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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.

Observations
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.

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