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Why are we not completely back to “normal”? – COVID in China, and Norovirus in Scotland

TL&DR: My China COVID article is out in The Conversation, and I am quoted on Norovirus in The Times. COVID numbers are down, but expect a new wave starting soon.

Post-pandemic, RSV, flu, Strep A, and even Norovirus are back to their “normal” seasonal pattern, although numbers remain higher than pre-pandemic.


My article on China’s COVID outbreak and herd immunity was published on Monday and generated a lot of comments. It was a rather difficult piece to write but I am happy to with the end results.

For the sake of people in China, I hope the prediction of another massive wave in March/April is wrong, but there is a huge gap between the current immunity levels and those required for herd immunity.


More recently, I was asked to comment on the increased risk of Norovirus, following a report from Public Health Scotland. A screenshot from The Times article (behind the pay wall):


As I told Helen Puttick, the infectious diseases that do show a regular seasonal pattern – including Norovirus – are back to their “normal” behaviour, following a suppression during the lockdown and a period of abnormal behaviour when the restrictions were removed.

However, the number of cases is often higher this winter – RSV and Strep A hospitalisations are up, as are reported Norovirus cases. Why?


A detailed update on the major infectious diseases is in a separate post.

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