An R(effective) Update

First time we’ve been above one for a while. The numbers have been rather odd lately – several days of reporting errors. It’s possible that this is a reflection of that, but the change in R for the 7-day average is harder to explain away.

Edit: today R(effective) for Germany went up again, and currently stands at 1.20. Not good news. This has, imo, been on the cards for a while. During the initial phase of the lockdown the decline in active cases (total number of infected minus recovered minus dead) was declining fairly linearly. You can see that clearly here:

(Been too busy / lazy to plot it out myself. The above is from the worldometers site, which is different dataset than RKI, but good enough for the purposes of this discussion.)

You can see that from around second week of May the incline on the graph changes, and starts to flatten out. This indicates that new infections are now being detected at the same rate as people are recovering. In recent days things have been close enough that small errors in reporting have seen the first upticks in active cases since shortly after the peak. Consequently it should come as no surprise that the R-effective number would be around 1. The total number (around 8500) is still declining, but much more slowly.

What really rankles is that had Germany stayed on it’s existing path for just a few more weeks the number of infections would have been down in the hundreds by now, certainly at a level where Track & Trace™ would have been a sustainable strategy.

It’s not obvious what happens now. There is talk of degree of transmission being much lower outside (makes sense just with dispersion) and that warmer weather also helps. Whether this is enough to keep a lid on things until autumn is unclear. All of the cluster cases seem to be churches, or illegal indoor gatherings, which suggests that if people dont congregate indoors… there is a little hope.

Guess we’ll see… fingers-crossed.

Wise words...

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