Day 618 – Infectiousness v Lethality

As we look at the latest figures from Gauteng, ground zero for SA’s Omicron-driven Fourth wave (again via @rid1tweets), we see this scary graph:

The hospital and death figures always lag a week or two behind, so really, all the we can say about Omicron at the moment is that it’s spreading like wildfire. Given that the conditions at the start of each of the three previous waves was pretty much the same, and that we should now have some protection from (some) previous infections and (a bit of) vaccination, we’d wouldn’t expect to see the black line rearing up like a pissed off Cape Cobra in the Overberg, rather it should be flatter, like a mole snake on the R27 West Coast Road.

It’s so steep because the virus is spreading very quickly, which suggests that it is very infectious. And that would fit with the (anecdotal) evidence I’m seeing in my friends and friends of friends in Cape Town. Every second person has suddenly got it: some not so bad, some bad, some vaccinated, some not (and some unknown), some previously infected, some not, some careful, most… you know. Mmm.

But it wasn’t here a week ago and now it’s everywhere.

Increased infectiousness = increased transmissibility.
And so the gradient of that black line is very bad news. Not least because of this:

Yep – a low percentage can still be a very big number if it’s a low percentage of a huge number.

Delta looked like a variant that you wanted to avoid because it has/had some nasty morbidity and mortality associated with it. Omicron looks like one to avoid because it has some really nasty transmissibility associated with it – and we don’t know about the morbidity or the mortality yet.

But either way, it’s not looking good.

Day 617 – SOFS – and tomorrow’s solar eclipse

Last day of school today for our two. A very successful haul at their prizegiving and some very proud parents.
Well done, guys.

Later this evening, we will gather as a family around the braai to perform the age old ceremonies of the burning the exam timetables and the switching off of the weekday alarm clocks. And having a braai.

Although tomorrow (which isn’t a weekday), I might well be up a little earlier to see the solar eclipse. Weather permitting – and it’s not looking great.

This will be a TOTAL ECLIPSE if you are in Antarctica (but I’m not there): in Cape Town, we will only see a little nibble taken out of the sun – 11.5% at 0819 to be exact:

As you can see, South and West is the place to be for the best effect. Realistically, you’re not going to notice the missing 1% in Walvis Bay, much less the hidden 0.1% if you’re in Bloemfontein.

IMPORTANT: Don’t look at the sun through anything like a camera or telescope or with your naked eye.
Bad things will happen. Damage will occur.

Rather use a pinhole projector – they’re really easy to make at home.

But, returning to my original point, it’s the first day of the holidays, so if I look outside and it’s cloudy?
Straight back to bed.

Day 616 – Music news

Everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we? Yes, that question was also music related. (IYKYK)

Lookie here! It are my #SpotifyWrapped2021 selection for the year. I listened to a lot more than this, because I do like my radio, but there was certainly a lot of Spotifying as well. And this is what I listened to:

Look at that mix of contemporary and er… “older” quality artists.

My top 5 songs came from 1985, 2020, 2021*, 2020, and 1981.
Which is all a bit confusing, because if you asked me what the best decade for music is or was, I’d obviously tell you that it was the 1990s.

Spotify put My Favourite 100 Songs Of The Year** into a playlist, which you’ll want to have a listen to:

Argh! The Spotify embed tool keeps giving me someone else's playlist. 
Who the hell are the Stray Kids? Save yourself - don't google them. 
Rather click the link above. Safety first. 

I might have lost my sense of taste for a few weeks thanks to that miserable virus, but my musical taste clearly never failed me.

Look at all my Spotify Playlists here



* you’ll find some New Dad there too
** I’m fairly sure that they’ll have done this for other users, as well

Day 615 – Haven’t we suffered enough? (part n)

Arriving in my inbox this morning:

But I do fully intend to miss a night with Justin Bieber, dear reader. I’ll be at a school prizegiving event when they go on sale, and I can guarantee that I won’t be shedding a single frustrated tear over not being amongst the first (or indeed, the last) to pay for access to his shows.

ON THE PLUS SIDE: “only vaccinated fans permitted” – excellent – more of this sort of thing, please; and in more personal news, at least the Bok van Blerk emails seem to have stopped (for the moment, at least).