Canada and the Coronavirus

Well, yes. That’s the point. There wasn’t an actual increase in how infectious covid was in June 2020 despite that variant’s meteoric rise to dominance. Is there any reason to think the UK variant is more infectious other than its rise in dominance?

You mean aside from ""preliminary analysis in the UK suggests that this variant is significantly more transmissible than previously circulating variants, with an estimated potential to increase the reproductive number ® by 0.4 or greater with an estimated increased transmissibility of up to 70%. " from my Dec 2020 cite above?

Yes, aside from that. What sort of facts underly that estimate?

To be clear: I’m asking what they analyzed. My impression, correct me if I’m wrong, is that mostly it’s analyzing how quickly the UK variant is becoming dominant. My linked article was showing an earlier variant that quickly dominated but didn’t make for a sudden upswing of infections. It led into the summer lull you mentioned.

Well from the cited paper

“Preliminary modelling results communicated by the UK on 19 December suggest that the variant is significantly more transmissible than previously circulating variants, with an estimated increase in reproductive number ® by 0.4 or greater with an estimated increased transmissibility of up to 70%” - The citation here links to public statements by the UK Prime Minister. So digging further

“NERVTAG’s early review of four analytical approaches suggests that this new variant could be associated
with an R number that is 0.39 (95% CI: 0.24:0.55) higher than other lineages, a growth rate that could be
71% (95% CI:67%-75%) faster per generation than other variants, a decrease in cycle threshold (CT) value
of 2, a potential increase in viral load. NERVTAG have high confidence that the variant can spread faster
than other variants in the UK, but it is not possible at this stage to draw conclusions on any underlying
mechanisms for possible increased transmissibilityi,ii. Initial analysis suggests”

NERVTAG is the UK Advisory Group

Though at this point I’m done digging for data. If you have anything that posits that the new variants are less transmissible I’d be interested in reading them.

Nothing at the moment besides the fact that the UK variant certainly hasn’t lived up to its scary reputation in Denmark. Certainly shows the timeline of the Canadian modeling is probably wrong.

I’m going to point you again to slide 11 where the non-variant response is mapped out. Existing and enhanced health measures see covid case levels drop to those seen back in September/October. Slide 13 has potential case loading based on variants.

As the current view seems to have the variants emerging across the country it would seem reasonable to assume slide 11 dominates early and that slide 13 is a potential worst case scenario as time goes on. Should cases fall into September levels over the next month - that would be entirely consistent with slide 11 model expectations.

Points off from the person that built those slides - they use the same colours, but arranged them in different order AND provide differing definitions of what the factors are behind the lines.

I’m questioning the assumptions of the models. From the graph on page 13 of the pre-print article

" Note: Model prevalence depends on our assumptions about underestimation, incubation period, and the duration of infection, none of which we can estimate well from these data"

And again, I don’t trust the estimates on how infectious the UK strain is. As far I can tell it’s mostly based on how quickly it’s supplanting Covid Classic and I already said why I think that’s a sketchy metric.

Then you should cite some evidence to back up your lack of trust. I doubt anyone would be upset that the variant contagion rates are lower than expected or that it’s severity is less than the existing dominant strain currently circulating in Canada.

I showed you two instances of a variant that rapidly took over but didn’t lead to a more infectious result. But this one is different, you say. We’ll see.

Heartened to see my initial impression wasn’t wrong. That chart showing an asymptotic explosion even under current lockdown rules was ridiculous. The curves for the variant depart the chart at 90 degrees rather than along a smooth tangent, and go completely vertical within about a week and a half.

The second I saw it my first thought was, ‘Someone fat-fingered a number.’ My second thiught was, “what does it say about that organization that no one caught that ridiculous curve before publishing it?” My third thought was, “Why is 't anyone in the media asking about this?”

Well now someone is asking, and the answer appears to be, “We don’t know what data was used for that.” If you produce a curve like that, you should either know that if can’t possinly be right, or if the numbers behind it are real everyone involved in this should have gone through them repeatedly, because if they are true we are headed for the biggest disaster in the COVID era. Instead we get, “Yeah, it’s little weird, right? But I have no idea why the model says that.”

Just more incompetence from the Trudeau gov’t.

Haw, haw!

I’m really disappointed by Rick Hillier’s press conference today:

  • April 15: vaccinations begin for people 75 years old and over.
  • May 1: vaccinations begin for people 70 years old and over.
  • June 1: vaccinations begin for people 65 years and over.
  • July 1: vaccinations begin for people 60 years and over.

At the same time, they are telling us that Toronto has the physical capability to deliver 400,000 jabs per week, which would cover the entire population of Toronto (including children under 16/18 who are not yet able to get an approved shot) in under 8 weeks. Considering 65+ amounts to under 5% of the population the numbers are just way off.

The provinces have distributed about 94-95% of the vaccines they received.

This is entirely the fault of the Trudesu government.

I’m assuming that we will be lucky if half the population is vaccinated by the end of the year. And if that variant chart is remotely accurate it will be moot because the entire population will have had COVID by then.

Except that this is not the case.

Not counting J&J or AstraZeneca, we’ve got 20 million doses incoming before June. Either the Feds are lying or the Ontario government is incompetent. I put my money on Ford’s incompetence.

Why is the Ontario web site not going to be ready until March 15th? Did they not plan for this for the last 6-9 months? It wouldn’t take my company 6 months to build a simple, secure site that takes limited personal information and lets you pick an available time slot.

Or maybe there’s just some lag between announcements and reality. I would not be surprised if Hillier is just lowballing expectations until the vaccines are in hand. I agree, that looks slow.

The theoretical ability to deliver 400,000 vaccinations per week isn’t relevant if you don’t have 400,000 doses to deliver. They could simply be underpromising because they don’t know whether the promised vaccines will show up.

At no point has all of Ontario, much less Toronto, had anywhere near that many vaccines delivered in a week. What is it you suggest they do?

As to this, I’d assume because there won’t be any reason for it to be. All the vaccines Ontario will be getting in the new few weeks are already allocated to high risk groups, frontline workers, northern communities, etc.

I am puzzled as to why people seem to be proceeding on the assumption there are lots of vaccines to give. There aren’t. Distribution is NOT the problem, at least so far.

We have 6 million doses for the country being delivered in the next 33 odd days, about 1/3 destined for Ontario. These are not destined for Northern Ontario, they have nowhere near that population. I expect the province and the local health units to take the vials and get them injected to arms. If they wait until the vaccines are in local freezers it’s too late.

As for the provincial web site, many PHU have their own web sites up and running for bookings already. Either we are paying for duplication of services or the province is not doing a good job coordinating.

Wait, is March 15 33 days away now?

Truth be told, I’ll believe it when it happens; we aren’t way behind most of the developed world on this because the federal procurement strategy was a success. That said, Ontario has been quite successful in using the vaccines delivered to it so far. Why do you believe that will change?