On Covid-19, And Two Discrepancies

I am not a scientist. But I have a good understanding of science, and of statistics. There are two things about this virus I fail to understand. If anyone with a better knowledge, any doctor or a virologist, can put me straight and explain my lack of understanding, please feel free.

This is also not an attempt to spead stupid Internet conspiracy theories. All of this comes from my own understanding, not from someone wearing a tinfoil hat in Peoria. (No disrespect to the inhabitants of same.)

One, this virus kills twice as many men as women. Almost precisely, based on the death rates as far as I can see them and irrespective of age.

We are told this has to do with:

A: Women having two XX chronosomes are more robust, on an immunological level, than men with XY chronosomes. More options for protection.

B: Men’s lifestyle choices, smoking, drink…

All this plays well with the prevailing narrative, women the stronger sex,  men are stupid. Except it makes no sense because female survival rates from other infections, or debilitating conditions like leukaemia after chemotherapy, are not significantly better than men’s. If the above were true, they would be. Like 67/33 per cent.

I am aware of no other pathogen in history that affects the sexes so disproportionately. And I have looked.

Two, it seems the quantum of viral material that sufferers come into contact with affects their chances of survival. Again this seems unprecedented; you get a virus, like a cold, you get it. Doesn’t matter how much viral material there is involved.

This is why front line medical workers are being affected so badly. It is not about re-infection, though this is another uncertain area. It is the amount of virus you are exposed to from the off that affects your chances of survival.

Again, I know of no pathogen for which this holds true.

Correct me of I am wrong. The implications are, to say the least, disturbing.


On Johnson, And The Virus

We knew he was lazy. We knew he was dishonest. Many of us regard Johnson as the worst Prime Minister we have ever had. Yet The Sunday Times’ revelations today, that he failed to attend crucial meetiungs and seemed more concerned about his leisure time than the worst crisis facing the country he thought he was privileged by birth to rule, are still shocking.

Put that aside. The Government he leads has, as I see it, three main problems.

One: Having lied to us for three to four years and having said experts have nothing to contribute to any debate, Johnson and the selection of non-entities he has appointed for their loyalty to the Brexit cause rather than any innate ability are now saying, we are only following the advice of the experts. Don’t blame us. There is inevitably a question over the credibility of the advice we are being given. By anyone.

Two. It is becoming clear that we are not all in it together. The poor, the marginalised, the young, the low paid workers, are all suffering the worst effects of the crisis. As the well-off are seen to be driving off in their SUVs to their second homes, as Government ministers flout the basic rules they insist we ordinary people obey, there is going to be a mounting problem with social cohesion and obedience to those rules. It is pretty clear, from the briefings given the press on the exit from lockdown, that someone at the heart of government has realised this. This cannot go on much longer.

Three. There is the difficulty of handling any good news, on the spread of infection, vaccines, whatever. The balance is between spreading public despondency and losing that support for lockdown and the necessary measures in place and telling people, we’ve solved it. Remember that promise that it will all be over in 12 weeks? If people perceive the crisis is coming to an end, they will start to socialise again and the infection rate will pick up.

In all this, it would be a great help if we had a Government we could all believe in, respect and get behind. Instead we have one led by Boris Johnson.