COVID-19 | a national second wave or a regional surge?
Read Matthew Plail's latest blog
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the latest weekly release of data shows total deaths have dipped below the equivalent week in 2019. COVID-19 deaths continue to be reported but represent only a small proportion of the overall total. There is no suggestion of an upward trend that might cause a wave, but if we look at the regional data then this picture varies significantly.
Leicester is in lockdown because of a regional spike and we can expect further regional spikes and lockdowns. This may be effective at reducing the chance of a large second wave but may imply COVID-19 will remain with us for some time albeit at lower levels; something statisticians call a ‘long tail’.
The XPS COVID-19 Tracker is predicting such a pattern for the next two statistical releases (see the grey bars). The grey shaded area represents the 2019 comparator.
COVID-19 is likely to remain prevalent until an effective vaccine is available. It is therefore crucial to understand pension scheme members’ vulnerability to the virus, especially if there is a spike in infections where your members live. This will inform decisions such as whether to use services like mortality screening or model various economic outcomes which could impact mortality rates.