Weather confusion

I’m seeing a lot of social media posts from local (SA) people who have chosen to head to Blighty for a Christmas or New Year break. And in so many of them, the caption is something along the lines of:

A quick shot of us all before the rain started again…


It’s another grey day in London…

Oh. I’m sorry. What exactly were you expecting from the UK in the middle of winter? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain?

This is, after all, a country which you regularly ridicule for ‘not having a summer’, and yet you’re irritated by the fact that it does winter things in winter? Weirdos.

Can I suggest that if you were looking for something warmer and drier, you used your Rands to go somewhere… well… warmer and drier?

More sunshine, but probably less Buckingham Palace.

Honestly though, moaning about the inclement UK weather in early January just makes you look daft. Rather head over there when the weather is better.

I think they have that planned for 2pm on July 23rd this year. But do check nearer the time.

Interesting graph

From a famous mathematician.

Your chances of sharing a space with someone who is Covid positive, based on a given prevalence of Covid in the local population and a given number of people in the space:

So (using the arrow as an example), when 7% of the local population have the virus, if you share a space (supermarket, pub, restaurant, SA taxi) with about 20 people, there’s a 50% chance that at least one of them will be Covid positive.

For those that are interested in the maths, I’ve calculated the probability of at least one person in the room having Covid as 1-(1-p/200)^N Where p is the population prevalence as a percentage and N is the number of other people in the space.

In the UK at the moment, prevalence is somewhere around 4%: 1 in 25 people are positive. And that means that if you are packed tightly in any given space together with any more than about 90 people, there will be at least one of you who is positive…

Oh. Oh dear.

And yet there are still no precautions of any sort being put in place. Quite bizarre

Of course there are a few terms and conditions to Kit’s graph.
Some people might isolate if they are Covid positive. Some people might be Covid positive but asymptomatic. Some people might not have bothered getting tested, so they won’t know if they’re positive or not. All of these might affect the assumed prevalence.

And then, of course, just because you share a space with someone who is Covid positive doesn’t mean you’ll get infected (although, see headline above). That will depend on the size of the space (and therefore your proximity), the amount of time you and they spend in the space, the ventilation in the space and – of course – whether either (or both) of you is wearing a mask.

But it’s a super useful tool for just showing how likely any of us is to be sitting next door to someone who is positive. Lovely stats. Only mildly scary.

UK trip

Great news. I was going to have a quick nap this afternoon, but instead, I started planning a UK trip later this month.

The not so good bit? It’s not my UK trip.

Mrs 6000 is heading overseas to Türkiye (yes, Türkiye) for work purposes and to get that close to Blighty from our little outpost down in the bottom corner of Africa and not get over there for a few days seemed genuinely silly.

But finding train tickets and planning family visits does at least mean I could stay awake and live vicariously through her, this afternoon.

And save the insane jealousy for when her flight takes off in a couple of weeks time.

Day 629, part 2 – Red list lifted

I’m still mildly bemused by the exceptionalism shown to the UK regarding the recent travel red list. (I mean, I’m not really, we know that everyone loves to hate the Brits, but still…)

Sure, you can say that it was unscientific, unjustified or whatever (as if those are the only arguments that count here), but no-one seems to be chastising Chile or Italy or Oman or Singapore or the UAE or Panama or Uzbekistan or Canada or (weirdly) Rwanda (I know, right?) for stopping incoming Saffas and visitors to SA from… well… coming in.

And now that the UK (at the time of writing) has opened up again, while many of the the other countries (and there are almost 70 of them!) are still banning travel from SA, there still seems to be this latent whining at the UK, rather than any outrage at or pressure on other countries to follow their lead.


We now know a lot more about Omicron – and while the news (tentatively) seems to be pretty good – when the UK and everyone else added SA to their red list, no-one had any idea how nasty or otherwise it might be (it didn’t even have a name back then!), and the UK had detected no cases there. What I wrote a couple of weeks ago still stands:

That “more information” did become available, and the UK has acted timeously on it. Of course I’m sorry that SA lost out on tourism business for three weeks. I know it’s crap. The last 2 years have been crap for all of us. Omicron was out of anyone’s control (and it’s still wildly out of everyone’s control!), and there will be other variants in the future which will probably result in new restrictions and limiting travel. It’s not anyone’s fault.

I know how much the tourist industry needs a good season right now, but as far as I’m aware, the UK (or anywhere else for that matter) has no obligation to send a quota number of tourists here each year. And I’m not a business person, but to me, seemingly relying on a single nation to prop up your tourist industry seems like a worryingly risky approach.

If this was really just about the tourist thing and the stigma of being on a red list, then it does seem as if local social media and news sites should move on now from their… er… “unjustified, unscientific and irrational” stance, and start pressurising the likes of Aruba, Gabon and Kuwait (oh, and “Germany, the US, France and the Netherlands”, obviously) to allow travellers from SA back into their countries rather than pointlessly continuing to chastise the UK.

Really weird that that’s not happening.