Last Updated on

Daily update for Tuesday 20 October 2020

Chart 8 shows the European continent has reached 1.55 fatalities per million, overall, which is roughly one third of the peak reached in the Spring. In the spring, this level was reached on 10 March with just eight countries reporting fatalities. Today, there are thirty eight countries reporting fatalities.

Daily update for Monday 19 October 2020

Low weekend numbers reported in Europe have produced a flat spot for many countries. Chart 12 is testing the up-side again. The heatmap for Europe shows the countries reporting significant daily fatalities.  I’ve switched Chart 16b back to linear axes, which makes it easy to see who’s where at the front, at the expense of being able to see the detail of who isn’t. Chart 1 shows some big movers and who they are.

Daily update for Sunday 18 October 2020

The realities for Europe look dark. Cases in many countries are climbing at an alarming rate, and this is becoming the norm across the continent, not the exception. Countries previously thought of as being in a good place no longer seem that way. The inescapable conclusion is that an avalanche of cases in sweeping in across the Continent, and looks unstoppable. Put a different way, almost no European country looks as though they have control of infection.

As night follows day, cases lead to hospitalisations, which lead to fatalities, and Chart 8 shows the exponential grip on European fatalities. Chart 22 shows where individual European countries are going, and there’s no good news in these data either.

With a lot if winter yet to endure and a vaccine hardly imminent, it’s difficult to see what could turn this around. Organised social unrest and health system collapse are the two big challenges ahead.

Daily update for Saturday 17 October 2020

Two charts have concerning features today.  Chart 8 shows daily fatalities per day among regions, and Europe’s trace has a distinctly upward curving shape to it, which indicates that the continent as a whole is now seeing exponential rise – exponential meaning rising mathematically, not arithmetically. This will lead to explosive growth rates very quickly if it isn’t reversed. Chart 12b shows the total number of countries reporting significant daily fatalities per capita, in three bands. There is a distinctly exponential upward curve to the middle band – 1.0 to 5.0 fatalities per million. This needs watching, but doesn’t bode well if it continues.

The other notable feature of the charts today is the way that cases and fatalities are starting to grip Italy. They were late joining the European surge and many thought that the grim experience there in the Spring had caused a risk averse population. Cases in Italy started to surge upwards about ten days later than others, and fatalities are starting to follow now.

Daily update for Friday 16 October 2020

Daily fatalities in the Northern Hemisphere peaked in the Spring at 0.61 and stand at about 0.5 now – Chart 6. Europe’s are two and a half times higher than that today, at 1.26 – Chart 8. The Czech Republic is four times higher than Europe, at 4.82 – Chart 22. The leader on the global board is Argentina, and their daily fatality rate is nearly twice as high at the Czech Republic – Chart 1

Chart 14 is designed to show fast movers wherever the lie, and it’s certainly doing that.

As looked inevitable, the UK has broken free from the mid-field pack and looks set to climb more steeply – Chart 22

The implications of Chart 12b are an increasing worry.

Daily update for Thursday 15 October 2020

The charts are speaking for themselves.

Across Europe, only Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Estonia appear to be escaping. Everyone else is staring down the barrel of a gun of one calibre or another. Take a look at Hungary and the Czech Republic to get a taste of what it can look like. The growth of cases looks vertiginous. Chart 8 shows Europe is a quarter of the way back up to the peak reached in the Spring, and it’s only been going four weeks this time.

Globally, I worry about what Chart 12b is saying.

At last there is some visibility being given to the fact that the risks go beyond the old and already ill: Reuters: ‘Long COVID’ may affect multiple parts of body and mind’, doctors say

Daily update for Wednesday 14 October 2020

Global: Only one of the twenty six major movers has reported lower fatality rates over the last thirty days – Aruba. All the rest are up – Chart 1. Argentina leads the field today, with trend fatalities per million per day of 8.76 – Chart 5. It’s worth remembering that the all-time leader is Belgium, and they reached 28.9 on 17 April – Chart 3 – note Argentina is four times the number of people, while Belgium has x23 the population density. Chart 12 and the implications of the number of countries reporting fatalities of between 1 and 5 per million, need to be thought about.

Europe: Chart 22 continues to fascinate. The UK has begun to swing upwards but look at the Czech Republic. It does look as though the UK will break upwards and out of the mid-field runners. Interestingly, Spain has essentially been going sideways for a month, but then Moldova did that for five weeks and look at them now.

Note Equatorial region in Chart 6 and Europe in Chart 8

Daily update for Tuesday 13 October 2020

Europe: If you like watching local slow motion train wrecks then Chart 22 and Chart 19 have what you need. Look at the country profile for the Czech Republic and see how rapid it’s all been there.

Global: If you like watching a bigger problem unfold then Chart 12 is the place to go – the two versions show absolute and stacked plots of the total number of countries reporting significant fatalities per capita. There’s been a surge in the number reporting between 1 and 5 fatalities per million, and as expected this has pushed the total above the previous peak of 100 in mid-August to a new peak of 103.

Daily update for Monday 12 October 2020

Europe: Cases are a function of who is tested and have little impact as such, whereas fatalities are a closer proxy for the status and profile of the severity that policy and decision-makers must respond to. Chart 22 shows fatalities in Europe falling into three groups:

  • Leaders: around 3.5 fatalities per million – Spain, Moldova, Romania, Czech Republic
  • Mid-pack: around 1 fatality per million – the UK and all the rest but the back markers. Hungary has broken upwards from this group and looks as though it may join the leaders
  • Back markers: 0.5 fatalities per million and below: Germany, Italy, Greece.

UK: The fatality rate is edging upwards and does appear to be accelerating.

Global: Note Chart 12 and the upward march of the number of countries with between 1 and 5 fatalities per million. I’ve included both format of this chart so that this is easier to see.

Daily update for Sunday 11 October 2020

Data was unavailable yesterday.

Globally: Fatalities continue to strengthen with significant growth over the last couple of weeks in countries between 1 and 5 fatalities per million – see Chart 12. The best view of where this is happening is Chart 8 Regions – Note the stright line march of Europe that began ten days after cases took off. The countries at the top of the fatality league are: Argentina, Mexico, Israel Ecuador, and Columbia – go to Chart 14 to see this.

Europe: Cases are accelerating faster, now – see Chart 19 and others. Fatalities are following accelerating cases, just as night follows day, and the leaders are Moldova, Romania, Czech Republic and Spain – see Chart 22 for this. The country profiles show that exponential growth of cases is now the norm across Europe. Sweden, Belgium and Luxembourg are the exceptions, and Spain might be forming a peak but their sporadic reporting makes it hard to ascertain. Netherlands continues to power upwards, seemingly without any end in sight. Italy was a late developer this time, probably because behaviour there is influenced by the hard time they had in the Spring, but they too are seeing strong growth now.

UK: We’ve just been pushed down by Andorra to seventh in the league table of total all time fatalities per capita – see Chart 11 – and Chart 22 shows us well down the list of daily fatalities. Growth in reported cases over five weeks is almost x10 versus x2.25 for Europe as a whole. 

Daily update for Friday 9 October 2020

Much as foreseen, the total number of countries with significant deaths over 0.1 fatalities per million has broken the all time high of 100 in Chart 12. The growth had been in the bottom band of 0.1 – 1 FPM but this now seems to have given way to growth in the next band of 1 – 5 FPM, and looks on a steady upward track.

Chart 22 is the place to look for the unfolding drama of fatalities in Europe, and there are some scary things going on. I read overnight that a court in Spain has overturned the restrictions on people leaving Madrid as infringing rights of freedom. So national celebrations would have gone ahead as usual, with droves of people flooding out of Madrid around the country taking their infections with them, but this morning the national government has declared an emergency. For decision makers, the major issues come from the social and political uncertainties, and the lack of uniformity across borders, and all that has probably only just started to get going.

Globally, look at Charts 1 and 14 for the runners and riders making big moves. Argentina has dropped down now that their big spike of catch-up fatalities has fallen out of the recent figures. Look at Chart 8 for the steady upward path of fatalities in Europe, and there’s an interesting up-tick in the Northern Hemisphere in Chart 6.

Daily update for Thursday 8 October 2020

UK: It’s too early to know what the underlying growth of cases is because they are masked by the big catch-up numbers posted recently. Those should have worked their way through by this time next week. Fatalities have risen but have not taken off yet. The UK’s position in Chart 16b is thought provoking.

Europe: Cases across the continent are growing strongly, even without the extra postings by UK – Chart 19 and others. As for fatalities, Chart 22 is looking full of foreboding, and several countries look very concerning, while the rest are just worrying. The heatmap is showing where the problems are as well as the overall spread of fatalities.

Globally: What must be going on in Argentina? Chart 12 is unclear except that we’ve pulled back slightly from the peak. Charts 6 and 8 show the unfolding drama as the action shifts towards Europe.

Daily update for Wednesday 7 October 2020

We’re starting to see some sharp upwards moves in European fatalities – Chart 22 – this is still the chart to watch. Cases continue to amass in Europe too, and the UK has sprinted to the fore here, courtesy of correcting reporting since 24 September. Note the clear upward path of European fatalities in Chart 8 since mid-September.

Globally, Chart 16b shows clearly where the larger countries are on the metrics.

I’ve adjusted Chart 1 so that it focuses on countries posting at least daily fatalities or 1.0 per million.  Chart 14 is compelling viewing, as are the country profiles – click on the small world map icon below to see these.

Daily update for Tuesday 6 October 2020

Chart 11 sees Spain passing the UK up the world ranking, which is not surprising when you look at Chart 22. That chart is showing just how busy fatalities are now becoming in Europe.

Chart 14 is compelling viewing, and takes us to the country profiles – click on the small world map icon below to see these.

Cases in Netherlands continue upwards like a rocket and you can see fatalities starting, now, but nothing like the causal link there appears to be between one and the other that there is in Spain, Greece, Hungary, Russia and Croatia. Look at the profile of fatalities in Turkey compared to cases. The decoupling of fatalities from cases – UK, Netherlands, and Italy – may suggest that these countries are testing much more widely than those where there’s a much closer correlation – Spain, Russia, Brazil.

Daily update for Monday 5 October 2020

The two charts I’ve been looking at most today are Chart 1 and Chart 22.

Chart 1 shows the countries that have seen the biggest changes in fatalities per capita over the last 30days. The yellow numbered spot is where they are now. The bar shows the move they’ve made from where they were thirty days ago – red= moved up, green= moved down. So for example, UK was 0.1 fatalities per million 30days ago and is now just below 0.8, actually 0.765.

Chart 22 plots fatalities per capita for the notable European countries from their last low point, to today.

Daily update for Sunday 4 October 2020

The UK posted a big number of cases yesterday. We’re told it’s a correction for previous under-reporting and there are more of these to follow. Nothing new there; many countries have done this, although I wonder why there only ever seem to have been revisions upwards. Ireland did the same yesterday, although there’s was only up 20% not 100%. Italy’s cases are up significantly in the last few days, as are those in France. Netherlands doesn’t seem to know when to stop.

Canada’s cases continue up and significantly higher fatalities have been reported there in the last few days. All eyes are on cases in Bethesda.

Daily update for Saturday 3 October 2020

Good news for all those who make a thing of pointing out how bad the UK is at everything – we fell a place in the world ranking, bested by Bolivia, for heavens’ sake – see Chart 11.

The number of countries with significant fatality rates has been tracking upwards, and reached the same level as the peak of 100 set on August 18 – see Chart 12.

Fatalities in Europe continue to climb – see Chart 8 – and the action is highlighted in Chart 22. The UK is at the back of the pack, again. The heatmap of Europe shows what’s going on and why it’s ironic for the EU to be insisting on free movement of people.

The runners and riders are best seen first in Chart 14, where I’ve fiddled the vertical axis to keep Argentina on the page, but not the horizontal to accommodate Belgium. Secondly, look at Chart 1 for a different perspective on the most energetic countries.

Daily update for Friday 2 October 2020

The political uncertainties grew dramatically overnight, so it’s a good time for decision-makers to take stock of what certainties can be had from the data.

  1. Case growth is widespread across Europe, now – Chart 19 and others – look at Country Profiles for the detail.
  2. Fatalities across Europe have been growing since the start of September, and more sharply in many countries since mid-month – Chart 8 and Chart 22. The Europe heatmap gives a good picture of how this is spread across the Continent.
  3. Some European countries look serious – Country profiles show these best – Netherlands, Hungary, Moldova, Czech Republic and many others. The UK is not among these as yet.
  4. Further afield, many countries are struggling with very serious infection and public health issues – Israel, for example, Argentina for another – Argentina posted catch-up fatalities today of 3.351 versus a recent daily rate of around 400-500. Notably, some countries are seeing resurgent cases, such as Canada and Iran.
  5. Globally, and this is a truly global matter, Chart 1 shows the spectacular range of countries posting really big moves in fatalities – it is a big range and the moves are big. Chart 16b shows where the big populations sit in case and fatality rates – remember both axes are log scales. Chart 12 shows the total number of countries with significant fatality rates, and this total is edging upwards again, and close to the peak of 100 countries that was set in mid-August.

Daily update for Thursday 1 October 2020

…and so it begins. The story today is that the growth of fatalities in Europe is now clearly visible – Chart 8 has it Continent wide, Chart 22 shows it in closeup, Chart 1 shows the big movers, and there are a lot in Europe and around the Equator, the heatmap shows it’s getting much more uniform, and Chart 19 continues to show why – cases are up and up. 

The UK continues to under-perform and is well behind the leaders. Belgium, which has been the big conundrum this time round, is off and running with a sudden burst of cases and some fatalities. Look at fatalities in Hungary, Israel, Argentina of course, Czech Republic, and cases in Canada.

Daily update for Wednesday 30 September 2020

It’s easy to think that the latest wave across Europe has been going for a while but it began for most only four or five weeks ago. Cases have grown considerably over that period – see Chart 19 and others. Fatalities in Europe began to accelerate sharply around two weeks later, or 10 September, give or take – see Chart 22.Most notable is the general sharpness of that upward trajectory. There are outliers like Spain and Moldova, who’ve been tracking upward for longer. France, Netherlands and Hungary have moved up rapidly, and that has become a feature in Spain too, since about the same date of 10 September. Testing rates have no bearing on fatalities, and a sudden change in the virus itself is unlikely. The most likely cause is a change of behaviour and/or circumstances around the end of August that was largely common across the Continent.

Chart 12 is showing the number of countries with significant rates of fatality climb ever closer to the peak marked by the tramline at 100. 

Chart 14 has got a lot of bunching of countries towards the higher rates of fatalities per capita, which shows that they are not growing or shrinking those rates by much. There are a lot of countries in there that haven’t decided whether they are growing or shrinking. Look how eager Bahrain, Netherlands and Austria seem to be to climb up the pole. It’s close to the time when I will have to extend the scaling upwards to accommodate Argentina.

Chart 1 and Chart16b are always sobering.

Please let me know if you want any additional countries added the 43 country profiles (click the map icon below) already analysed, which include: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK, USA, Venezuela

Daily update for Monday 28 September 2020

Cases continue to rise across Europe, and fatalities are beginning to rise. Netherlands is the most worrying in this regard for its rate of climb, although the numbers are still relatively low – see Chart 22. Elsewhere: Denmark, Spain, France, Portugal, and Greece.

Chart 1 is instructive, and shows all the significant movers – up and down – registering fatalities above 0.1 per million. The length of the bar shows the size of the move, Red= moved up, and Green= moved down.

Lastly for today, look at Chart 14, which plots fatalities vertically and cases horizontally, with plot size = population. Countries higher have more fatalities, countries right have more cases. These are log scales.

Daily update for Sunday 27 September 2020

While the broad trends are all quite clear, now, the differences between countries are starting to shake out, and the picture is changing in many cases. Sweden was hailed by some as visionary, although low infection rates probably had a lot to do with the fact that something like half of households are single people living alone. They have had a small burst of cases that has raised concerns. Germany was held out by many as having been so much better at this than the rest of us, but they, too, are now seeing cases grow. Ireland, Russia, Estonia are all seeing that growth, too. Only Belgium is a puzzle, but they were far and away the basket case in the Spring.

Globally, Canada ploughs on upwards, USA and Mexico look as though they’ve reversed their decline and are moving up. Then we get to the basket cases this time – the countries we must remember: Israel and Argentina are in chaos, Indonesia too. At least India might be starting to move down.

Daily update for Saturday 26 September 2020

The thirteen European countries with the most cases are accelerating faster, now up almost x2.3 in five weeks. Chart 19 shows this quite clearly. Infection in the Hungary and Czech Republic may be growing like the blazes but they’re only 2% and 4% of the total, respectively. In third place comes the UK at x6.4 and it contributes 10% of total cases. Chart 8 shows that fatalities in Europe are growing too, and we can see in Chart 22 that fatalities have now begun to rise in Germany.

You look at Chart 8, Chart 14 and Chart 16b and wonder what on Earth must be going on in Argentina, but have a look through the Country Profiles and Israel is an eye popper, Indonesia, too. India does seem to have climbed over the peak, but you can only wonder at how few of the actual facts have found their way into the reported statistics there.

A good briefing article in this weekend’s Economist is here.

Daily update for Friday 25 September 2020

Europe marches on – Chart 19 shows what’s been happening over the last five weeks and where, but only at a headline level. Turkey is as puzzling at Belgium, and you’d be forgiven for questioning why Denmark and Sweden look the way they do. Those in the UK will note that cases here now comprise 10% of the Europe total, and they are following that tell-tale upward curve characteristic of rampant infection rates that are out of control. A look at Chart 14 shows how many Europeans are seeing sharply rising fatalities

Globally, Chart 16b shows where all the sizeable countries now sit in cases and fatalities. Remember that this is a log scale, which makes the upper right hand corner a really scary place to be. I’m watching Chart 12 at the moment. This plots the number of countries reporting significant daily fatalities per capita. The total rose from mid-July to a peak of 100 countries in mid-August and then fell back, but it’s been on the rise again since the beginning of September and is not far short of the same peak level. The rise has been in the middle band of countries with fatalities between 1 and 5 per million.

Daily update for Thursday 24 September 2020

Argentina has burst into the data and is lighting up the World heatmap, and Charts 14 and 16b show why – it is at the top of the list and the fatalities are accelerating away. Looking at the country profile indicates that this is not a reporting anomaly. Cases have been on a steady upward path since May, almost linear in trajectory – quite unlike many countries across Europe, where growth of cases look like moonshots. Check out Netherlands

Five week growth of cases in the UK is exponential – the acceleration is accelerating: the recent five week growth in cases looks like this:

Date 19-Sep 20-Sep 21-Sep 22-Sep 23-Sep 24-Sep
5week growth
in cases
x3.9 x4.6 x4.7 x5.1 x5.5 x6.2

Where’s all this heading? It’s hard to believe that infections in Europe now are being caused by virus friendly cold weather – that’s yet to come. That leaves injudicious social contact as a possible cause. Whatever it is, we have to hope it’s not still a factor when the ‘flu season starts.

Daily update for Wednesday 23 September 2020

Fatalities in Spain are very worrying (Charts 3 and 22), as is the picture in Moldova. France seems to be heading up, too. I’ve shown the detail for the UK over the last five weeks in the chart on the right. Case growth in the UK is moving up and the amount it is moving up is moving up, and cases in the UK are now 9% of the European total.

Elsewhere, one look at Chart 14 and Chart 1 shows where the action is. Although Europe is of particular interest, the picture beyond is also important. India looks as though it might have peaked at last, but Indonesia has not. Cases in Canada have been rising for three weeks, or so, and those in USA look as though they may turn upwards as well.

Daily update for Tuesday 22 September 2020

Thirteen countries account for 90% of the cases in Europe today, and these countries have seen cases rise x2.2 over the last five weeks. Some are seeing much more rapid growth: France, the front runner has risen x4.4 over the same period.  However, these are blunt comparisons over common periods, and more stark numbers lie beneath. Netherlands has risen by the same x4.4 in just two and a half weeks; cases in Greece have risen x18 in eight weeks.

Although Europe is of particular interest, the picture beyond is also important. India looks as though it might have peaked at last, but Indonesia has not. Cases in Canada have been rising for three weeks, or so, and those in USA look as though they may turn upwards as well.

Daily update for Monday 21 September 2020

Chart 16b shows the situation of the major countries by population, and gives a picture of just how big and widespread the Pandemic has become. For Europe, though, the next wave is arriving now. Eleven countries account for 86.4% of European cases today, and these are shown in Chart 19. Case growth in some of these has been extremely rapid and is still rising. Many countries are seeing the tell tale upward curving growth that comes with infection that is out of control. Chart 22 shows how that growth in cases is now beginning to flow through to growth into fatalities. The heatmap of Europe shows the profile of fatalities across the Continent.

Daily update for Sunday 20 September 2020

Chart 8 shows European fatalities are on the move, and Chart 22 shows this in more detail. Of these countries, only Italy remains flatlined. The UK has moved into second place for case growth over the last five weeks, with x4.6 second only to the Czech Republic. Case growth in five weeks across Europe as a whole is x2.2 but look at the country profiles to see what’s coming.

Daily update for Saturday 19 September 2020

Fatalities are beginning to surge in Europe. What’s striking about the trajectories of the countries first seeing this, is how sudden the upswing began and how the rise is almost vertical. They all began 11-13 September, so you wonder what can have triggered sudden widespread infections one to two weeks earlier. This is the chart to watch for individual countries, and Chart 8 is now beginning to show the upswing in fatalities for the whole continent.

However, Chart 19 is almost as compelling, with the five week case growth up another notch now, to x2.2.

Daily update for Friday 18 September 2020

Family commitments prevented me from posting here yesterday, but the developing story didn’t pause while I was away. The Story is the same only more so:

  1. Look at Chart 6 to see the initial peak of fatalities in the Northern Hemisphere, followed by the much larger peaks in Equatorial countries and then the Southern Hemisphere. Both of those are now past with fatalities falling quickly. Note that fatalities in the North have been edging up in recent weeks and are now within shouting distance of the levels reached in the Spring.
  2. The heatmaps show that fatalities globally are still predominantly in South America, and those in Europe are growing ever more widespread across the continent. Look at Chart 8, though, and see that fatalities in The Americas are falling fast, and Europe has just seen the start of an up-tick. Chart 22 plots the growth of fatalities in Europe by country, as these lift up from their lows.
  3. The main story is about the growth of cases across Europe, and this is something of a slow motion train wreck. I missed one daily report and the growth of cases in five weeks have risen in two days in Czech Republic from x6 to x7, and in the UK from x3+ to x4+. Some other countries have merely continued to double or treble. Over the Continent as a whole, cases are still doubling every five weeks. If you’ve not looked at the Country profiles for Europe, you should – click here

Daily update for Wednesday 16 September 2020

The heatmaps are steadily levelling out as fatalities lift in more countries and the picture is less dominated by a few hotspots.

The Czech Republic has taken the lead as European country with the fastest growing cases, up by a factor of six in the latest five weeks, beating France’s more leisurely x5. Case growth in Netherlands is worth looking at in the country profiles. I’ve added Chart 22 to track growth of fatalities in Europe this time around. 

India is rightly attracting attention, because the situation there is looking very difficult indeed.

Daily update for Tuesday 15 September 2020

The key charts are:

  • Chart 12 is showing worrying signs of an upswing in the number of countires posting significant levels of fatalities.
  • Europe’s case growth continues among the leading ten nations at slightly above a doubling over the last five weeks, and the heatmap continues to show more widespread fatalities.
  • The peak in global fatalities came in mid-August and this is now quite visible in Chart 6b. We are yet to see fatalities grow in the Northern Hemisphere but we’re clearly past the peak in the South.
  • I heard overnight that hospitals in Marseille have said that all their ICU capacity is used, now – they are full. This is where it starts to get really difficult.

Daily update for Monday 14 September 2020

The key charts are:

  • the bubble Chart 16b, which shows where all the big countries are. The UK has done well so far – per capita, fatalities are low and so are cases. Bear in mind the log scale in this.
  • the global heatmap is no longer dominated by Bolivia and Peru, and shows how fatalities compare across the world
  • the European heatmap is also levelling out as fatalities rise across the continent
  • Chart 19 and its two sub charts are riveting as the infection rates spread and grow. European cases continue to roughly double every five weeks in the Continent as a whole. This chart plots the countries with 84% of all European cases. Be cautious about Spain because their reporting is like Emmental.
  • Fingers crossed for India and Australia in Chart 4 but for opposite reasons

Daily update for Sunday 13 September 2020

European countries: Those showing the tell-tale upward curve of case growth now include: UK, Denmark, Spain, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, and Hungary, although I’ve not examined all countries Eastwards. The ones to watch are Norway, Estonia, Croatia, Germany, Italy and Ireland. Notably absent at the moment are: Belgium and Sweden.

Elsewhere: There’s no let-up in India, Indonesia or Israel. Australia might be over the worst, although the issues are pretty much just in Victoria.

Otherwise: For UK watchers I’ve added a legend in Chart 16b. There’s a worrying up-turn in Chart 12 over the last ten days that needs watching. With the Southern Hemisphere in steady decline, Chart 6 needs watching for signs of fatalities returning in the North, beyond the steady long-term trend upwards that we’ve seen since the end of May.

Daily update for Saturday 12 September 2020

UK cases have that tell-tale upward curve that comes from exponential growth – as in: rising geometrically not arithmetically. See the graphic on the right. Cases have now shifted UK to the right in Chart 16b, too.

Ecuador and Bolivia continue to dominate South America. There might be good news for Australia, at last, but none for India.Daily update for Friday 11 September 2020

A date to remember history, and there are several things to see in the data worth noting. From the top:

  1. I’ve extended the horizontal axis in Chart 16b and added some new countries. There’s a distinct bottom-left to top-right corridor with a few obvious outliers. The UK is somewhere near the bottom track for fatalities at the moment. Australia looks low in cases but high in fatalities.
  2. The heatmap of European fatalities continues to level up across the continent, and Chart 19 shows where the cases are coming from. The total has more than doubled in five weeks. France and Italy continue to accelerate away with the Czech Republic starting to catch them up.
  3. Chart 9 plots the number of reporting countries globally, and you can see a distinct upswing from the low point at the start of June. Fatalities in the Northern Hemisphere continue to edge up in Chart 6 while those in the Southern Hemisphere decline steadily.
  4. Australia may have topped out, possibly, but India just keeps going up. South Korea is worth watching. Individual countries continue to post alarming looking growth in cases, with many spiking sharply. Cases in the UK are on a distinctly curved upward trajectory, albeit well behind many other countries.

Daily update for Thursday 10 September 2020

The countries plotted in the charts above comprise 85% of the cases in Europe today. It’s instructive that only the bottom two have merely doubled or so in the last five weeks. growth in cases in Europe continues and in a growing number of countries. The number of countries with sizeable growth of cases grows every day. The two countries off the scale in Chart 14 are Sweden and Austria.

Daily update for Wednesday 9 September 2020

The growth in cases in Europe continues and in a growing number of countries. The UK is starting to see the tell-tale upward curve (See country profiles), but the leaders are France and Italy, up over five times. So the outlook for Europe appears certain, now. It’s hard to see anything that can prevent a widespread surge in cases, then hospitalisation, then fatalities over the next five or six months. This is not a new idea in my commentary.

You can see the gathering wave in the European heatmap, and Chart 16b is a good overview of where all the big nations are. Don’t forget that it is a log scale on both axes. Anyone above or to the right of you is worse off than you are, and bigger blobs equals bigger nations.

Daily update for Tuesday 8 September 2020

It’s important to remember that a virus knows nothing about political constructs like nations, so while the data available to us us structured politically, it is our window on a situation that isn’t structured that way, even if the response may be.

I worry about some of the countries showing big red up-moves in the right hand half of Chart 1. Fatalities in the Southern Hemisphere and Equatorial countries have definitely peaked and are heading down, while those in the Northern Hemisphere have shown a long steady rise upwards in Chart 6 since their low point in late May. India is a vast population and infections seem to have equally vast momentum, there. Indonesia is big and infections are widespread there, too. Chart 12 is worth watching – I see it’s shown a bump recently.

Turning to Europe, the heatmap of European fatalities is steadily warming up across the continent. I don’t know why it doesn’t annotate France – 0.24 is the reading there. Chart 19 shows the countries making up 84% of present cases across Europe, and these have more than doubled in five weeks. The UK’s are up by over two and a half times in the same period. The country charts show that this growth is widespread and very rapid in many countries.

Daily update for Monday 7 September 2020

Several data plots have rather overshadowed the picture today. I’ve added Hungary to the country profiles that can be downloaded, because their reported cases have been running away, by the look of it. The UK posted a big number of cases today, too. Yes, cases are dependant on testing and so on. Bolivia posted a big number, and that’s another things that’s distorted the picture. Spain’s reported cases are down but France’s are up by almost exactly the same number.  Lots going on.

While there is increasing evidence of widening infection in the Northern Hemisphere, it would be tempting to say that this has yet to show up in fatalities. A comparison of the Europe heatmap above, with the same heatmap from just over two weeks ago shows that fatality rates have been rising steadily across the continent. Again, do look through the country profile because these do give a rich picture of what’s happening, nation by nation.

Daily update for Sunday 6 September 2020

India, Indonesia and Israel are all piling on new cases strongly. Netherlands, Norway and Turkey need watching, and we know UK is going to post a big number tomorrow. USA and Mexico are just showing the early signs that their infection rates might be starting to head back up again after declines over the last ten days.

As decision-makers, it is sickness that is the biggest disrupter, and the growing evidence is removing uncertainty about whether that will happen, especially since the weather in Europe has not yet turned significantly.  Mathematical selection, too, has it that strains that infect more people and kill fewer are more likely to spread.

Daily update for Saturday 5 September 2020

We can say with confidence that the Northern Hemisphere is now seeing widespread infections, and we can see it in the charts. This hasn’t yet shown up in fatalities, but it will. There is enough evidence now for a decision-maker to have some certainty.

The upward curve of accelerating cases has begun to show itself in more countries, including Italy and the UK. Denmark and Luxembourg are interesting because they’ve begun to accelerate again after peaking for a second time. Spain, France, Croatia and Greece are pulling away hard.

Chart 19 shows that cases in Europe have more than doubled in five weeks and most of that has come from Spain and France, but not all, and that’s while Russia has reduced (apparently). The heatmap of Europe is becoming more interesting with fatalities spreading out more evenly.

Daily update for Friday 4 September 2020

From the perspective of a Western European decision-maker, the steady march of increasing cases is continuing in the countries at the front edge: France, Spain, Croatia and Greece. There is no sign of this reducing in speed. Netherlands and Germany are up, but too early to call as beginning the same signal upward curve of uncontrolled infection, as yet. UK, Italy and Portugal are rising but slowly and at low levels. The European heatmap shows where the action is in fatalities. Note that Portugal is only where it is in terms of 7day average fatalities because of one large data plot on 29 August.

It’s important to note that comparison of cases in Europe – this time compared with April – must be adjusted for the significant rise in testing since that earlier peak. However, increases in testing play a smaller role in the last four weeks, hence Chart 19 is a valid characterisation of the progress of infections in Europe, and it represents 84.7% of total cases across the region.

Daily update for Thursday 3 September 2020

Many valuable perspectives came today in the excellent session on pandemics at the FT Weekend Festival. Elhadj As Sy, Co-chair of the WHO/World Bank Global Pandemic Preparedness Monitoring Board said that Covid-19 has been the Great Revealer, and how true that is in so many different respects. He also said that responses must be executed locally, because situations, cultures and dynamics are so diverse.

One look at the country profiles here shows the huge diversity of pandemic experience in the different countries around the world, and these are national aggregations. As we’ve seen in different countries, responses that have been set nationally are often wrong, inadequate or irrelevant in this, that or the other situation locally, and this is especially true in nations with greater diversity.

A distinct number of countries have reported spikes in cases today, which is puzzling. You’ll see that I’ve posted Chart 19 that looks at where the majority of European cases are coming from. This is an amalgam of differently defined and almost subjective data, but it’s the overall impression of centres of gravity that I’m seeking to show.

Daily update for Wednesday 2 September 2020

The big picture is that the peak in Global fatalities came a little over three weeks ago, as these declined in the Southern Hemisphere, mainly The Americas. That’s fine as an astronaut’s perspective, but look at Chart 1 and see that four times as many countries moved up strongly as moved down, and look through the names on that list and visualise the healthcare issues on the ground.

Europe is grappling with cases, and cases translate into sickness only some of which ends up in data about fatalities. The UK is one of a very small group of European countries that hasn’t yet suffered a widespread surge of cases. The country profiles show up perhaps four others: Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Belgium, possibly a couple of others. Forget the Treaty of Rome or whatever it is that guarantees free movement, but then we’re about to leave that anyway.

Daily update for Tuesday 1 September 2020

Chart 6 does at last give some confidence that fatalities in Equatorial and Southern Hemisphere countries have now peaked, some four months after the Northern hemisphere, and about four times higher in fatalities per million. We are now waiting to see what happens here in the Norther hemisphere with the change of seasons. Given that it was just 5deg here this morning, there might not be long to wait.

Several European countries have already seen a second peak but there’s a great deal of diversity and it’s too soon to know whether this is a resurgence as a result of weakening restrictions effects, or a new wave.

The four charts above give the best view-at-a-glance.

Daily update for Monday 31 August 2020 – Pandemic Day 244

Only a short narrative today but not because there’s nothing to see in the charts. Day by day the heatmap in Europe develops. Chart 1 is instructive, too, as are Charts 14 and 16b. Country profiles have a lot to take in.

Daily update for Sunday 30 August 2020 – Pandemic Day 244

Chart 6 suggests that fatalities peaked in Equatorial countries in the last week of July and, looking past Peru’s two rogue postings, those in the Southern Hemisphere may have peaked in mid-August. This reflects the peak in total global fatalities shown in Chart 12.

Portugal looks like another country posting a single day far above trend – 106 fatalities posted yesterday compared with a long term trend of 2-5 per day. So they join Peru and Algeria on the list of data mavericks.

Despite the worry of Chart 1, cases are still the place to look for pointers of what lies ahead. We’re waiting to see what infection rates do in the weeks ahead. While indications of fatality rates seem lower now (see the FT article above), the long winter ahead hasn’t begun yet, and we don’t know whether this strain will mutate as others have. These cases may be new outbreaks of the existing strain, and not a new strain coming in from the South.

Daily update for Saturday 29 August 2020

We have to hope that France is not a foretaste of what’s to come in the Northern Hemisphere – its cases have that characteristic upward curve of runaway infection that’s out of control. Spain, Greece, Croatia, too, although not quite as spectacularly mathematical as France.

Luxembourg, Turkey, Netherlands and Denmark all seem to have had a burst of cases that have peaked. Is that it for them, and before the weather has turned?

India and Australia look rather like headless chickens. I hear that it’s grim in Victoria, but I bet we don’t know the half of what’s happening in rural India.

Chart 1 is a bit of a sea of red.  Don’t listen to the UK media’s inventiveness, just look at the Chart 16b.

Daily update for Friday 28 August 2020

The purpose here is to try to see what on earth is really going on so that we can shape our ideas about the future. So what is going on? Here’s my take:

  1. The global heatmap shows that the action is still firmly centred in South America, but the European heatmap is starting to show that areas of fatalities here, are starting to grow and widen, while peaks are beginning to slow. Compare today’s heatmap above, with last Saturday at this link
  2. As far as the UK goes, look at Chart 10 to see what isn’t happening, and where we are in Chart 6b above to see what others are dealing with by comparison. Further right equals more cases, higher up equals more fatalities. We’re bottom left, so enough said.
  3. Chart 12 is suggesting that there has been a recent burst of fatalities, globally, and this might now be easing. We need to watch this carefully in the next week or so.
  4. Chart 1 shows the countries moving significantly in the last 30days. Ignore Algeria and Peru because they each posted huge single day spikes, which were some kind of reporting catch-up. Those countries aside, the largest sixteen moves have all be upwards, which is something to think about.
  5. Chart 5 shows the big countries in the Americas – Mexico, Brazil and USA – all look as though they’ve peaked, now. Chart 4 shows that India and Australia are yet to make up their minds, and Indonesia has been surging upwards.
  6. Chart 14 is the one that best shows the detail – the further horizontally away from zero then the larger the move – the further up then the higher the rate of fatalities. Remember that it is a log scale vertically, and this means it shows the movers across the range. So the UK’s move up is similar to Argentina, but at more than an order of magnitude lower level of fatalities. Think on.
  7. The country charts are worth looking at in a quite room with a large glass of something strong.

Daily update for Thursday 27 August 2020

With the exception of South Korea, the scale of movement in fatalities among the fifty countries shown on Chart 14 is the tightest it’s been for some time. However, Chart 1 shows that the great majority of the major movers are upwards, and some of those are not trivial moves.

The big nations appear to be sitting on the fence or heading downwards; at least they’re not heading strongly upwards: Brazil, Mexico, USA, India. Argentina is heading up and needs watching. Peru appears to be heading down but that’s the effect of their huge adjustment report now falling out of the averages.

The picture in Europe is mixed, led from the back by UK with very low levels of fatality, but the story is in cases, not least because they are accelerating while fatality rates are declining. See the story above from the FT.

Daily update for Wednesday 26 August 2020

While some European countries are seeing surges in reported cases (Spain, France, Croatia, for instance) quite a few have seen cases peaking and at quite low levels (Turkey, Netherlands, Italy, even Luxembourg), along with a few others like the UK that haven’t seen cases lift significantly. Does this mean that the much-discussed second wave will be patchy, even possibly being something of a non-event in some countries?

There is a growing sense that sickness will be more of a factor in the future than fatalities, driven by significant improvements in treatment regimes, tighter testing efforts, and so on. Evidence of those lower fatality rates is appearing in the charts. Sickness burden is shifting to younger age groups, too, and that will increase the challenges of disruption for business decision makers through greater impact on staffing, supply chains and customers.

Daily update for Tuesday 25 August 2020

March and April seem like a lifetime ago. Back then, things were fairly straightforward, or so it seemed. One look at the country profiles shows how many unexpected differences there are between one country and another. Ireland looks rather like Estonia, while Turkey and Netherlands look strikingly similar. Spain and France seem to be heading down the same path, although France is running in front. The UK is quite like Ireland, and where has Belgium gone?

The heatmaps show that the global action is still in South America, with a pocket in Europe around Bulgaria, Moldova and Bosnia Herzegovina. That said, we have to keep an eye on Chart 14 because it shows up large moves regardless of the level, like South Korea, Denmark, Spain and Netherlands.

There are still way too many big blocks of red ink in Chart 1 for comfort.

Daily update for Monday 24 August 2020

There’s no doubt that many countries in the Northern hemisphere are seeing significant growth in case levels, and many are the upward curving trajectories associated with exponential infection (each infection leading to more than one new infection). This growth is not yet showing in fatalities, though.

At arm’s length, Chart 14 looks as though there is less of a one-sided, up-only nature to the present picture. Chart 1 doesn’t look like that at all.  Have fatalities in India and Australia topped out?

Strains that kill the host do not get propagated as widely as those that are more infectious and less lethal, so we can and should expect wider infection and sickness than was the case first time around.

In purely business terms, new widespread infection, lockdowns and morbidity are hard to deal with in a way that fatalities are not.

Daily update for Sunday 23 August 2020

The profiles of different countries are beginning to show up some interesting divergences. For example, Japan and Australia have both seen two peaks – Japan’s second peak is significantly above the first but produced lower fatalities, whereas Australia’s second is only slightly above its first but has resulted in more fatalities.

At first sight, fatalities do seem to be lower this time in a number of countries, which reflects comments I’ve seen about substantial improvements being made in treatment methods since the early days of the Pandemic. While fatalities may be lower, there is evidence of after effects that are long lasting – see The Economist this weekend: When Covid19 becomes a chronic illness.

Algeria and Peru have aberrant reporting; so be it.


Daily update for Saturday 22 August 2020

The data leave a lot to be desired, and Algeria’s contribution today is as useful as Peru’s two whoppers – Fatalities reported today are 27,176, up from 9 yesterday. So the search for precision remains a nonsense, but we know more than it might appear.

For a start, inadequate systems and processes, never mind political incentives, all mean that any numbers we see are likely to be below reality. Secondly, comparisons between profiles will be reasonably indicative at a high level, and we can begin to draw some conclusions when large differences exist.

There is a temptation to think that the local situation is dreadful, and media seem to delight in finding reasons to portray it as such, however specious. If nothing else, Charts 1, 14 and 16b, along with the heatmaps, show where the troubles are and aren’t. Bear in mind that both axes of Chart 16b are logarithmic, as is the vertical axis of Charts 1 and 14.

Daily update for Friday 21 August 2020

I think Chart 1 is scary.

Cases are rising sharply in many countries, and this can’t be put down to abrupt increases in testing rates – widespread coordination between disparate countries like that is implausible. We haven’t yet seen sharp rises in fatalities to match, though, so we are waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I’ve added Chart 16, which shows reported cases per million in larger countries, as a multiple of those in the UK. This does give an impression of where we sit in the pecking order.

Daily update for Thursday 20 August 2020

The global march of the pandemic around the world continues. The distorting effects of Peru’s second one-day report of fatalities x20 above their prevailing rate should drop out of the 7day average tomorrow, and this will coincide in Chart 6 with the moment when Southern Hemisphere and Equatorial fatality rates meet and potentially cross over. It should also enable us to see the East-West move in Chart 8 more clearly, but that is already seen in sharp relief in the World heatmap.

In Europe, rates are shifting and I’ve added a link above to enable comparison between today’s heatmap and yesterday’s.

The individual country profiles are beginning to show three different types of infection rates are emerging. Looking at the cases reported shows this, and it’s important to look only at the shape of reported numbers of cases, not absolute numbers, since the levels are substantially a function of testing, whereas the shape is a better reflection of infection rates.

  • One group is displaying the upward curving ski slope shape that is characteristic of high infection rates: Spain, Germany, Croatia, South Korea and examples of this.
  • A second group is seeing a higher rate of cases, but without the upward curve, and sometimes signs of a peak that already shows signs of declining: Denmark, Netherlands, Turkey, Luxembourg, Australia
  • The third group is showing few signs of unusual and significant case levels, as yet: Belgium, Italy, Sweden, UK, Estonia, Ireland

Exactly what this means for new pandemic spread will become clear over time. Meanwhile, it’s an important context for understanding what is happening in each country, and what may lie ahead.

Daily update for Wednesday 19 August 2020

The action remains in South America and a European cluster of Moldova, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Bulgaria.

Charts 1 and 14 showcase the major recent points of acceleration, and these continue to be mainly on the upside and Africa, some parts of Europe, and Central and South America.

Globally, Chart 12 shows that we’ve still just not quite hit one hundred countries with significant average daily fatality levels that are above 0.1 per million – 97 as of today.

Daily update for Monday 17 August 2020

I’ve added a legend to the European heatmap. For some reason it doesn’t display France, which is 0.19. 

The growing penetration is seen most clearly in Chart 12, which shows the marked up-trend in the number of countries in each band over the last three weeks.

European countries are starting to show up in Chart 14 towards the right, which means they are growing strongly, along with many in Africa.

Penetration in Brazil is simply vast. The levels of cases and fatalities are strikingly similar to those in the USA, although Brazil contained their fatalities to half the level seen in North America.

Daily update for Sunday 16 August 2020

I’ve added Global and European heatmaps that highlight the daily fatality levels by country, and Chart 14 shows the more significant countries numerically.

The country profiles show the kind of challenge being faced by different countries. Look for cases growing in the shape of a ski ramp, curving upwards, rather than the absolute level. That exponential curve is a tell-tale sign of high infection rates rather than fast growing testing: Croatia, Spain, France, Netherlands, Turkey, Peru, Venezuela.

The charts suggest that UK, Ireland and Germany are ones to watch, and you can see why South Korea has just re-imposed restrictions.

Daily update for Saturday 15 August 2020

Chart 6b shows how global fatalities each day have grown more than six fold since mid-April, when Europe peaked. Back then the Global rate was 0.9 per million and it’s now above 5.5. This growth is now mainly in the Southern Hemisphere, as was feared from the beginning of this journey seven months ago. We anticipated that the virus would move East to West and it did, and then North to South, and it is.

The expectation and fear was that the tide of Pandemic would then move back into the Northern Hemisphere, come the Autumn. As yet, Chart 6 shows only a minor upward trend in the Northern Hemisphere, but early signs are all to visible in the very significant growth in cases in Europe, which can be seen in the country profiles. Some countries look alarming in this respect, and while cases are heavily influenced by rates of testing, the trends are all too obvious. Fatalities follow cases.

Whether these trends should be described as a second wave is immaterial to anyone who’s infected, but it is worthwhile to consider the circumstances in order to identify the drivers of the trends.

Quite obviously the pool of viral infection is worldwide and growing deeper and more widespread. The charts here show this with no room for misinterpretation. Alongside that trend are two others. Firstly, there is growing and more widespread nonchalance that’s palpable in northern hemisphere countries. Secondly, the seasons are on the turn and the weather will get colder, when humans spend more time in buildings where infection is easier for a virus to achieve.

These three trends appear to establish the certainty of substantial new rates of infection in the Northern Hemisphere. The only uncertainty is the timing, whether this will be visible one month from now or three. It’s hard to see what could change over the next four to eight weeks that would be sufficiently large and widespread to alter that outcome.

Daily update for Friday 14 August 2020

If only the data was high quality – it isn’t. Countries have different definitions, and some fiddle with them. Many have reporting that’s inconsistent either inadvertently or deliberately. All these things are obvious when you look through the various country profiles. For the second time in three weeks, Peru has reported fatalities in one day that are x20 above their average – an average of 202 per day during the last twenty days, and 3,935 yesterday. It’s probably not “wrong” but it does mean that we have to do more interpretation than otherwise.  However, this analysis has always been about trends and comparison, not numbers or specifics.

The upward climb continues and continues to be widespread. India and Australia still seem to be racing one another to reach some distant ceiling, yet both are unexciting midfield runners in Chart 14’s picture of the global action. The US appears to have peaked for now. The justification for including France in the UK’s quarantine is as obvious as is France’s unjustified tit-for-tat politicking by including the UK in theirs. The virus isn’t responsible for everything but it is the excuse for many things.

Daily update for Thursday 13 August 2020

Two things are worth pondering today, aside from the Country Profiles, which are always illuminating:

First, the Pandemic has clearly put on a burst of speed in the last three weeks. Arguably, there has been a strong trend upwards since early June. See these things in Chart 12, and they are borne out in Chart 9, too.

Second, Charts 14 and 1 are worth a long look. The countries seeing strong increases in fatalities is diverse in size, culture and location.

Daily update for Wednesday 12 August 2020

The narrative today is about the progress and grip of the pandemic around the globe, and you can see this in these places:

  1. In the last three weeks the number of countries with significant fatality levels has moved firmly above 80 where it’s been since the peak in Europe in mid-April – Chart 12.
  2. 41 countries are shown in Chart 14, and the bias is upwards, and that’s where all the bigger moves are
  3. 20 out of 24 countries with moves of 50% or more are all upwards; see Chart 1
  4. The trend move in Southern Hemisphere is strongly upwards, although a couple of recent plots have introduced some hesitancy; see Chart 6. Time will tell if this is a change of direction. Equatorial countries are ploughing sideways, and it’s noteworthy that fatalities in Northern Hemisphere countries have been rising consistently since the end of May, and almost doubling over that time.
  5. The Americas still push north.
  6. A look through the individual country profiles shows that there’s a lot of action going on that’s yet to show up in fatalities.

Daily update for Tuesday 11 August 2020

While there’s a great temptation to be transfixed by the almost vertical climb in India and Australia, it’s worth noting from Chart 14 that these are not the only big stories around, or even the biggest. Gambia posted such a large shift that I had to restrict the chart axis.

The big story remains the relentless penetration into more and more countries of all kinds and in all parts of the world, at ever larger rates of infection and fatality. That huge reservoir is growing and is ready and waiting for new victims.

Daily update for Monday 10 August 2020

Chart 14 gives an insight into the wide diversity of impact around the world. The present level of fatalities is shown vertically, and the rate of rise or fall is shown right to left.

Primary concerns are:

  • Mexico, Romania, South Africa are high levels that are growing fast
  • Libya and Australia are growing quickly, too
  • USA and India are large populations with high and growing fatality levels.

Widespread and significant upward moves are being seen across the World and outweigh declines by some margin.

Daily update for Sunday 9 August 2020

The picture is growing more complex as the pandemic evolves, but a few generalisations are possible:

  1. As anticipated, there has been a slow but steady progression from the early peak in the Northern Hemisphere on to Equatorial countries and then to the Southern Hemisphere. Chart 6 shows that Equatorial fatalities have just about topped out, and are about to be overtaken by those in the Southern Hemisphere. This is quite discernible despite the large blip caused by Peru’s single day x20 report.
  2. Europe had been quiet but the number of countries posting significant new outbreaks has been rising for some time but it’s hard to know if this is mainly down to hasty relaxation of restrictions, public non-compliance, or fresh influx. It’s likely to be at least some combination of the first two.
  3. Africa is starting to see significant outbreaks, now. Although the data is going to be highly unreliable, what data we have is bad enough and we have to assume that reality is considerably worse.
  4. The differences in impact of the Pandemic between one country and another are considerable, but then so are all the other differences, and it is these that make comparison almost meaningless: demographics, culture, compliance or otherwise, urbal versus rural, underlying health and quality of available care, testing or not, reporting or not, never mind decision-making and timing.
  5. We  can see that the Pandemic is penetrating more and more countries, more and more deeply, and that makes it all but certain that fresh infection is ready and waiting whenever uninfected humans make themselves available.
  6. Pandemic Nonchalance is rising in many countries, so a major resurgence seems just a matter of time.

Daily update for Saturday 8 August 2020

  1. The Pandemic is penetrating ever more widely and deeply around the world, and Chart 12 shows the progress it’s making. The UK is in the bottom band shown here, recording 0.83 average fatalities per million in the last 7days.
  2. The number of countries reporting high levels of fatalities has risen steadily since the end of May. This is visible on Chart 12 and I’ve charted this separately to highlight it. Chart 10 shows that the number of countries reporting fatalities has moved distinctly above the level of previous peaks, and now stands at 96.
  3. Australia and USA might have paused for breath, but India hasn’t.

Daily update for Friday 7 August 2020

  1. Chart 1 shows clearly how almost all the major movers are countries heading upwards, and those are concentrated in Europe and Africa. The distortion of Peru’s one off, x20 reporting spike has dropped out of the 7day average, now, making the whole thing easier to see.
  2. I’ve added trend lines to Chart 2, and the tidal retreat of the virus from early April to late May is clearly visible, predimonantly driven by widespread restrictions in Europe where the surge occurred. As Simon and I discussed this morning, the slow but steady rise in upward movement since then has probably been driven more by the progressive penetration around the world than new breakouts in Europe. 
  3. Chart 7 shows that the global 7day average has just moved above 4.25 per million, and interpolating Charts 6 and 8 says that this is almost all in the Americas, split broadly evenly between Equatorial and Southern Hemisphere countries. The USA might be flirting with an upward move, once again.
  4. India remains the other story to look at, although there are plenty of countries worthy of attention in the Country Profiles.
  5. As has been the story for some time, there is no story about the UK other than the lack of a storyline that isn’t perverse.

Daily update for Thursday 6 August 2020

  1. There are more countries moving significantly higher than lower, and the upward movers seem dominated by Europe and Africa (See Chart 1). Closer analysis of these numbers over time shows the pandemic retreated from the early wave in March and April, to a low point in late May. Since then there has been a steady increase in viral impact from a low point of about 25% moving higher, to 60% moving higher today.
  2. Europe is still quiet by comparison, although all the pointers are towards growing fatalities. Note that Germany is on the list of movers, albeit at low levels.
  3. East & South activity is dominated by India and Australia, but we need to watch Japan.
  4. The direction of USA and Brazil is still inconclusive.

Daily update for Wednesday 5 August 2020

  1. There are 29 countries that have moved by more than 10% in the last seven days, and 17 of these moved higher.
  2. Europe is relatively quiet in terms of fatalities, but there’s plenty of action showing up in cases. Notable is Netherlands, which looks as though it’s developing upwards momentum, perhaps Turkey is as well. Other countries are more sporadic, but cases are a function of testing and all data is subject to reporting aberrations.
  3. East & South shows that Australia and India are the ones to watch. Both reported uneven data recently, so some interpretation is needed. Cases in the Philippines need to be watched.
  4. Both USA and Brazil recorded recent stochastics that make direction inconclusive.
  5. The number of countries reporting fatalities is spiking up frequently to the peak levels seen in early April and early May.
  6. The final chart is for UK watchers keen to see the action. Fatalities have averaged below one per million for over two weeks. By comparison, Luxembourg has spiked up from below 0.5 to 1.16 per million in three days.

Daily update for Tuesday 4 August 2020

  1. I’ve modified the two >10% charts to make it easier to see the regional significances.
  2. With the exception of Equatorial Guinea, the three fast movers at high levels of fatalities are all European.
  3. Looking at the Country Profiles shows that outbreaks are becoming more widespread. Action is heating up, it seems.
  4. The USA has turned downwards in fatalities, which matches the downturn in cases.
  5. Brazil looks as though it might be topping out, at last, after a very long journey.
  6. The UK still remains completely quiet by comparison.

Daily update for Monday 3 August 2020

  1. The most obviously striking impression from the charts today is how many African countries are becoming significant – See the two >10% charts below.
  2. The second point of note is that fatalities in Europe seem to be on the move again, with Luxembourg, Romania and Boznia-Herzegovina near the top of the leaders.
  3. The USA is out front as the fastest moving large country, but India continues north, as well.
  4. A number of countries are showing surges in cases: see Pakistan, Philippines, Japan, Peru, Australia. Turkey and even Netherlands look important to monitor.
  5. The UK remains completely quiet by comparison, which leads you to wonder what all the shouting in the media here is all about. Are they’re shouting about nothing or, if they’re right and it’s so devastating here, what must it be like in other countries?

Daily update for Sunday 2 August 2020

  1. The major concerns are the countries in the top-right quadrant of the first chart below – they have seen the largest rises in the last 7days and they’re the biggest countries.  The USA is top of that list, and you can see their trajectory in the West chart. Iran has seen a larger rise but has a smaller population.
  2. In the East, India continues on upwards and is just about to surpass the peak seen by Pakistan. The very different trajectories between these two countries is interesting. Indonesia might have peaked, and Australia too, maybe?
  3. Equatorial countries do seem – possibly – to have levelled out. We need a week or so more of data to find out. Peru’s whopping x20 report distorts Southern Hemisphere data
  4. The Americas might have plateaued, too. We need more data the other side of Peru before we’ll know.
  5. The Country profiles show that France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Croatia are all posting significant cases, now. As yet, the UK is not.

Daily update for Saturday 1 August 2020

The volume of data points has made the charts hard to read and has been making Excel idiosyncratic. So I’ve introduced new charts today. Comments welcome. Countries East and South are busy; USA is heading up; Peru’s x20 plot is distorting things but you can still see where it’s all heading; Europe is quiet for now – checkout the Country Profiles because the action right now is in the reported cases.

Daily update for Thursday 30 July 2020

  1. Australia is now nearly 50% above the peak that it achieved earlier this year (Chart 32a).
  2. Two countrie being cited in the press as experiencing second waves of cases are Croatia and Luxembourg, and I’ve included their charts below. They are now included in the country profiles download at the link below, which now has 36 countries analysed.
  3. The USA has not peaked, but has resumed its journey upwards (Country Profiles)

Daily update for Wednesday 29 July 2020

  1. Australia is 30% above the peak that it achieved earlier this year (Chart 32a).
  2. The number of countries reporting fatalities and cases has now returned to the peaks that occured in mid-April (Chart 9).
  3. Cases in Europe are worth watching – Netherlands in particular, although Belgium, France and Turkey are also interesting (Country Profiles)
  4. It’s possible that cases in the USA have peaked, but that may be too early to call (Country Profiles)
  5. Southern Hemisphere looks as though it is still heading upwards and Equatorial countries down, but that’s also too early to say. (Chart 27b)

Daily update for Tuesday 28 July 2020

What are we watching happen now?

I’ve separated Chart 32 into two: 

  1. Chart 32a shows countries that are seeing new peaks beginning that are distinct from those they encountered earlier: USA, Israel, Australia, Croatia. I’ve added UK for reference only.
  2. Chart 32b shows countries seeing new vibrant rises that look like new peaks are forming: Mexico, Venezuela, Indonesia, Brazil, Soth Africa

Chart 32a: There’s strong synchronicity in the timing of what we’re seeing in the first group: fatalities started to explode around 23 March and all peaked in the following four weeks. The exception is Croatia, which bumped up again a couple of weeks after that.

All these countries have see new and sharp rises begin within a couple of weeks of one another. They are very diverse geographically, yet they are exhibiting much the same characteristics. Even the USA has a similar timing, although fatalities there are rising more slowly than elsewhere.

What could be causing such similar characteristics in countries otherwise so dissimilar?

This could be:

  1. a resurgence of the existing pool of infection due to increasingly weak containment resulting from growing disobedience, or it could be
  2. a fresh infection from an outside pool, or
  3. a mutation that is more infectious

Chart 32b: Mexico and Brazil have climbed slowly compared to the others, but they have been at it longer. Chart 33 shows these countries on the same axis of fatalities per million. While some of these countries are at a low level, it is the speed of growth that matters and is of greatest concern.

I welcome any ideas and views about what we’re seeing and the potential implications.

Daily update for Monday 27 July 2020

We have indeed entered a new era of this pandemic: Australia has set a second, higher peak some fifteen weeks after the first at the beginning of April. It’s the first country to do so.  We are now watching second waves emerging.

The new Chart 32 shows the countries that are grappling with outbreaks now. All show 7day average fatalities per million relative to their individual peak.

As you can see, Australia has just exceeded its first peak by some 10% and that Israel is very close to doing much the same.

Others racing upwards to find their first peaks include: Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa.

Daily update for Sunday 26 July 2020

In essence, the charts are like yesterday only more so:

  1. Europe is relatively quiet but several countries are reporting accelerating growth in new cases: France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden (Click on the link for country charts).
  2. The UK is very quiet (Chart 23)
  3. The immediate concern is the almost vertical rise of fatalities in Israel and Australia, with the latter not far short of reaching the height of their initial peak for a second time (Chart 15), and South Africa (Chart 30)
  4. Next comes the concern about the growing pool of infection in Equatorial and Southern Hemisphere countries (East-West charts 17 and North-South chart 27b
  5. Finally comes concerns about the many other countries with seemingly forbidding looking trajectories – Cases in Japan, Fatalities in Indonesia, to pick two. See Individual Country Profiles at the link below

Daily update for Saturday 25 July 2020

The charts are articulate in what they say:

  1. Europe is relatively quiet but several countries are reporting accelerating growth in new cases: France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden (Click on the link for country charts).
  2. The UK is very quiet (Chart 23)
  3. The immediate concern is the almost vertical rise of fatalities in Israel and Australia, with the latter not far short of reaching the height of their initial peak for a second time (Chart 15), and South Africa (Chart 30)
  4. Next comes the concern about the growing pool of infection in Equatorial and Southern Hemisphere countries (East-West charts 17 and North-South chart 27b
  5. Finally comes concerns about the many other countries with seemingly forbidding looking trajectories – Cases in Japan, Fatalities in Indonesia, to pick two.

Daily update for Friday 24 July 2020

Obviously I have looked at the data in detail every day since early February, as I try to get a sense of where the pandemic is going, and understand more about my own view of the decisions that lie ahead. I sense today that we may be moving into a more difficult phase.

The number of countries recording menacing looking numbers of cases is growing and if you have cases then you have the likelihood of social disruption and fatalities to follow. In Europe we can see this in France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden (of course), even Germany has hints of rises in cases. Elsewhere, Japan is a worry, Canada, Brazil, Mexico. (See country charts in the downloadable PDF and other charts here.)

Data is dirty and prone to process, which is why I’ve used only WHO data since it’s the most carefully validated and consistent. Even here, we’re prone to reporting problems, and Peru is the stand-out today. They reported fatalities are almost exactly x20 today versus yesterday, in what must be catch-up. Hence the sharp dog-legs in Charts 17 and 27 a/b. This gives us an indication of where the Southern Hemisphere has really been all along.

Chart 9 plots the number of countries reporting fatalities and cases, with averages to give us trends in noisy data. Both are upwards. All the trends of significance are upwards. 

So several countries have sharply rising fatalities. We now have numerous countries with sharply rising fatalities. Equatorial countries and the Southern Hemisphere are building large pools of infection, and this doesn’t bode well for them or for Northern countries that are nervously anticipating colder weather later this year.

Chart 23 shows fatalities in the UK.

Daily update for Thursday 23 July 2020

All the trends of significance are upwards, and Chart 27a shows we’ve set another new high Globally. Chart 27b is the place to go for clear sight of the place on the battlefield where the action is North-South, and Chart 17 shows East-West.

At a more granular level, Chart 15 shows the countries that have peaked once, and highlights the ones that have put their running shoes on again. South Africa isn’t on that list but it is heading north alarmingly. You can see this in Chart 20, which shows the overall timeline of many countries since all this began. Look at its chart in Individual Country Profiles for the real detail.

While you’re looking at those profiles, look at places like Canada and Japan, Indonesia and India. Not pretty.

Now compare the UK with those and many others.

Daily update for Wednesday 22 July 2020

The list of countries showing signs of viral instability is growing, with Turkey, Canada, Japan and The Netherlands all exhibiting what may be the early signs of fresh outbreaks. Others need to be watched, including France and Spain, even Denmark, perhaps.

A look at Chart 15 shows where things can go. Israel and Australia continue to head skyward, and USA and South Korea have signs that all is not well.

Equatorial fatalities per million have doubled since the middle of may, and those in the Southern Hemisphere are more than five times larger. The heavy lifting is being done by Asia and The Americas, but the word on the ground is that informed concern is now looking towards Africa.

One look at the individual country charts says that the UK has done and is doing well, very well, contrary to many of the headlines.

Update for Tuesday 21 July 2020

The UK is quiet, eerily quiet, as are several countries in Western Europe – it feels as though we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. Look elsewhere and you’ll see what a different time some others are having. Israel and Australia in Chart 15 look like sky rockets. Indonesia, in Individual Country Profiles looks like they’re in the same boat, and all three make places like South Africa and Iran seem decidedly pedestrian. India and USA are strikingly similar.

Globally, it looks like the virus is on the march with the Southern Hemisphere being the hot area as was feared.

Update for Monday 20 July 2020

The outlook remains that most of Europe is quiet, while there’s a growing number of countries with significant problems to manage. Israel, Australia, USA, among them. Euqatorial countries plough on upwards. The Southern Hemisphere is a growing issue, with South America heating up, India’s cases continuing to climb ever higher, and Africa starting to raise major concerns (See this story in today’s FT).

Update for Saturday 18 July 2020

There are some eye-catching plots on the charts today, and it’s taken some detailed work to unravel what’s going on.

You’ll see in Chart 17 that there’s been a noticeable uptick in The Americas, and a big spike in Asia. Also striking is the big spike in Southern Hemisphere shown in Chart 27b. These are broadly down to two contributors: Chile, which reported 1,057 cases, up more than ten times the previous day; and Kyrgystan, which reported 733 fatalities in its first report for some time. Both these may be catch-up cases.

Other notable reports are Russia, which reported fatalities up 86%, and obviously Australia and Israel, which you’ll see in Chart 15 below.

Update for Friday 17 July 2020

  • Global Picture: The global total has reached another new high of 3.57 f/m (Chart 27a). The East-West Chart 17 shows that this is coming from Asia, with other regions being net neutral; the North-South Chart 27b shows that this is coming from some slight up-trend in the Southern Hemisphere with the latest plot being an up-tick, and all the heavy lifting is in Equatorial countries, with strong, consistent growth since the start of June, up from 1.5 f/m to almost 2 f/m today – a one third increase in just less than seven weeks.
  • Managing Resurgence: Chart 15 points to things to worry about in Australia and Israel, with plenty of instability in the other jumpy-looking countries like USA, Sweden, and South Korea.

Update for Thursday 16 July 2020

  • Global Picture: The Global trend is still firmly upwards (Chart 27a). Triangulating East-West Chart 17 and North-South Chart 27b says that Asian Equatorial countries lead the pack upwards, with the rest balancing one another out, albeit with some significant variations.
  • Managing Resurgence: Chart 15 shows the bumpy ride continues and how little can be deduced from any single day’s reports.  The reminder for the home team in the UK is everything here remains very quiet and low – for now.
  • Late Initial Waves: Check them out. They give interesting windows into the lives of others.

Update for Wednesday 15 July 2020

  • Global Picture: The upward trend is continuing (Chart 27a). East-West, Asia  and The Americas are on the rise (Chart 17). North-South, both North and South Hemispheres are now climbing with some volatility, but the real story remains in Equatorial countries, which is pressing ever upwards (Chart 27b).
  • Managing Resurgence: Chart 15 is showing what life is like for countries experiencing resurgences – bumpy.  The UK is still quiet, and fatalities are now very low, with just 11 recorded nationally yesterday. The rest of us are awaiting our fate.
  • Late Initial Waves: As always, the individual country charts show the variety of challenges around the globe. Some of the spikes look shocking, but those in Spain, Sweden and France look like reporting anomalies, unlike Israel and Panama

Update for Tuesday 14 July 2020

  • Global Picture: The upward trend appears to be resuming, with a new global high recorded at 3.49 f/m (Chart 27a). East-West, Asia continues to plough northwards; The Americas have risen mildly of late, and Africa has recorded an up-tick (Chart 17). North-South, both North and South Hemispheres are slowly climbing, but the real story is Equatorial countries, which have been climbing relentlessly after the initial surge ended at the beginning of June, and have now reached above 1.8 f/m (Chart 27b).
  • Managing Resurgence: Chart 15 is showing what life is like for countries experiencing resurgences – bumpy.  The UK is still quiet, and fatalities are now very low, with just 11 recorded nationally yesterday. The only way is up from here
  • Late Initial Waves: As always, the individual country charts show the variety of challenges around the globe. Some of the spikes look shocking, but those in Spain, Sweden and France look like reporting anomalies, unlike Israel and Panama

At last there is the beginning of public discussion about a second wave of infection – to be seen in contrast to a resurgence of the existing wave. The virus is thriving outside the Northern Hemisphere and building a large reservoir ahead of the attractions of our colder climate in the Autumn, when humans are more susceptible, spend more time indoors, and will probably have consigned the pandemic to the past.

Update for Monday 13 July 2020

Observations: Three different stories are emerging: First, what’s happening at a global level; secondly, a number of countries that have peaked once and are now managing resurgence; third, a growing number of countries are facing a peak for the first time.

Global Picture: Uncertainty remains about the direction of fatalities:

  • Chart 9: The number of countries reporting cases has been rising in recent days, and the number reporting fatalities had just turned up.
  • Chart 17: East-West shows the Americas and Europe are flat, and Asia is volatile with a recent upward plot, while Africa is at a low level of reporting.
  • Chart 27b: Northern and Southern Hemispheres continue to rise slowly, and Equatorial countries appear to have a confirmed a steady upward climb.
  • Chart 27a: Globally, there has been a steady rise in fatalities per million over the last two weeks.

Managing Resurgence: Chart 15 shows Israel, USA, Australia, Portugal and South Korea, all of which are seeing significant rises from the lows that they managed to achieve after their initial peak. Israel is looking particularly concerning. Cases in USA have been reported lower, which may be significant. I’ve included UK for comparison, not because of a rise from previous lows.

Later Initial Waves: Mexico, Venezuela, South Africa, Indonesia, India, Panama, and many other countries are all experiencing the first wave of the pandemic. By far the best place to watch these unfold is in the individual country charts published in PDF for below.

Update for Sunday 12 July 2020

Data was published too late to be able to report at a sensible time yesterday.

Three different stories have emerged in recent days: What’s happening at a global level; Countries that have peaked once and are now managing resurgence; and countries that are facing a peak for the first time. I have restructured reporting here to reflect this and, I hope, make it easier to track these three different aspects of the pandemic.

Global Picture: There is uncertainty about the direction of fatalities:
> Chart 9: The number of countries reporting cases has risen slightly and the number reporting fatalities had fallen in recent days.
> Chart 17: East-West shows that Asia might be rising, with the rest at a plateau.
> Chart 27b: If anything, Northern and Southern Hemispheres are rising very slightly, and Equatorial countries might be forming a plateau, but it’s too early to say
> Chart 27a: Globally, there has been a steady rise in fatalities per million over the last two weeks.

Managing Resurgence: Chart 15 shows Israel, USA, Portugal and South Korea, all of which are seeing significant rises from the lows that they managed to achieve after their initial peak. Cases in Israel and USA are now more than double their level during the initial peak. I’ve included UK for comparison, not because of a rise from previous lows. That said, yesterday’s plot was upwards.

Late Initial Waves: Mexico, Venezuela, South Africa, Indonesia, India, Panama, and many other countries are all experiencing the first wave of the pandemic. There is a wide spread of circumstances, which makes direct comparison in single charts impractical. By far the best place to watch these unfold is in the individual country charts published in PDF for below.

Published on :Posted on