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Freedom Day and a Tentative Prediction

Today is Monday, July 19, 2021, Freedom Day in the UK. The COVID measures are gone. This led to massive physical fraternization in the streets, parks and clubs. Frenzied hustling crowds that body to body showed and screamed quite stupid texts. I remember that I once attended a Christmas Eve service in Ermelo, the apotheosis of which the pastor formulated in a prayer “Lord make us like sheep”. On Freedom Day, that request seemed answered in the UK. Let me look at the numbers.

Fig. 1 A year COVID in the UK

In August 2020, the pandemic (after the first wave) was still under control. In September, the number of infections started to rise again. The growth in the number of deaths followed a little later. The growth in the daily number of infections stagnated in mid-October. The growth in the number of deaths stagnated in mid-November. The growth in the number of infections started again in mid-December. The growth in the number of deaths did start again in the beginning of January. The infections reach their peak in the second week of January 2021, the peak of the number of daily deaths is around mid-February. It seems that the dynamics in the daily number of deaths follow the dynamics in the daily number of infections with a delay of one month.

But after April 30, 2021, the picture seems to change. This could be due to the vaccination rate in the UK. Maybe it has an effect. Perhaps it is useful to look more closely at the latter period. I do that in Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 The last 3 months of COVID in the UK

I see the infections increasing as of May 20 and the deaths as of June 23. An accelerated increase in infections will start on June 15, followed by an increase in deaths on July 15.

If all this is correct, then the 70 deaths per day of July 15 are the result of the 7,000 infections of June 15. If that is correct, then I expect 540 COVID deaths in the UK on August 18, as the result of the 54,000 infections of July 18.

I don’t think this is about the moral question of whether the UK is willing to pay for Freedom Day liberties on August 18 with 540 deaths. I do think that the main point is a human intellectual deficit when it comes to exponential growth. Looking at Fig. 2, the numbers of daily infections double approximately every 10 days. This also applies to the numbers of deaths. And that means (if all of this is true) that with no-policy-change COVID death rates will be 1080 on August 28, 2160 on October 7 and 4320 on October 17. This is more than three times the maximum of + Februari 14, 2021.

I understand those numbers look completely insane at first glance. But I think good governance should have a scenario in hand and be ready to discuss it. That could help curb the influence of the childish nonsense that is currently circulating through the media.