We’re publishing an original piece today which is the third part in a series called ‘The Flu Hypothesis’. (You can read Part I here and Part II here.) The author, an academic economist, believes that the pattern of the Covid epidemic in each country – or region – resembles the trajectory of a seasonal flu epidemic, in some cases quite aggressive, in others quite mild. In Part III, he considers the possibility that the UK and Germany are experiencing different, flu-like epidemics and wonders whether that explains their different rates of infection.
By the end of February, I had concluded that Britain’s COVID-19 season in 2020-21 had followed an aggressive path. It had accelerated quickly and burned out early. But given that the probabilities were what they were, if the flu hypothesis had anything to it, we should have expected some other countries to have gradual rather than aggressive seasons.
This, I believe, is precisely what we are now seeing in Europe. This week Angela Merkel announced that Germany was having a “new pandemic“. Her language was nothing short of hysterical. She said that a vicious new variant had arrived that was more contagious and more deadly. Looking at the data I cannot see it. It seems more likely that Merkel is trying to deflect blame. Europe’s rollout of the vaccine has made their politicians look incompetent relative to British politicians who were until recently portrayed as bungling due to their embrace of Brexit.
Worth reading in full.
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