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(H)arms race

I'm not a fan of the hyperbolic use of military metaphors in civilian life.  However, in rare cases they do seem appropriate, and the ongoing SAR-Cov-2 pandemic provides an example.  After all, describing a worker as "front-line" seems justified when the occupation carries a materially increased risk of infection and death (SAGE, 2021).

Written by: Stephen RichardsTags: Filter information matrix by tag: coronavirus

No Thanks for the Memory

That there is "no substitute for experience" is a truism, and one that is very tempting to apply wholesale to human immunity. Indeed, we previously touched upon an particular feature of the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak, the so-called "W-shaped" mortality impact resulting in disproportionate fatalities amongst younger adults in the 20-40 range.

Written by: Gavin RitchieTags: Filter information matrix by tag: coronavirus, Filter information matrix by tag: influenza, Filter information matrix by tag: pandemic, Filter information matrix by tag: immunosenescence

Modelling mortality shocks

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has so far produced two mortality shocks in the UK and many other countries.  Unsurprisingly, the extra mortality is also visible in annuity portfolios.  Such mortality spikes create a challenge for actuaries — ho

Written by: Stephen RichardsTags: Filter information matrix by tag: coronavirus, Filter information matrix by tag: mortality shocks, Filter information matrix by tag: season

Buy versus build

If you are in the business of pricing and managing longevity risk, you need software to help you perform your analysis. You have two choices:

Written by: Stephen RichardsTags: Filter information matrix by tag: software

EDS - Enhanced Dedicated Servers

A large part of our service has traditionally revolved around Dedicated Servers — parallelised instances of our applications running on multi-threaded platforms for a single license holder (in contrast our shared servers offer single-thread performance in a multi-tenant way to multiple license holders, a model that is suitable for only the least demanding use-cases).

Written by: Gavin RitchieTags: Filter information matrix by tag: technology

A Problem of Excess

Epidemics and pandemics are, by definition, fast-moving and difficult to track. These are the diseases that we couldn't keep a lid on, outbreaks that breached our initial efforts at control. It follows then, that ongoing reporting of such diseases won't be entirely accurate, subject to various limitations imposed by testing and recording protocols. This reality is misused by some who believe that reported impacts are exaggerated and societal responses unjustified, but such a belief runs counter to the evidence.

Written by: Gavin RitchieTags: Filter information matrix by tag: coronavirus, Filter information matrix by tag: mortality, Filter information matrix by tag: pandemic

Deadly parallels

Ever since the unhappy arrival of the SARS-COV-2 virus, COVID-19 and influenza have been compared for a multiplicity of reasons.
Written by: Gavin RitchieTags: Filter information matrix by tag: coronavirus, Filter information matrix by tag: influenza, Filter information matrix by tag: pandemic

A pandemic retrospective

The former UK prime minister Harold Wilson famously said that "a week is along time in politics". One wonders what he would have made of the coronavirus pandemic.
Written by: Stephen RichardsTags: Filter information matrix by tag: coronavirus, Filter information matrix by tag: influenza

Orders of magnitude

At the beginning of April, the MHRA published an analysis of vaccine safety reports in the UK and concluded that despite now finding increased evidence of rare blood clots following administration of AZD1222 from AstraZeneca (consistent with previous reports from Europe) the benefits of vaccination still outweigh the risks.
Written by: Gavin RitchieTags: Filter information matrix by tag: coronavirus, Filter information matrix by tag: vaccination

An abundance of clots?

As David Spiegelhalter (2021) points out, blood clots happen all the time: "at least 100 every week" in a population of 5 million.
Written by: Stephen RichardsTags: Filter information matrix by tag: coronavirus, Filter information matrix by tag: vaccination