For over 6 weeks now, COVID-19 cases across the UK have grown at approx. 7% a day. (It's not an exact fit, but it's close enough to indicate how the pandemic is progressing.)

That means the problem got twice as big every 9 days.

Yet Boris Johson STILL dithers and delays!
He's planning to talk to MPs on Monday.

At the current pace, that means 22% more cases than now.

Imagine taking the same approach to a forest fire, or a patient bleeding out? It's unconscionable!
Even small sustained improvements would make a big difference, if we start NOW.

At 7% growth a day, we would be closing in on 100,000 daily cases by the end of October.

But if we could slow growth to 6% a day through stricter measures, we'd be at HALF that.
Of course, there's an obvious benefit to letting the virus rampage for longer: you get to behave more dictatorially in return.

When the flames are all around you, you can boss people around in any way you like to try and put them out. (And fling unlimited money at your friends.)
More "poverty immunity for the few" than "herd immunity": so long as the pandemic rages out of control, you can keep on spaffing firehoses of cash in the direction of friends, cronies and hangers-on - with zero parliamentary oversight!

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More from @uk_domain_names

11 Oct
Prue Leith, avowed Brexit supporter, seems to only just have woken up to Brexit's potential to destroy the quality of UK food, and hurt British farmers.

And magically she's all hand-wringing and smelling salts.

Own. Your. Mess.

@PrueLeith… Image
That's this Prue Leith: "Prue Leith infuriates Great British Bake Off fans after revealing she voted for Brexit"…
That's this Prue Leith: "GBBO’s Prue Leith defends Brexit stance but insists she’s ‘not a raging Tory’"…
Read 7 tweets
10 Oct
Imagine if, in the old USSR, the KGB had had a single button that made history disappear...

You don't have to imagine it any more!

The UK Government's coronavirus dashboard is configured in such a way that each new day's data erases the previous day. (Can't download any more.)
So let's say for instance an Excel issue means they've scrambled to add over 15,000 missing coronavirus cases.

You can't download the old data series from before they slid the extra historical data in, to see what changed when.

Ditto when eg they change definition of "deaths".
This MUST be by design.

It would be the easiest thing in the world to assign new filenames on a daily basis, and keep older data available.

But no.
Read 4 tweets
9 Oct
"Coronavirus: at least three-quarters of people in UK fail to self-isolate

People still going out even though they risk infecting others, advisers tell ministers"

Contact tracers miss bucketloads of people. Majority of those they reach don't cooperate!…
Problem is, if you're on a low wage you get £500 for 2 weeks to tide you over (less than minimum wage). Everyone else gets nothing at all.

So a lot of people who are warned they may have been in contact with someone infected have a huge incentive to shrug and ignore it.
I think the system needs to be split, and improved:

A) If you test positive, make the checking regime draconian, along with the punishment. You don't self-isolate? There WILL be consequences. But provide decent financial support.

B) Give everyone else a much better carrot.
Read 4 tweets
6 Oct
Has anyone else entered a new stage of pandemic fatigue? (NOT the same as lockdown fatigue!)

The summer wasn't great but it was "ok-ish", but now everyone's being whipped back to school, uni etc. while the virus rages like a forest fire, the situation is much less tolerable...
What really grinds my teeth is that there appears to be a sliding scale with "different, but relatively safe life" at one end and "very dangerous normality" at the other, and the UK government is pushing hell for leather for "normality".

We are ALL condemned by their choice.
And the other problem is Trump.

He normalises such beyond-the-pale behaviour that the UK Government can do literally whatever it wants and yet it will NEVER be as bad as what he's doing. So they feel empowered to run wild.
Read 4 tweets
5 Oct
After factoring in the missing COVID-19 data in England, it's clear that cases are rocketing in every part of the UK.

The graphs below show 7-day new cases per 100,000 population, in each of the 4 nations. They're based on the specimen date. (The date that samples were taken.)
You can also see the impact of the stricter lockdown measures in Scotland and Wales over the summer. Cases there fell much further than in England, to a very low baseline.

But now, sadly, everywhere in the UK is being hit - badly.
Also worth noting: every part of the UK exceeded the UK Government threshold for imposing a quarantine (20 new cases per 100,000 over a 7-day period) since the beginning of September. Now we're almost 4x that.

In other words, if the UK were a foreign country, we'd quarantine it!
Read 4 tweets
4 Oct
The great COVID-19 testing mega thread...

(Given what's transpired in the last 48H, seemed like a good idea to have all this in one place. Each tweet is the start of a separate thread.)

1. Remember: the summary page data is ALWAYS wrong. Here's why...
2. Here's when the samples for the huge mass of positive tests announced in the last 48 hours were actually taken.
3. Here's where we now stand after the dust settles, at over 11,000 real new COVID-19 cases a day.
Read 4 tweets

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