Latest Coronavirus data

New Covid-19 cases in South Derbyshire

According to the Govt. website, eighty-six new cases were reported in South Derbyshire today (Monday).

The chart below shows South Derbyshire cases by specimen date, so the number includes cases added to earlier days in a process of continuous revision. The chart was updated on 6/12/2021.

New Cases in South Derbyshire

Causes of Death in the UK

Since it burst into our consciousness at the beginning of 2020, the pandemic has dominated the news almost to the exclusion of everything else. The mainstream media has relentlessly reminded us day by day of the grim realities of Covid-19. And not only the realities – but also the fears, including the irrational fears. Ticknall Life too has been faithfully updating the data on a daily basis.

Do the facts justify the extent to which fear is controlling our lives? Perhaps not. Perhaps we have lost a sense of proportion. Perhaps we have allowed our perspective on life to become distorted.

I decided to remind myself of the bigger picture and found this ONS chart (screenshot below) showing the causes of death in the UK. It is interesting to note that COVID-19 remains in third position.

Age-standardised mortality rate for selected leading causes of death, per 100,000 people, England, deaths registered in September 2021. Click on the chart to see the full detail of the ONS analysis.

As mentioned, I have been putting this stuff out every day myself. As an elderly, asthmatic, absent-minded survivor of three heart attacks with a bum like a rag-mans trumpet and other symptoms signs and ill-defined conditions, I think it might soon be time for me to stop.

The false positive trap

We should remind ourselves that when prevalence is low, as it was last summer, and as it is at the time of writing (Thursday, 27 May), the small false positive rate of the PCR test becomes important, having a pronounced distorting effect on new cases data. To gain a better understanding of this, readers could do worse than start with our 'Covid Kidology' articles published in the autumn of 2020.
If you don't have time or inclination to read those articles, here, without doing too much research, is the essence of it:
In the UK we currently do about 300,000 PCR tests per day and at the time of writing (Thursday, 27 May) the tests came up with about 3500 positive results. The last time I checked, the best estimate we have of the false-positive rate is between 0.4 and 4.3%. (ONS, October 2020). Let's call it 1% which would mean about 3000 (1% 0f 300,000) out of the 3500 positive results would be false. If the false-positive rate was 1.17%, they would all be false. In either (or any) case, we could never be free of the disease - unless, of course, we stopped testing! Think about it.
The latest (Indian aka Delta) variant is now overwhelmingly the dominant strain. PHE reports that almost all new cases are this variant which is more contagious than the Kent flavour, with different symptoms (more like a heavy cold). The question is; is vaccination fending it off? Evidence shows that it is.

Global data

Click on the location to view details.

Bryan Smith
Latest posts by Bryan Smith (see all)

Bryan Smith

Bryan is the editor of Ticknall Life community magazine. (For over 20 years.)

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