What’s changed since May

The virus almost disappeared during the hot summer months. Now as we move into winter, Covid19 – like all respiratory viruses is infecting more and more people.

Is the virus less dangerous to us than before the lockdown?

  • Social distancing, face masks and better hygiene can slow down the spread of the virus because these measures may reduce the viral load or the amount of virus particles we are exposed to.
  • Doctors have have developed new and better strategies to treat patients and there are now drugs that can treat the most unwell
  • The most vulnerable people may have already succumbed, leaving the survivors better able to cope with the virus.

Many vaccines will be developed. But we can’t put our lives on hold until they are freely available. Making vaccines is difficult and expensive, they are very hard to mass-produce and not 100% effective. In the history of modern science smallpox is the only virus that has been eradicated by vaccine, Edward Jenner introduced his vaccine in 1796. The last UK smallpox patient died 182 years later in 1978.

Between January and August 2020 it is estimated that 48,000* people died from or with Covid19. The population of England and Wales is about 60 million. So 0.008% of the population died with the virus. In an average year about 1% or 600,000 people die. More than 1 each minute or 1600 every day.

Lets illustrate this by using the Crystal Palace stadium as an example: The capacity of Selhurst Park is 25,486. In any given year 255 fans might die of all causes but in statistical terms so far this year only 2 of them will have died with Covid19. I hope this gives you some perspective on the present situation. I’ll leave it up to you to make the Palace jokes!