When Nicola Sturgeon gave her latest update to Holyrood the other day – the one that all but confirms that our fans will be back in the grounds soon – there was one important bit of information missing from the statement.
Earlier in the week, I wrote about how one of the critical numbers to watch for was the one relating to “incidental infections” amongst hospital numbers. These are the people currently in hospital who have tested positive for the virus but who aren’t in hospital because of the virus.
They are those who either caught it on the wards or who were discovered to have it in routine testing.
They were not admitted because of it. They were admitted having it.
The reason these numbers are important is obvious, and whilst the hospitals are forced, by dint of their positive test results, to isolate them in their own wards, there is less pressure on the system, as a consequence of this variant, than was apparent from the numbers.
The final justification for restricting our ability to watch Celtic play live is now gone.
Because a handful of health boards in Scotland have published their data and it correlates with what’s already on the record from England. According to the stats, more than 40% of those in hospital with the virus are indeed incidental cases.
It’s an amazing statistic, and it shows just how high the prevalence of this virus is within our society right now. I said one of the things that might offer a clue as to the numbers in hospitals is the percentage of positive tests being returned; yesterday that number was still sitting at a whopping 26%, and that’s most likely an underestimate.
So it’s everywhere.
Which explains such a high number of incidental cases popping up on the wards.
But far from being bad news, it’s actually a sign that we’re heading for better times when this wave passes over us, and it looks as if it’ll do so without significant harm.
I am not minimising death and suffering here; regular readers will know that.
What I’m doing is saying that we’re not doing ourselves any good shutting ourselves away from Omicron; this one is going to get all of us, but for the most part if you’re vaccinated you’ve got nothing big to worry about.
This isn’t putting large numbers of people in hospital, far less killing large numbers of people.
It’s not even clear how many Omicron deaths – as opposed to other variants – we’ve actually had, and the government isn’t giving that away. But I think it’s pretty low.
Our fans will be back in time for the Hibs game; I no longer have the least doubt about it as any remaining justification for taking a contrary position has now completely fallen away.
The Scottish Government will bow to the inevitable, because it’s the right thing to do.