UK coronavirus spread already worse than winter worst-case scenario

As many as 100,000 people a day in the UK are catching the Covid-19 virus, more than four times as many as the government planned for—and more than in the U.S., which has a population five times larger. The expected 85,000 deaths over the whole of the winter may occur within weeks, reports the BBC.

Even if cases are brought under control today, deaths would be expected to rise for another month due to the time between when some somebody is infected, when they need hospital care and when they die. …

The current estimate of the R number in the UK – the number of people each infected person passes the virus on to on average – is between 1.1 and 1.3.

This is lower than last week's estimate of 1.2 to 1.4, and lower than the estimate of 1.3-1.5 two weeks ago. It suggests that restrictions and changes in people's behaviour is having an impact.

Britain's response to the pandemic continues to be unbelievably shambolic: while other countries are locking down, Brits have to navigate an incomprehensible, ever-shifting warren of tiered regional restrictions, enforced by draconian punishments most likely to be incurred by the working classes, ethnic minorities and vulnerable people. It won't be the rich having Christmas dinner raided at home to break up unlawful gatherings.