I can’t figure out why these places are all showing such different trends.
Part of me wants to say that places that “did nothing” simply are reaching herd immunity while those that did the most “lock down” are having repeating waves of infection; yet that doesn’t fit the whole pattern either. California and the UK don’t follow that line.
Another assertion is that “new strains” are causing upticks in Europe, yet, again, California and the UK that are supposed hot-beds of the “UK Strain” are not showing an issue.
North / South has some influence, but not much. Sweden has some uptick in winter that could be explained by lower Vit-D levels, but then Italy ought to have lots of sun and it’s having renewed issues.
Clearly I’m missing something, or it is just that there are so many moving parts you can’t really find “a pattern” but need several patterns interacting.
What is clear is that anyone who thinks they have a handle on what works, or doesn’t, is wrong. Even vaccination trends can’t account for this as there’s not been enough yet to matter and what has been done is often in places with “issues” ongoing.
So what have we got? A quasi random look at places that ought to have decent reporting scattered around Europe, North America and a few bits of elsewhere. As Australia and New Zealand have successfully slammed the door shut to the world, I’m leaving them out this time. Then much of South America, Africa and Asia have abysmal reporting so not much insight you can get from bogus data. The USA recently changed how many cycles a PCR test is run, reducing false positives, so to some extent USA time trends are suspect. Whatever. Here’s what we’ve got from Worldometer:
I’m going to start with the USA and California as that’s where I am. Supposedly the U.S.A. is lagging in vaccinations and California is full of that new threat “The U.K. Strain”. Yet both are looking like herd immunity reached and just tailing out at the end:
Then compare that to the U.K. that’s also not fully vaccinated yet and supposedly up to their eyeballs in “The U.K. Strain” it being named for them and all:
Somehow I’m just not seeing it. Where’s the horror of this “New Strain” that supposed to be hyper spreadable and all new and all? Eh?
To my eye that sure looks like “pretty much over” and just the stragglers to catch up, mixed with a bit of “What new strain?”…
Canada is also flat at the end, but looking flat at a higher rate of new infections per 1000 (which is not in the statistics so you kind of need to eyeball the graphs and adjust for population). Perhaps just slow working its way through all the sparsely populated areas?
Supposedly the Netherlands is also suffering from “The UK Strain” and shows an uptick, but why them and nobody else? They are not exactly basking in the sun in the UK in comparison.
Now my first puzzlement is France. Small peak, then after the post-peak drop, a gradual and steady rise. Cases seem higher per 1000 too. Then you can’t exactly call Canada sunny while France has a fair bit of sun, especially in the south. So why is France having issues? If it is the “new UK Strain”, why are not California and the UK having that problem? Just not making a lot of sense of this graph.
Anyone with local understanding, please speak up.
Germany, right next door, had a broader and later peak, but also is showing a rise (though not as steady or large). Have folks stopped doing the whole stay home and mask thing?
Step one more East into Poland, and it is looking a bit more grim. First peak nearer to France, but now the resurgence is just about as big. What’s the deal with Poland?
Compare just to the south, Switzerland. Thin peak and then a trailing off with only a very minor increase at the end. Yet Switzerland just voted to ban facial coverings in public.
Then dropping further south into more warmth and sun, Greece looks almost identical. I just don’t get it. What makes Greece and Poland the same?
Headed back toward the warmer Mediterranean sunny areas, Italy is quasi similar, but not as bad. An artifact of the math or an actual difference? Did the Italians get a bad early scare so have been more isolated and masked since?
Then Spain and Portugal seem different, back to that “we’re over this” herd immunity tailing out look. Did they both “do less” so are basically over it and immune other than stragglers? Is it the case that nothing done really mattered and the area under the curves is constant, just the shape changing with isolation and lock down?
Israel is supposedly way ahead of everyone else on vaccinations, but their graph doesn’t look all that different from many others. Double peak and was already headed down when vaccinations got going big time, yet still new daily cases relatively high. Compare to some other nations that look to have just “got over it”…
Mexico is not known to be ahead of everyone else on treatments, vaccinations, or lockdowns. They do have lots of sun and some amount of anti-malarial drug use. Yet the last few months are very similar to highly vaccinated Israel.
Then there’s Morocco. To me this just looks like the virus ran through the place and now there’s nobody left without immunity other than a few stragglers. “One and done”.
So what’s it all mean? Damned if I know.
Mostly it looks to me like all the noise and bother didn’t accomplish much and places like Morocco and India did as well as anybody. California seems to be running out of folks to infect long before vaccinations have gotten much beyond the almost certainly already exposed hospital staff and first responders.
Places with lots of hard lockdown and social distancing look to have time shifted the curve to the right, and made it into 2 or 3 lumps, but otherwise not done much. Then there’s folks like Switzerland that seems to have done something right, and France that’s headed steadily back into the soup.
Or maybe it is all just differences in data gathering, testing, and artifacts.
What I think is clear is that nobody has a good handle on this thing, how it works, or how to prevent it from going where it wants. It is also pretty clear that the “new strain” hype is overdone. The UK and California pretty much show that as we’re both supposedly swimming in it.
Though I do wonder how much of this might just indicate where the people are willing to just say “screw it” to Government Edicts and do things like buy OTC HCQ or slather on some vet Ivermectin…