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?
Quick reaction to today’s weekly deaths data in this thread from @ActuaryByDay. Deaths remain unusually high again this week, as illustrated here.
— COVID-19 Actuaries Response Group (@COVID19actuary) October 12, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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:
** 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:
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.
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.
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“
** 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 Zealand will continue to pursue its ambitious Covid-19 elimination strategy indefinitely, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said
The prime minister warned that New Zealand would always need some kind of protection at its border. “Just like after 9/11, the border will never be the same after Covid … things can change, but that doesn’t mean we can’t adapt to them in a way that eventually feels normal again.”
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
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:
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%:
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% :
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
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?
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced an alert-level 4 lockdown in New Zealand starting at 11.59pm tonight for seven days in Auckland and Coromandel, and three days elsewhere.
The NZ Ministry of Health announced about 2.30pm today a new case had been found in the community in Auckland, saying a link between the case and the border or managed isolation had not been established.
In announcing the government’s decision Ardern said going hard and early had worked before and that the Delta variant was harder to combat.
Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said “We are one of the last country’s in the world to have the Delta variant in our community. This has given us the chance to learn from others.”
Locations of interest for the latest Covid-19 outbreak in New Zealand can be found here
** Now that’s how it’s done! **
Immigration New Zealand has confirmed that Google co-founder Larry Page is a resident of New Zealand. The billionaire co-founder of Google Larry Page was reportedly granted entry into New Zealand, despite the border being closed to non-residents A Immigration New Zealand spokesperson told 1 NEWS: “After their first trip to New Zealand as a resident, they are entitled to travel to New Zealand as long as it is consistent with the conditions of their resident visa”.
In January, Page spent time in Aotearoa despite the country’s border closure due to Covid-19 because his child was sick.
Only permanent residents and citizens are granted entry into the country during the pandemic, but Page and his son were granted an exception.
“There’s no country that has attained herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2. And, certainly, there are countries with different levels of vaccination. I mean, some countries have over 60 percent of their population fully vaccinated. There are also countries that have had natural exposure to the infection at very high rates. But it hasn’t extinguished the pandemic. We’ve always seen surges even after that. And I think that reflects several factors.
One, I think natural immunity can wane over time. And I think the durability of that immunity does depend on the severity of original infection. When infections are mild and asymptomatic, we can have at least weighting of neutralizing antibodies and how that correlates with waning immunity. We don’t know yet, but we know that re-infection, or the getting infected again with the virus, either the same variant or another variant, are far more common than we originally thought. Although there is protection, even over longer duration of time, it’s not absolute.”
** One of just a handful of people on Earth who seems to understand the existential threat that Sars-CoV-2 poses
“Learning to live with Covid” will be coming to your country soon. Be prepared.
“Sydney is on fire with this virus and we need a ring of steel around Sydney.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has called for more to be done after New South Wales Chief health officer Kerry Chant described the situation in NSW as ‘a national emergency’.
New South Wales recorded 136 local COVID-19 cases today, 53 of which were infectious in the community. Mr Andrews said New South Wales seemed to have “crossed a threshold” with a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The Trans-Tasman bubble that allows for travel between Australia and New Zealand has been closed “for at least 8 weeks according to RNZ.co.nz