🚨all of ft.com is free to read today, so if you like the glimpses you see on Twitter but want to go deeper, now's your chance!

Beyond Covid, read our best work on climate, politics, inequality & culture. Apparently there's even stuff on economics & finance! 🚨
Throughout the day I'll be sharing links to some of the pieces I've enjoyed most this year, starting with this brilliantly clear column by @TimHarford demonstrating how a carbon tax would be a game-changer in the battle to curb emissions on.ft.com/3EqFsZ1
Another great piece to read 🔓#FTfreetoday:

Off the back of Squid Game and Parasite, @crsdavies took a deep dive into the huge success story that is South Korea’s entertainment export industry, and the decades of strategising that led to this point ft.com/content/7c3c53…
Some more free FT reads

I'm in awe of the rapid impact @samjoiner @alexandraheal @Dan_Clark5 and co have made as @ft's Visual Storytelling Team

Check out some of their greatest hits:
Next on my list of amazing free-to-read FT stories, this one is really special, and I cannot stress enough that *everyone* should read it.

A beautiful, moving piece of writing from the brilliant @Claire_Bushey, on loneliness ft.com/content/408afd…


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More from @jburnmurdoch

5 Nov
NEW: Covid cases, hospitalisations & deaths on the rise again across Europe, with rates of all three metrics surpassing the UK in many countries

Starting in the west: Belgium, Netherlands & Germany in particular experiencing sharp increases in not only cases but ICU & deaths too Image
And the picture worsens as we move further east.

In central Europe, cases were a fraction of UK levels over summer, but have now rocketed past, with ICU occupancy and deaths also climbing fast.

Vaccine coverage is generally lower here than in western Europe. Image
In eastern Europe, the situation is dire.

Romania, Bulgaria & Latvia all set new records for daily deaths in recent weeks, and deaths are 10x current UK levels.

In much of western Europe it can feel like the pandemic is an echo of its past self. Try telling that to the east Image
Read 5 tweets
2 Nov
NEW: as of the end of September, Russia has recorded 753,583 excess deaths over the course of the pandemic.

This is almost 4x its official reported Covid death toll, and is second only to the US in absolute terms among countries with reliable data ft.com/content/f1a270…
• Russia’s vax rates remain stubbornly low, only 33% fully-vaxxed amid widespread mistrust
• Society largely carrying on as normal despite 2k daily excess & 1k daily reported deaths

Full details in the story from @polinaivanovva, me & @mroliverbarnes ft.com/content/f1a270…
We’ve also updated our excess deaths data for all countries: ft.com/content/a2901c…
Read 6 tweets
1 Nov
One of the most startling Covid charts I’ve made in a long time, on vaccine inequality:

Rich countries have given out more booster shots in the last 3 months, than poor countries have given out total doses all year.

@donatopmancini’s story: ft.com/content/35a3d4…
In rich countries, just 18% of people aged 12+ are yet to have any dose, and 5% have now had a third dose.

In poor countries, 94% are yet to have a single dose.
The result?

Stark inequality in outcomes.

In countries with ~70% fully vaccinated, about one in 250 cases results in death.

At 50-60% fully vaxxed, around one-in-75 results in death.

At 10-15% fully vaxxed, it’s one-in-25.

And in parts of Africa, as high as one-in-15.
Read 5 tweets
17 Oct
NEW: there’s been a lot of chatter about why cases, hospitalisations and deaths are much higher in the UK than elsewhere in Western Europe.

I think a lot of the commentary has been overly simplistic, politicised and at-times flat-out wrong.

Let’s see if we can do better:
Yesterday we published a story comparing the situation in the UK vs a selection of Western Europe peers: ft.com/content/345825…

Here are the top-line stats:
• Cases among older people are 7x higher in UK
• Hospital admissions are 6x higher
• Deaths are 3x higher

Not great! Image
Why so much higher in UK?

Here’s a look at what those countries are doing differently to reduce transmission:
• % of people never wearing masks has rocketed in UK but stayed very low elsewhere
• % of people attending large gatherings in UK is surging way ahead of elsewhere Image
Read 25 tweets
14 Oct
Folks, if you see anyone quoting Alex Berenson / Joe Rogan on how case rates in England are higher among vaxxed than unvaxxed, that data is incorrect, as explained here.

The table they shared is real, but it's wrong.
Also, FFS this is why UKHSA's persistence in publishing knowingly misleading data is such an utter disaster.

You now have several million people confident in their belief that vaccines don't work, and waving around the official UK documents that prove it.
And for those asking "at least they didn’t use the specific @UKHSA report, right? ...right?"

They did
Read 5 tweets
11 Oct
NEW: people obsess over vaccine uptake stats, eagerly comparing one country to others to see which has jabbed the highest share of its population, but what if I told you many — perhaps most — of those stats are wrong?

Time for a thread on bad Covid data and how it can cost lives
Let’s start with the most obvious sign of the problem:

In several European countries, the share of elderly people who have been vaccinated exceeds 100%.

To state the obvious, this is not possible.

But it’s not just a funny quirk, it has big implications.
In reality these countries won’t have reached 100%, so there are tens of thousands of unvaxxed elderly that are invisible, and no-one is going to visit someone to make sure they’re jabbed if they think everyone is jabbed.
Read 25 tweets

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