COVID Death Rate

Hard to get a handle on the coronovirus issue. The Australian Dept. of Health are claiming a death rate of 3.4%, but seem to be miscalculating it.

They are calculating the number of deaths as a proportion of the number of infections, which is incorrect. When when you contract a deadly disease there are two possible outcomes: you either get better or you die. While you are still sick you are ‘unknown’.

Logically then, the correct calculation is the number of deaths as a proportion of infections which are resolved.

Using the correct calculation shows that it’s killing approx. 7.75% of people infected, though that does seem to be coming down slowly.

Some more stats are available here


Well, the cold that I mentioned previously did in fact materialise and knocked me out of action for over a week, just as I was getting back into regular exercise. It also meant that I missed out on doing my first TT at the beginning of October - very annoying!

After two whole weeks without any exercise, I started cycling a little last week, and this week is my first back into it properly. I had a bike ride and a run yesterday, and will head off to the gym at lunchtime today.


  • Oct-4: R 00:00 - B 00:00 - W 00:00
  • Oct-11: R 00:00 - B 00:00 - W 00:00
  • Oct-18: R 00:00 - B 1:35:19 - W 30:00

Weight: down 0.6kg

Organ Donation

The Guardian has a really interesting article on organ donation which interviews everyone involved in the donor trail, from the mother who chose to donate her son’s organs, to the recipient, the transplant surgeon and on up to the top transplant person in the Department of Health.

It’s an enlightening read, revealing all sides of the debate on increasing the availability of organs for transplant, which is currently going on in the UK. The government is in favour of an opt-out system where you are assumed by default to be an organ donor unless you specifically choose not to be, though that has the potential to be extremely hard on grieving family members.

A preferable system, which gets a mention in the article, is the one employed here in Australia. When you apply for, or renew, a driving licence, you are given the option of ticking a box assenting to the donation of your organs. You’re also given the option of choosing to only donate certain organs.

Ticking this box results in your licence stating that you are an organ donor, and is legally binding in the event of your death, overriding the wishes of your family. It seems a far more sensible solution as the wishes of the deceased are upheld, which is infinitely preferable than having a bureaucratic decision foist upon a grieving family.

I ticked the box. Might as well, I certainly won’t be needing my organs after death.


I started smoking when I was 21 - why? I don’t know. I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, but the actual reasons, if indeed there were any, are lost to me. After a couple of years I decided I’d give up after 10 years. Research seemed to suggest that ten years wasn’t long enough to do serious damage, and there was plenty of time for your lungs to recover.

31 came and went, and while I tried to give up, it never stuck and I was still smoking. Three years ago I tried again, and this time it worked - more or less. I went from smoking about 15/day to smoking none, except when I was around other smokers, when I’d usually cave in and have one or two.

I’d go weeks without having a smoke, and wouldn’t miss them at all, then I’d be out at a party and would end up having a couple and be back to square one. I became that parasite smoker - that friend who won’t buy his own smokes lest he be tempted to smoke them all, yet still wants a few of yours. To counteract this I’d buy packets for my regular ‘dealers’, but I really didn’t want to smoke at all.

Two of my friends, Mike and Nick, went to see a hypnotist to help them quit smoking, with pretty good results. Both went from a pack a day to rarely smoking, so I figured it should be possible for me to go from ‘rarely smoking’ to ‘never smoking’ and resolved to give it a go.

Yesterday was the day. I showed up at his office and was given a brief explanation of how hypnosis works, and how I couldn’t be made to do anything against my will, thereby alleviating my worries that in the future I’d suddenly start squawking like a chicken in response to certain stimuli. All it boils down to is becoming deeply relaxed and having the hypnotist suggest anti-smoking messages to you. The best thing is you don’t even have to pay attention, in fact it’s better if you don’t, as your sub-conscious still takes it all in.

So, $170 later I was out the door, feeling no different and wondering if it would work. I’m happy to report now that all seems well. I went to a barbie with friends last night, have a few beers and wasn’t tempted to have a smoke at all, despite a few smokers standing around me. Previously I would definitely have caved and had one or two, whereas last night I didn’t even have to consciously choose not to smoke - I just never go the “I’d love a smoke” thought.

However, one night does not a non-smoker make, but it’s a promising start. :-)