases, also factoring in the community; rather than doubling twice a week, the rate is lowering to about every week now.

This means, according to the briefing scientists, we should expect there to be around 20,000 deaths reported by this coming Sunday; there will likely be 160,000 to 200 k reported cases. If reported cases of deaths are lower than 20,000 by Sunday, we are looking at a good decline, and may get out of the lockdown before 40,000 have died in the UK; though it is likely there will be 60,000 Covid-related deaths here by the end of 2020.

Minds are turning from the many personal tragedies to the costs of rebuilding a shattered economy. It is estimated the UK will have lost 35% of its output by June 1 - the worst economic situation since 1709, apparently. So, we are now in a situation as bad as it has been for 300 years - 100 years, medically speaking. The balance remains between staying closed, and opening, too long or too soon. It is too soon to say, however, what is the better option. Be well, and wash your hands, and obey the letter and spirit of the law.

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