Europe suddenly ablaze with Covid – it could be the biggest wave yet

We predicted here and here that we would see a fresh Covid wave after October 19th, but even we didn’t expect Europe to ignite into a raging inferno within a couple of days. It is beginning to look like Europe may be the epicentre of the biggest global Covid wave yet this coming winter. 

So much for an ‘endemic’ phase of Covid – large parts of Europe are seeing sudden huge increases in infections:

 

Morocco today banned flights to the UK, Germany and the Netherlands in response to the growing infection numbers.

What will happen with North America? It’s just coming out of a fairly major wave that peaked in September 2021. We should know within two weeks whether it has been spared a full-blown winter wave, but we doubt it. Relaxations in international travel over the summer will almost certainly mean a spillover from Europe to the US and Canada, which is exactly what happened in March 2020.

 

 

Winter is here. Three European nations see their highest ever Covid case rates

Preprint: Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States

“At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days. In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people.

Notably, Israel with over 60% of their population fully vaccinated had the highest COVID-19 cases per 1 million people in the last 7 days. The lack of a meaningful association between percentage population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases is further exemplified, for instance, by comparison of Iceland and Portugal. Both countries have over 75% of their population fully vaccinated and have more COVID-19 cases per 1 million people than countries such as Vietnam and South Africa that have around 10% of their population fully vaccinated.”

Preprint: Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States

 

Image by Frauke Riether from Pixabay

October 19th – 23rd could be crucial in determining how bad Covid-19 will be this winter

We have already posted our prediction for the start of the next global Covid-19 wave here, and the October 23rd date we mentioned as being the start of the next wave also seems to be close to an inflexion point for global Covid deaths too. In 2020, the global death rate started to accelerate from October 19th. The next two weeks will be crucial in determining how severe Covid-19 will be this winter.

Our forecast is for the next global wave to start on or around 23rd October 2021:

 

The inflexion point for an increase in global deaths was on the 19th October 2020. Will vaccines and herd immunity help reduce the size of the next winter wave?

 

Below is the interactive OurworldinData chart for global biweekly deaths.

You can see clearly that the first global Covid wave from October 2020 to February 2021 was larger than the second Covid wave from February to June 2021. The global cases chart shows a collapsed first peak due to limited recording over the winter holidays. Cases may not have been recorded in that period, but deaths, of course, were, giving an indication of just how large the first Covid-19 wave really was. 

 

 

Below is the interactive chart for global biweekly cases, with a trough expected around 23rd October 2021. Note the collapsed peak of the first wave due to the lack of recording over the winter holidays.

 

A visualization of what the first global peak in Covid cases would probably have looked like were it not for the lapse in recording from Thanksgiving 2020 through New Year of 2021.

Sadly, we don’t think that the three declining global peaks we have seen so far represent a trend that will continue into this coming winter of 2021. We should be able to tell by mid-November 2021 just how severe the next global Covid winter wave will be, and we will update Coronaheadsup.com in a new post around that time.

 

12th October 2021: An early indication from Britain of where we are headed?

Is Covid-19 on a four monthly global wave cycle?

Sars-CoV-2 global attacks have come in regular four monthly waves in 2021. Will the next wave trough, or CovidMinimum, be on or around 23rd October 2021, with about 5.18 million biweekly infections? Place your bets!

We think that the first wave shown above, from October 2020 to February 2021, had a collapsed peak caused by a lack of reporting over the Thanksgiving, Christmas & winter holidays. The wave was probably at least as big, if not bigger, than the second wave from February to June 2021.

 

The winter peak for Covid cases in 2020/2021 would probably have looked something like this if case recording hadn’t been interrupted by the winter holidays:

 

Have a go yourself with the interactive chart below! The   button is pretty cool. To update it, press the date in the bottom right corner of the chart.

 

Global Covid waves triggered by phases of the moon?

32% of world’s population is fully vaccinated, but the global case fatality rate is increasing again

32 percent of the population of the globe has now been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, but the global case fatality rate has started increasing again – for the first time in four months.

Note the four monthly CFR cycle, giving three global Covid waves a year.

 

 

WHO: the first substantial decline in global Covid cases in more than two months

USA: Six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers infected with Covid in Washington Zoo

Six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers at the National Zoo in Washington have tested positive for the coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, the Smithsonian Institution said Friday.

Animal caretakers observed appetites, coughing, sneezing and lethargy in six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers, and final results were expected in coming days to confirm the presumptive positive coronavirus test results, said the Smithsonian, which operates the zoo.

“All lions and tigers are being treated with anti-inflammatories and anti-nausea medication to address discomfort and decreased appetite,” the zoo said on its website, adding that they were also being treated with antibiotics for possible secondary bacterial pneumonia.

Smithsonian Magazine report

 

 

Image by Kevinsphotos from Pixabay

WHO: the first substantial decline in global Covid cases in more than two months

With nearly 4 million new cases reported globally in the past week (6-12 September), this represents the first substantial decline in weekly cases in more than two months. All regions reported declines in new cases as compared to the previous week.

World Health Organisation reportWeekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 – 14 September 2021

 

At Coronaheadsup, our hunch is that the next Covidminimum for this wave (i.e. the trough of the current wave) should be on the 13th October or the 11th November 2020 if there is a connection to lunar phases, as outlined in this post:

Global Covid waves triggered by phases of the moon?

 

** UPDATE **

The third global wave of 2021 peaked around the full moon of August 22nd, so earlier than we expected. If the waves are linked to phases of the moon, then the next trough, or Covidminimum, would be around the full moon on the 13th October 2021.

Based on the trough pattern though, the waves could just be repeating every four months, meaning three waves a year. If the waves are spaced evenly 4 months apart, then the next Covidminimum would be on ~20th October.

The number of infections could also be important in the formation of a new wave. Both of the last two troughs bottomed out at about 2.5 million infections before starting to rise again.   

The latest self-updating world Covid-19 cases chart is shown below.

 

 

We noted earlier this year, in April 2021, the odd, almost unnatural, behaviour of this virus:

Global: Sars-COV-2 – a virus that oscillates between killing 5,000 to 20,000 a day for an entire year?

Below is an updated chart of global deaths for Covid-19 up to September 2021. After 20 months, the coronavirus still remains within the boundary of 5,000 to 20,000 deaths a day globally.

We are struggling to see much evidence of 3 billion worldwide vaccinations in these charts, although the reduced deaths to cases ratio in the second wave may offer some comfort to the vaccine manufacturers.

 

 

 

 

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Ethiopia: man survives triple coinfection of Covid-19, HIV, and tuberculosis

A 55-year-old male arrived at the hospital with HIV, Covid-19 and tuberculosis. On June 6, 2021, the patient recovered and was discharged after 10 days in hospital

This case report suggests, after 10 days of admission with triple infections, there is a good clinical prognosis and survival from COVID-19. On admission, further diagnosis and investigations of TB coinfection should be performed for all patients admitted with COVID-19 due to their similar and non-specific clinical manifestations.

Dovepress.com case report

 

Image by Fifaliana Joy from Pixabay

WHO: Vaccines won’t save us. We’ll have to learn to live with the virus

The World Health Organization has thrown in the towel and surrendered to Covid. The WHO have finally realised that Covid-19 vaccines aren’t going to save our asses, and they are now recommending that governments around the world learn to live with the virus. Yes, that’ll be the same virus that has already killed millions, disabled tens of millions, and infected hundreds of millions. Sars-CoV-2 is apparently something we can learn to live with though, just like the ebola virus, or polio, or smallpox, or the bubonic plague.

Welcome to the new normal!

Dr Hans Kluge:  “I think it brings us to the point that the aim of a vaccination is first and foremost to prevent more serious disease, and that’s mortality. If we consider that Covid will continue to mutate and remain with us, the way influenza is, then we should anticipate how to gradually adapt our vaccination strategy to endemic transmission and gather really precious knowledge about the impact of additional jabs,” he added.

Hans Kluge quotes from The Straitstimes.com article

The Daily Mail has gone into meltdown over this one:Covid vaccines won’t end pandemic and officials must now ‘gradually adapt strategy’ to cope with inevitable spread of virus, World Health Organization official warns

 

Kirsty Allsopp: We have to learn to live with Covid

 

** Just to be clear, there will be NO mild “endemic” phase of Sars-CoV-2.  Throwing in the towel now will condemn hundreds of millions to die because we haven’t got the backbone to make the sacrifices necessary. **

 

 

New C.1.2 variant mutating 41 times a year, twice as fast other known Sars-CoV-2 variants

Scientists first detected C.1.2 in May 2021, finding that it was descended from C.1, which scientists found surprising as C.1 had last been detected in January. The new variant has “mutated substantially” compared to C.1 and is more mutations away from the original virus detected in Wuhan than any other Variant of Concern or Variant of Interest detected so far worldwide.

The study also found that the C.1.2 lineage has a mutation rate of about 41.8 mutations per year, which is nearly twice as fast as the current global mutation rate of the other variants. The scientists stated that this short period of increased evolution was also seen with the Alpha, Beta and Gamma variants, suggesting that a single event, followed by a spike in cases, drove faster mutation rates.

Jerusalem Post report

Medrxiv preprint: The continuous evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa: a new lineage with rapid accumulation of mutations of concern and global detection

 

Delta attempting to brute-force its way past the human immune system

 

 

 

Photo by Abby Savage on Unsplash

Global Covid waves triggered by phases of the moon?

Headsup: We have nothing to go on for this post apart from a hunch. The hunch that a virus that attacks in global waves must have a global trigger.

We are posting this now in case we need to come back to it later. The chart below is for global confirmed Covid cases. Feel free to shoot us down when this hunch goes up in flames!

We are going to hedge our bets and go for a CovidMinimum on either the 13th October OR 11th November 2021, which are the pertinent first quarters for the period. October 13th is looking the more likely at the moment.

Keywords: CovidMinimum, CovidMaximum

AY.4 Delta sub-lineage now predominant in UK and Australia, rising in the US

A post on the AY.4 sub-lineage of the Delta Sars-Cov-2 variant. Also known as B.1.617.2.4, this sub-lineage hasn’t received a lot of press attention yet, but it seems to have become the biggest sub-lineage of Delta across the globe so far. 

In the USA, the Delta AY.4 sub-lineage is currently appearing in about 20% of sequences (light blue area) according to Outbreak.info:

AY.4 Delta Sub-lineage at 19 percent of sequences in the USA

 

In the UK, AY.4 currently appears in about 46% of samples (light blue area), and is now outcompeting B.1.617.2 (dark blue area).

AY.6 seems to be coming up on the rails though at 3%:

AY.4 Delta Sub-lineage at 46 percent of all UK sequences

 

In Australia, AY.4 (dark blue area) clearly predominates over B.1.617.2 (light blue area) with 67% of sequences, B.1.617.2 is at 16% and AY.12 is at 10% :

AY.4 Delta Sub-lineage at 67 percent of sequences in Australia

 

In the USA, the estimated number of AY.4 cases was over 80,000 in early August 2021:

 

In the UK, the estimated number of AY.4 cases was about 13,000 in late August 2021

 

In Australia, the estimated number of cases was over 600 in late August 2021

 

In the USA, the demographics for AY.4 show it spreading across almost all age ranges,

 

But in the UK, AY.4 seems to be spreading amongst young children:

 

And in Australia, AY.4 seems to be spread across all age ranges:

 

The global reach of the AY.4 sub-lineage is really quite astounding considering it’s relatively recent appearance:

 

 

Further reading: New AY lineages and an update to AY.4-AY.12

 

Many thanks, as always, to the teams at Outbreak.info and covSpectrum.org for their hard work in compiling this data.

 

 

 

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

5 billion Covid-19 vaccinations administered globally

5 billion Covid-19 vaccines have been given to 2 billion people on Earth.

 

2 billion people have been vaccinated against Covid-19, with 5 billion doses of vaccine

 

But Covid cases are rising again…

 

and Covid deaths are rising again…

 

Does anyone know how to fix this thing?

Sinovac vaccine produces ten times fewer antibodies than Pfizer

A study conducted in Hong Kong on more than a thousand patients shows that the Coronavac vaccine, developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac, causes the production of ten times less antibodies than the vaccine developed by BioNTech and produced by Pfizer.

This comparison between the two vaccines available in Hong Kong was conducted by researchers at the University of Hong Kong on 1,442 health workers who received two doses of these vaccines.

Published in the medical journal The Lancet Microbe on July 15, the article specifies that the quantity of antibodies is not sufficient to assess the level of immunity conferred by a vaccine, but that “the differences in the concentrations of neutralizing antibodies identified in our study could result in substantial differences in vaccine efficacy ”. The researchers add that patients who received Coronavac show similar antibody levels to patients who contracted Covid-19 and are cured.

Le Monde report

 

The highest ever #coronavirus daily case rates recorded on Planet Earth – and it’s not India or Brazil

 

Chile: Santiago goes back into lockdown despite 60% #coronavirus vaccination rate

Image by candyandi from Pixabay