This article was first published on and is republished here with the author’s kind permission.


There were two basic schools of thought about how to react to the Coronavirus. The social and business shut down model (based on the now-discredited work of Imperial College London which given its incompetence and computing capabilities must never darken Government doors again), the partial, “liberal” restrictions applied in Sweden and variations on the two. Ironically the UK which adopted from March 23rd the total lockdown policy within the UK still has not restricted flights into Heathrow from some of the worst COVID19 hotspots in the world – although now the Government is with great irony proposing a 14-day quarantine for arrivals in the UK!

It was of course always farcical to prevent a UK resident from visiting his neighbour but allow a Chinese to fly to London from Beijing!

In the UK, as elsewhere, the Coronavirus thrives in densely populated, poorer, working-class and de-industrialised areas, dependent on close proximity public transport, many with black or Asian minorities particularly prone to  the virus (skin resists Vitamin D absorption and many may be from countries with low vaccination regimes or lacking in build-up of any virus immunity). The highest number of cases per 100,000 population in the UK are in northern towns (the top 4 being Gateshead, Sunderland, South Tyneside and Middlesborough) with other high cases being in areas of London like Southwark and Brent.


There seems to be a very strong negative correlation between the number of infections by UK local authority and the “R rate” (the rate of spread of an infection) which the Government has decided to track closely to ensure there is no resurgence of infections after lockdown easing.

Northumberland has an infection rate of 281 cases per 100,000 and an R of 0.8.

Cumbria has respectively 425 and an R of 0.3 to 0.5 and

Gateshead has respectively 482 with an R of only 0.4.

But Herefordshire has low infections of 215 per hundred thousand but a dangerously high R of 1.8 – meaning that the rate of spread of infection is very high.

So a high number of infections seem to give a higher level of immunity – ie precisely that “herd immunity” policy which the UK Government abandoned in favour of the total social and business lockdown.


Up to today, 17th May 2020, the number of worldwide deaths from COVID19 stands at 316,000 – 1.4% of all worldwide deaths.

Births this year stand at 53m

Total deaths this year stand at 22m

So the total net increase in the world’s population is over 30m.

As I glean this information from “Worldometer” I can scarcely write quickly enough to keep up with the horrendous statistics of population growth. It has always been a characteristic of populations – of man or beast – that excess growth brings catastrophic collapse. Animals and insects have no means to control themselves – so nature does it for them.


When man loses his capacity (or will) to apply controls to human population growth – or indeed goes out of his way to stimulate that growth – then he too must suffer the natural corrections of disease or famine. Today there are 7.7 bn people on earth.

This COVID infection has originated and spread through various characteristics of the modern world:

  • Rapid Population growth
  • Eating of exotic animals to sustain that population
  • Dangerous Experiments with human and animal virus transmission
  • Antibiotic resistance from over prescription to “protect” the population
  • Post industrial poverty and population density in cities
  • Movement of people to provide cheaper labour for corporations and Governments
  • Global city hubs – flights from virus hotspots

In the 14th century the Black Death spread from the East and Central Asia through trade routes. Rats and the insects which they carried came from the goods trade – in particular along the Silk Road from China. Unlike COVID it was not humans travelling as much as goods (with rats and insects) arriving. It is ironic that although the transmission is different that same Silk Road in 2019-2020 brought intense cooperation between China and Iran – where so many of the civil servants and politicians co-operating with China lost their lives!


World recoveries as a % of cases continues to rise.

11/5/2020             35.9%

13/5/2020             37.5%

15/5/2020             38.0%

17/5/2020             38.7%

And when will countries emerge from this crisis? If we extrapolate from today’s infection curve to estimate the fall of new infections to negligible numbers then we can calculate the TOTAL LENGTH of the epidemic in each country. Two European countries have already come out of the infection. As yet there are no signs of a second wave emerging.


USA                   87 days

UK                     91 days

Spain                 85 days

Italy                   96 days

Sweden           120 days


Switzerland       74 days

Austria               64 days

In an earlier post I predicted on the basis of the then almost completed infection curves of China and South Korea that around 40 days should have seen the completion of the infections but it turns out that those countries, for various reasons (some positive, some negative) were never going to be typical of the western industrial countries.

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