Since the beginning of December 2022 the press reports on COVID-measures and their sustained enforcement practices leading to troubles in the PRC. As in the Netherlands we seem to have forgotten about COVID and its measures, I decided to unearth an old program and make a few plots, as the WHO still reports daily on infections and deaths. Here they are for the US, the Netherlands and the PRC respectively (as it are .svg plots they can be usefully zoomed in with your browser).
It is interesting. On the left the figures have a log10 scale. On the right the deaths are simply counts per day and the infections have been linearly scaled so that the maxima of infections and deaths per day have the same height.
The total numbers of deaths per million are markedly different: US 3.236, NL 1.338 and CN 21. The numerical tendencies over the first three years of the pandemic are different too. Two important events that occurred more or less concurrently around January 2022 are that (1) effective vaccines became available and (2) a new, highly contagious mutation of the virus (o-mikron) surfaced. In the US and the Netherlands vaccination programs have resulted in the numbers peaking around February ’22 and sort of stabilizing at a low level in the months following. CN numbers show a different profile. During February and March the first wave peaked and the two years that followed showed the numbers to be kept very low and under control, much more so than in the USA and NL. However, in March ’22 the o-mikron variant of the virus hit CN and proved more difficult to control. As a result the COVID profiles in the US and NL stabilized towards a low average of deaths (infection numbers remained very high, but the virus program protected sufficiently and prevented a tsunami of hospitalizations to occur), while the profile of CN became unstable after March ’22. The zero-COVID approach that had been so successful proved to require additional vaccination programs that proved difficult to realize in CN, especially where the (vulnerable) elderly in rural areas had to be included.