Where are the deaths? Ten reasons the first and second Covid waves look so different

Where are the deaths? Ten reasons the first and second Covid waves look so different

By Jo Nova

Knowledge is power.

The Worldometer graphs suggested the problem was over. But many  factors were driving the curve, and to beat the virus we need to understand them. Unfortunately, as winter arrives, Vitamin D is falling (though it doesn’t have to be this way), and the infections will spread from younger people to older people — so the hospitalizations and deaths will grow too. It won’t get as bad as it was, because doctors know more, and people who wear masks and distance themselves appear to get milder infections.

It’s a crime that doctors, academics and the media are not pointing out the benefits of Vitamin D.


Ten reasons death rates were lower in Europe’s second wave:

  1. Demographics: In the second wave young people are the most likely to be infected, not high risk older folk (so far).

  2. Vitamin D : reaches a peak each year in August and Sept.

  3. Masks: Many people were wearing masks — meaning a lower viral dose and they are more likely to get an asymptomatic infection.

  4. Doctors have better treatment plans.

  5. Hospitals are not overrun (yet). That’s just starting to change.

  6. Temperatures were warmer: Viruses are unstable chemical codes.  Thanks to basic chemistry, higher doses of virus will almost always survive longer in cooler air and on cooler surfaces.  As temperatures cool, we’d expect higher doses to be transmitted which means a more severe illness. Cheap heating saves lives!

  7. Social distancing: Bigger distances and outdoor events mean lower viral doses. But as the seasons cool, we spend more time indoors, which means higher doses as they get closer together.

  8. UV light was stronger — A great outdoor sterilizer. UV also helps create Vitamin D. Obviously, it’s a summer time thing.

  9. More testing in the second wave. Germany is doing 3 times as many tests; France, seven times, and the UK is doing 15 times as many tests now as it was in early April. A lot of the first wave caseload was simply missed. There is roughly a three week lag from tests until mortality (and it can be up to 8 weeks). This wasn’t apparent in many countries in the first wave because they didn’t do enough testing to show the true extent of infections — they missed the entire first peak, only starting to record new daily cases numbers properly as the deaths also peaked.

  10. Mutations? Perhaps the virus has changed to be less deadly. This — our favourite option — the one we all want, may be true, but there is no genetic analysis that supports it yet so who knows?. If it is the case, we ought find a reliable genetic shift that correlates with lower viral loads and healthier patients. But natural selection favours a higher viral load and a more easily spread virus, and that’s what the few mutation studies seem to suggest.

Look closely at the infections and deaths and with a three week lag (and the OurWorldInData site). It’s clear where this is going. 

In the UK, there were around 6,000 new cases a day from Sept 27th. Last week there were about 140 deaths a day. Assuming the three week lag is accurate, that’s a rough fatality rate among the known cases of 2%. The real fatality rate is significantly lower than that, though how much?