@gomez "All models are wrong, some are useful" (George Box)

Everyone thought Y2K was a non-issue because the world didn't end, but the truth was hundreds of thousands of programmers fixing everything because of the forewarning.

We want, need people to believe the models were wrong. The best outcome is a bunch of people saying pffft, nowhere near that many people died. Because we acted on the models.

@jaz I sent you a really nicely crafted reply to this but as my client didn't retain all me settings on its last upgrade it just threw it away for having over 500 characters.

Please just imagine that I sent some coherent, concise and profound.

I thank you!

@jaz @gomez oh yes....I remember all the work....the testing...

@gomez For UK, the 20,000 figure is one I predicted a week or so ago. It depends on the lockdown and social distancing. If we really do it properly, we might come in under that. We can predict that with stats. The upper figure of 500,000 depends on a lot of things, some of which we don't really know about the disease. For example, mortality - figures vary between 0.5% and 2%. It also would depend on our health service's ability to cope with the peaks (hence the "flatten the curve" campaign)

@gomez And we still don't know how effective our lockdown will be. We want our transmission rate (R, as it's called) to be less than 1. i.e. for each infected person, they pass it on to less than one other person. If we can get it near zero, we stop the spread quickly. If our lockdown is weak (people still going on holiday to rural Wales, people still using public transport, the tube etc), we might have an R closer to 1. In that case, we're going to need a longer lockdown to get it under control

@gomez And more people will die. Minimising the R of the lockdown is crucial. And I don't think we're taking it quite seriously enough.

Next comes the question of what to do after we have it under control. Firstly, it's vital we stay in lockdown until there are very few cases out there in the wild, which can cause a further flare-up. My 20,000 estimate only covers to this point.

@gomez Once we have arrived at that point, we can then lift some restrictions. But we MUST have testing ready, in place, for all suspected cases that arise from that point. And not just for those cases, but for all around them. Test, trace, test contacts, isolate. This must be strict, or we will be heading to another lockdown.
International travel? Only to countries with similar measures, or for those who have immunity.

@gomez Large gatherings? Probably not - say, 1000 max?

We will need to continue doing this until a vaccine is available. This could be anywhere between 6 months and 18 months, though I suspect it will be sooner rather than later (never before has a vaccine been worth so much money to whoever develops it first).

That's my manifesto anyway. I wonder if the politicians are listening?

@gomez Other thoughts: I suspect the mortality rate is towards the low end of estimates ~0.5%. This sounds like good news, but actually it presents problems. Why are many reporting higher? Because of unreported cases (probably) - asymptomatic, or very slight symptoms (see eg Elin Jones' statement). Such people will spread, and be unaware. So taking them out of circulation requires mass testing - this may be beyond us.

@gomez But it also would mean that the "Herd Immunity" that was so widely ridiculed is not quite so crazy (still crazy, but less so) in that, assuming 60% of population required to become infected, could mean "only" 200,000 deaths ion the UK - or maybe fewer if we managed to keep the most vulnerable safe. But I don't think our society would accept 100,000 deaths (the minimum I could imagine in such a scenario) as being a price worth paying.

@gomez And with all that said, there are still many unknowns.
We know that RNA viruses can mutate quite quickly. We don't know if all the strains of Covid19 that exist right now have the same virility. We don't know how long a vaccine will take. We don't know if someone might be able to come up with an effective drug, either to alleviate symptoms (so increase survival) or an anti-viral. Either could be a game changer, and they are being worked on.

@gomez I'm afraid I went off track a bit, but hopefully that sort of answers your question!

@AngharadHafod yes, comprehensively. I need to read it again when I'm not so tired before making any comments, and I'm not even sure I need to comment. Thanks.

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