Posts Tagged ‘covid-19’

COVID-19: Age group stats

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 | Health & Wellbeing

I’ve updated the graphs for today. WHO report on what happened yesterday, so when I say today, I mean the data the WHO published today, but it’s actually yesterday’s data. And yesterday wasn’t too bad. Italy continued to decline for the second day in a row. And when I said the borderline for good for the UK was 331 deaths, we came in at 335, so pretty close.

That said, based on today’s media reports, we know that the UK, Italy and Spain are all having a really bad today. So, tomorrow the graphs are likely to look terrible.

Anyway, onto today’s graphs. I took the figures from Imperial College London on the likely mortality rates of COVID-19. These are adjusted based on many cases not being reported, and for a UK/US healthcare system.

I want to preface the following by sating: just because you have a low risk of dying, does not mean you can go around doing whatever you like. You can spread the virus without knowing and you could end up spreading it to someone with underlying health conditions, who are much more likely to die. And that would make you a murderer, morally, although not legally.

Ok, the graphs. First, your risk of dying is low.

Even if you are in the 80+ age category, you only have a 27% chance of needing hospital treatment and a 9% chance of dying. That is much higher than the everyday life of course! This is a serious thing that kills people. A lot of people.

But, for an individual’s risk, you have a 3/4 chance of being able to cope at home, and a 10/11 chance of surviving. Certainly not a Russian roulette game any of us would want to play. But it is good to know that our grandparents having a fighting chance.

Below, is the same graph but zoomed in. The X-axis only runs to 30%. This is not representative of your overall chances but means we can see it better.

In the lower age categories, the outcome looks rosy. If you are in your 30s, for example, you have a 3% chance of requiring hospitalisation and a one in a thousand chance of dying.

I don’t know what percentage of the population have underlying health conditions. But I imagine it increases with age and maybe around 3% for someone in their 30s and may well be 9% for someone in their 80s. If so, that would mean that COVID-19 typically only kills when you have underlying conditions. But I don’t have those figures, I’m speculating. The WHO has stressed that younger people are not invulnerable and they are literally the World Health Organisation, so we should listen to them.

It also seems likely that the stats for underlying health conditions are much higher than those percentages and that most people with underlying conditions are also fine. Or as fine as you can be when you have a nasty flu. As Chris Whitty keeps reminding us, the vast majority of people, even in “at-risk” categories, will get over it.

That’s all for today. See you tomorrow to talk about Black Tuesday :(.

COVID-19: What’s changed today?

Monday, March 23rd, 2020 | Health & Wellbeing

The WHO has now released today’s situation report. Here are some of the headlines:

  • China and South Korea are still seeing deaths, but not many.
  • Italy recorded 649 deaths, compared to 795 yesterday. It has dropped before and then continued to rise, though.
  • The US has reported 201 deaths today, doubling their total. As none were reported yesterday, could just be delayed figures?

Let’s update the graphs.

Deaths per day

Deaths per day graph

Let’s hope today’s result is a sign that Italy is turning the tide and not just an anomaly. On the other hand, let’s hope the US result is an anomaly based on delayed data and goes back to normal tomorrow.

My previous graph showed the incorrect figure for the UK yesterday, which I have now corrected in this graph.

Cumulative deaths

Cumulative deaths since the 10th death graph

Nothing terribly important to report here, I think. Italy and Spain are still on scary trajectories. It’s too early to say what is going on in the UK. We might follow China. But it is important to remember that Italy weas behind China until day 15. We’re only on day 10, so there is plenty of time for it to accelerate on Italy’s path.

Massively simplistic rules of thumb are a bad idea. But let’s make some anyway. It’s unlikely to start magically dropping at this point (see below), so anything below or around 331 cumulative tomorrow would be a good result. Anything significantly above that would be a bad result. And anything around the 381 mark would be a terrible result.

Social distancing has a delayed effect

One final thought: there is probably at least a 14-day delay between implementing social distancing and seeing any benefit. The virus has an incubation period, then five days of fever and coughing, then the respiratory issues kick in.

We implemented our first set of social distancing (telling people to work from home and not gather in groups) on Tuesday 15 March. That’s six days ago.

We implemented our second set, closing schools and telling people “seriously, stay away from each other” on Saturday 21 March. That was two days ago.

That means that we have 8-12 days of nobody was social distancing damage before we even get to the “we told you all to distance, not cough on each other in the royal parks” damage, which may or may not be resolved. What you do today affects what happens in the ICU two weeks from now.


Monday, March 23rd, 2020 | Sport

Fed up of your 2020 races being cancelled and lacking motivation? Let me introduce you to the Covidman triathlon.

Triathlon training is hard. It requires a lot of dedication. Ideally, it requires a goal. That is why so many of us pick some big A races each year and work towards them. But the 2020 season is not giving us any of that. Early races, as far as World Triathlon Leeds in June, have already been cancelled. Many more cancellations are likely to follow.

So, how do we stay motivated when there is nothing to train for?

I’m proposing Covidman. It is an unsupported one-person race you do by yourself. Pick your distance and swim, bike and run as appropriate.

This is a tricky proposition in itself. Namely, where does one swim? If the pools remain closed, it is unlikely there will be organised swim sessions. Let’s hope the North Sea is nice and warm this year, if so. And certainly worth investing in a tow float.

The bike course should be less of a problem as there are very few cars on the road. On long format, toilet breaks might need to be rather natural, and some homemade aid stations might become necessary. Short format could be done on a turbo, although I find anything more than an hour of indoor cycling to be deeply uncomfortable on my bottom.

Finally, the run. Even in short format, most people appreciate an aid station by this point, so perhaps laps around our houses might be the best option.

It should be clear by this point that I don’t really have a plan. Just a rough outline and an ironic name. But I am no longer training aimlessly: I’m training for Covidman.

Some COVID-19 stats

Monday, March 23rd, 2020 | Health & Wellbeing

I’ve been running some numbers based on the situation reports provided by the World Health Organisation. It is not a fun read. But the situation should improve once the first shipment of thoughts and prayers arrive in Europe.

I’m happy to take feedback on these. I’m not a statistician (although there is a lot of stats in psychology), and if you are one and think my graphs are terrible and misleading, I’m open to being corrected.

Deaths per day

Graph of deaths per day in major countries

China has the most deaths because they have been dealing with this for a long time. People have been dying for 7 weeks now. But not many people and their levels have been going down. The deaths per day in Italy and Spain is far out-racing anything than China saw.

To clarify, this is not cumulative. Even a flat line represents a lot of people dying. A line going up suggests the problem is getting a lot worse.

China still has a problem

Graph of deaths per day in China

This shows the number of deaths per day in China over the past two weeks.

The media are reporting that life in China is going back to normal and that any remaining cases are from people arriving in China. It is true that life is starting to return to normal and people are going outside again. Emergency hospitals have closed and travel restrictions have gone.

However, people are also still dying and the World Health Organisation still reports local transmission.

How far in are we?

Total deaths since 10th death per country

This shows the cumulative number of deaths since the 10th death. I followed the Financial Times’s lead on adjusting it this way as, for example, France had one death very early on and then none for a long time. Once you reach the tenth death, you get a far more accurate picture to compare against. Unlike the FT graph, it is not logarithmic. Their graph is just better, to be honest.

At this stage, it is pretty difficult to predict what the UK curve is going to do. We’re only on day 9, compared to day 26 for Italy, day 14 for Spain and day 60 for China.