Níl tuile dá mhéad nach dtránn

The title of this post is an old Irish saying that in English means “There’s no flood so high that it won’t recede”. The relentless increase in Covid-19 cases over the last few days is starting to make me wonder whether it is true.

Even with 7-day averaging and a logarithmic y-axis the rise looks very steep. On a linear y-axis the new cases look like this:

It’s even more dramatic without the 7-day smoothing:

The numbers for deaths on a linear scale look like this:

After doing extraordinarily well through the summer, things have gone very badly wrong. The standard measure using for comparing countries is the 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population. On that measure Ireland is now on 674.4, with some counties over 1000 (Limerick, Louth and Monaghan). That’s not quite as bad as the latest figures for London, but getting there.

By staying in and reducing the number of contacts now we can influence what happens in a few weeks, but we know the results of Christmas and New Year infections haven’t fully filtered through into cases numbers yet, let alone deaths. It’s like standing on a beach watching an enormous wave coming at you and knowing you can’t do anything to get out of the way.

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