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Liverpudlian: the UK's Quasi-Secret Plan to Infect the Young
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Tweets by a professor of psychology at the U. of Liverpool:

Professor Ian Donald
@iandonald_psych

1. The govt strategy on #Coronavirus is more refined than those used in other countries and potentially very effective. But it is also riskier and based on a number of assumptions. They need to be correct, and the measures they introduce need to work when they are supposed to.
10:32 AM · Mar 13, 2020·Twitter Web App

2. This all assumes I’m correct in what I think the govt are doing and why. I could be wrong – and wouldn’t be surprised. But it looks to me like. . .

I.e., he’s just theorizing.

3. A UK starting assumption is that a high number of the population will inevitably get infected whatever is done – up to 80%. As you can’t stop it, so it is best to manage it.

There are limited health resources so the aim is to manage the flow of the seriously ill to these.

4. The Italian model the aims to stop infection. The UKs wants infection BUT of particular categories of people. The aim of the UK is to have as many lower risk people infected as possible. Immune people cannot infect others; the more there are the lower the risk of infection

5. That’s herd immunity.
Based on this idea, at the moment the govt wants people to get infected, up until hospitals begin to reach capacity. At that they want to reduce, but not stop infection rate. Ideally they balance it so the numbers entering hospital = the number leaving.

6. That balance is the big risk.

All the time people are being treated, other mildly ill people are recovering and the population grows a higher percent of immune people who can’t infect. They can also return to work and keep things going normally – and go to the pubs.

7.The risk is being able to accurately manage infection flow relative to health case resources. Data on infection rates needs to be accurate, the measures they introduce need to work and at the time they want them to and to the degree they want, or the system is overwhelmed.

Wouldn’t it be easier to slam the brakes on early rather than late?

8. Schools: Kids generally won’t get very ill, so the govt can use them as a tool to infect others when you want to increase infection. When you need to slow infection, that tap can be turned off – at that point they close the schools. Politically risky for them to say this.

9. The same for large scale events – stop them when you want to slow infection rates; turn another tap off. This means schools etc are closed for a shorter period and disruption generally is therefore for a shorter period, AND with a growing immune population. This is sustainable

10. After a while most of the population is immune, the seriously ill have all received treatment and the country is resistant. The more vulnerable are then less at risk. This is the end state the govt is aiming for and could achieve.

11. BUT a key issue during this process is protection of those for whom the virus is fatal. It’s not clear the full measures there are to protect those people. It assumes they can measure infection, that their behavioural expectations are met – people do what they think they will

12. The Italian (and others) strategy is to stop as much infection as possible – or all infection. This is appealing, but then what? The restrictions are not sustainable for months. So the will need to be relaxed. But that will lead to reemergence of infections.

13. Then rates will then start to climb again. So they will have to reintroduce the restrictions each time infection rates rise. That is not a sustainable model and takes much longer to achieve the goal of a largely immune population with low risk of infection of the vulnerable

14. As the government tries to achieve equilibrium between hospitalisations and infections, more interventions will appear. It’s perhaps why there are at the moment few public information films on staying at home. They are treading a tight path, but possibly a sensible one.

15. This is probably the best strategy, but they should explain it more clearly. It relies on a lot of assumptions, so it would be good to know what they are – especially behavioural. Most encouraging, it’s way too clever for #BorisJohnson to have had any role in developing.

A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.

My guess is that the UK has a plan based on some hypothetical modeling they did around 2011 of a Disease X epidemic. My question is whether they’ve updated their model based on actual COVID-19 numbers (which only started to become abundant a week ago with that Wuhan preprint) and gotten the same policy recommendations as before? If they’ve redone all their hard work and it came out that, through an amazing coincidence, the plan they had sitting in file cabinets for many years turned out to be exactly optimal for this new disease, well, good for them?

Or are they just locked into the policies recommended by their old model of hypothetical Disease X because it would be simpler if they just continued to assume that reality would conform to their plan?

 
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  1. A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.

    A related question is how long immunity lasts. If only, say, two months, then bad strategy …

    (Another flaw in the argument is the tendency of young people to have older parents who get visited from time to time for laundry and supper, and “older” = “more vulnerable.”)

    … unless all young people can stow away safely on Pied Piper Mountain for the duration.

    Otherwise, it’s a grand plan.

  2. A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.

    Unlikely. This is a flu-like illness. If you recover from the flu it leaves you feeling kind of weak for a few weeks but there are really no long term effects as long as you survive the initial illness.

    • Replies: @anonguy
    This is not a flu like virus, it is entirely different. Novel disease makes people use imperfect templates and analogies.

    it is a disease that has only been known for a few months and much is unknown.

    It is irresponsible to be saying that it is unlikely to have long term effects.

    There is no basis for making such claims atm.

    Steve, you should start filtering stuff like this. People are going to believe it and die because of this type of misinformation.

    It is unbelievable how far behind this blog and commenters have been on this virus issue the past two months. You guys are still way behind.
    , @Polynikes
    Early reports are there’s some permanent damage to older people who recover. But the whole strategy is to miss them anyways.
    , @snorlax
    Many, many viruses cause flu-like illness but have very serious long-term effects. For example, HIV infection initially presents as flu-like illness, which the patient seemingly recovers from within weeks. We don't know if SARS-CoV-2 infection has serious long-term effects until we're able to study it long-term.
    , @Jon Halpenny
    Covid is not a flu-type virus.

    It is more highly infectious than flu and also far more lethal. That is why Covid is causing such alarm.
    , @danand

    “Unlikely. This is a flu-like illness. If you recover from the flu it leaves you feeling kind of weak for a weeks but there are really no long term effects as long as you survive the initial illness.”
     
    Jack, I hope for the England’s victim’s sakes you are right.

    I also hope Trump follows thru with banning travelers from England; as he mentioned he was looking into doing during his remarks Friday afternoon.

    “Some patients who have recovered from the coronavirus have been left with a reduced lung capacity – and left gasping for air when walking briskly, according to a report.

    The Hong Kong Hospital Authority announced the findings after studying the first wave of patients who had fully recovered from COVID-19, the South China Morning Post reported.

    Dr. Owen Tsang Tak-yin, medical director of the authority’s Infectious Disease Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung, said that of about a dozen discharged patients examined, two or three were unable to function as they had previously.

    “They gasp if they walk a bit more quickly,” Tsang told reporters Thursday, according to the news outlet. “Some patients might have around a drop of 20 to 30 percent in lung function [after recovery].”

    Lung scans of nine infected patients at the hospital suggested they had suffered organ damage.

    But Tsang said it had yet to be determined whether they would develop pulmonary fibrosis, a condition in which lung tissue hardened and the organ could not function correctly.”
     
    , @ATBOTL
    This is not a flu like illness at all. It is from a totally unrelated branch of the virus world. Initial HIV infection often causes "flu like symptoms." Many, many virus have broadly similar symptoms while being unrelated and significantly different. This is a kind of SARS and it has a number of important differences from flu. It seems to linger longer than flus typically do for one thing. Much is unknown, but there are concerns about lingering infections, long term damage and possible reinfection. It also has a death rate much higher than most flu strains.

    Of course, we would expect Jack D to be one of the people to downplay this based on his ideological orientation as a neocon. Neocon media and neocon leaning boomer type conservatives are the people downplaying this. "It's a DemonRAT hoax against our great President!"
  3. A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.

    Another big question is whether or not herd immunity develops as they theorize it will. There’s no vaccine, and a possibility of different strains and reinfections, right?

    • Replies: @BB753
    Any plan based on any number of wrong or untested assumptions is likely to fail. BTW, yesterday Merkel announced that the German government has basically the same plan as the UK's. What can possibly go wrong?
  4. >Schools: Kids generally won’t get very ill, so the govt can use them as a tool to infect others when you want to increase infection.<

    I thought eugenics was a "bad thing" . Speaking about your fellow citizens as a "herd" suggests that the "ruining class" is still very interested in eugenics but in a "wink wink say no more" way.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    This is not eugenics. And "herd" is a technical term. It is also the correct attitude.

    Stop being silly.
  5. Liverpudlian kids in 1985. I expect there’s more diversity now.

    • Thanks: Mr McKenna
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    Liverpudlian kids in 1985. I expect there’s more diversity now.
     
    There was more diversity when I lived there in the 60's.
    , @Mishima Zaibatsu
    It still looked like that in the 1990s, except for in tiny parts of the city. The UK census for 2011 showed only about 5 percent of the population there was non-white. In just a few years this has skyrocketed, largely from Arab “refugees”.
    , @MBlanc46
    Madame and I were in Liverpool in 2017. It was still pretty damned white. Great place to visit.
  6. It’s really hard to believe that this is the same people who created the British Empire. Sad!

  7. @Jack D

    A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.
     
    Unlikely. This is a flu-like illness. If you recover from the flu it leaves you feeling kind of weak for a few weeks but there are really no long term effects as long as you survive the initial illness.

    This is not a flu like virus, it is entirely different. Novel disease makes people use imperfect templates and analogies.

    it is a disease that has only been known for a few months and much is unknown.

    It is irresponsible to be saying that it is unlikely to have long term effects.

    There is no basis for making such claims atm.

    Steve, you should start filtering stuff like this. People are going to believe it and die because of this type of misinformation.

    It is unbelievable how far behind this blog and commenters have been on this virus issue the past two months. You guys are still way behind.

    • Troll: Daniel Williams
    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    Ragno would like to have a word with you: https://www.unz.com/isteve/can-we-call-off-metoo-for-the-duration/#comment-3769676

    And BTW, the ethos here is that we permit free speech and let the reader sort out the wheat from the chaff. Sorry if that chaffs, er, chafes.
    , @Almost Missouri

    "People are going to believe it and die because of this type of misinformation. It is unbelievable how far behind this blog and commenters have been on this virus issue the past two months. You guys are still way behind."
     
    Okay, since it is literally a matter of life and death, why don't you enlighten us as to the facts then?
  8. Time will tell whether the UK plan works out better than the approach used in the US.

    England has what might be an advantage in that there is just one unified health service and one government to make decisions, whereas in the US you have 50 different states each going their own way.

    For example, some states are closing schools, others are not, at least not yet, and it is not clear whether they are all using the same playbook, or whether a bunch of different theoretical strategies are in use.

    Of course one factor is that the US has a wide range of climate zones. Hawaii and Florida are not the same as Nevada or Alaska, and that could be a big factor in making decisions.

    • Replies: @epebble
    Easy to tell if the U.K. plan has any merit by watching how Wuhan behaves after the containment strategy ends. If, after releasing/relaxing the quarantines/social separation on the city, the infection rate goes high, the U.K. plan sounds sensible since all that China effort would appear to be for naught, unless the whole city etc., can be permanently imprisoned. In that case, it is better to accept Darwinian equilibrium and let nature take its course. We have lived with common cold and influenza for millennia without extinction. South Korea and Italy would also give useful rebound rate once the isolations end.
  9. @Jack D

    A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.
     
    Unlikely. This is a flu-like illness. If you recover from the flu it leaves you feeling kind of weak for a few weeks but there are really no long term effects as long as you survive the initial illness.

    Early reports are there’s some permanent damage to older people who recover. But the whole strategy is to miss them anyways.

    • Replies: @ben tillman

    Early reports are there’s some permanent damage to older people who recover. But the whole strategy is to miss them anyways.
     
    What is this "whole strategy" you refer to?
  10. @PiltdownMan
    Liverpudlian kids in 1985. I expect there's more diversity now.

    https://libcom.org/files/images/history/1985-school-kids-strike.jpg

    Liverpudlian kids in 1985. I expect there’s more diversity now.

    There was more diversity when I lived there in the 60’s.

  11. This insanity from Cuck Island is a perfect illustration of why Trump should have included them on the no-fly list. This is a culling operation, pure and simple. Not that I care, mind you. I just don’t want them in my elevator.

    • Troll: LondonBob
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    This is a culling operation, pure and simple. Not that I care, mind you.
     
    Why don’t you care?
  12. @anonguy
    This is not a flu like virus, it is entirely different. Novel disease makes people use imperfect templates and analogies.

    it is a disease that has only been known for a few months and much is unknown.

    It is irresponsible to be saying that it is unlikely to have long term effects.

    There is no basis for making such claims atm.

    Steve, you should start filtering stuff like this. People are going to believe it and die because of this type of misinformation.

    It is unbelievable how far behind this blog and commenters have been on this virus issue the past two months. You guys are still way behind.

    Ragno would like to have a word with you: https://www.unz.com/isteve/can-we-call-off-metoo-for-the-duration/#comment-3769676

    And BTW, the ethos here is that we permit free speech and let the reader sort out the wheat from the chaff. Sorry if that chaffs, er, chafes.

  13. point 7

    7.The risk is being able to accurately manage infection flow relative to health case resources. Data on infection rates needs to be accurate, the measures they introduce need to work and at the time they want them to and to the degree they want, or the system is overwhelmed.

    is the real kicker. Managing exponential systems with positive feedback factors is what the guys at Chernobyl were up to.

    Glancing at Ian’s research https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/population-health-sciences/staff/ian-donald/research/

    I have research interests in Social, Organizational and Environmental Psychology with a broad social science background. I have worked extensively on cross- disciplinary research with engineers, computer scientists, biologists, vets and medics. My main areas of expertise are in identifying the factors underlying human behaviour, behaviour change, attitudes and attitude measurement. My research has been conducted in a variety of significant substantive areas of societal importance. This has included working with vets examining farmers’ behaviour and attitudes in relation to bovine TB. In particular this work looked at the relationship between policy and regulation and behaviour. I have recently published a major DfT supported study of transport mode choice, modelling the role of habit in relation to attitudes and behaviour. I currently have a significant interest in the social and psychological drivers underlying Antimicrobial resistance (AMR). I was a member of the ESRC’s 2014 working group on AMR, which led to the publication, Anti-Microbial Resistance: Setting the Social Science Agenda.

    I doubt his work could be missed. I also wonder how much of his career was drafting on his fortuitous name https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Donald, This Ian Donald introduced ultrasound. Hopefully The government of Britain’s plans bare no relationship to this garbage. If they do might I suggest that they take the opportunity of his praise to abandon their madness and in thanks hand him a lordship and commit him as he is obviously delusional and a threat to himself and others.

  14. @Jonathan Mason
    Time will tell whether the UK plan works out better than the approach used in the US.

    England has what might be an advantage in that there is just one unified health service and one government to make decisions, whereas in the US you have 50 different states each going their own way.

    For example, some states are closing schools, others are not, at least not yet, and it is not clear whether they are all using the same playbook, or whether a bunch of different theoretical strategies are in use.

    Of course one factor is that the US has a wide range of climate zones. Hawaii and Florida are not the same as Nevada or Alaska, and that could be a big factor in making decisions.

    Easy to tell if the U.K. plan has any merit by watching how Wuhan behaves after the containment strategy ends. If, after releasing/relaxing the quarantines/social separation on the city, the infection rate goes high, the U.K. plan sounds sensible since all that China effort would appear to be for naught, unless the whole city etc., can be permanently imprisoned. In that case, it is better to accept Darwinian equilibrium and let nature take its course. We have lived with common cold and influenza for millennia without extinction. South Korea and Italy would also give useful rebound rate once the isolations end.

    • Agree: Smithsonian_6
  15. Not sure why a random psych professor’s theorizing is being taken seriously, but he’s outlined the most asinine plan I can imagine. He’s not just assuming that the UK government thinks they can quash this thing to an R0 of say 1.5 (to spread among the younger pop) but that they can then modify it at will. And that somehow they’ll stop the elderly getting sick for long enough for true herd immunity to develop among the rest of the population, presumably while using measures that will only protect the elderly. And the time for this to burn through the population at a sustainable isn’t mentioned… 2 years, maybe? So concerts aren’t cool through 2022 but you can’t visit your grandparents, and we’ll have school one month but not the next, ignoring the interrelationships of elderly and the young vis a vis eg childcare.

    They may well not have a plan, but there’s no way they sat down and came up with this.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    So concerts aren’t cool through 2022 but you can’t visit your grandparents,
     
    What?
  16. Anonymous[264] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bragadocious
    This insanity from Cuck Island is a perfect illustration of why Trump should have included them on the no-fly list. This is a culling operation, pure and simple. Not that I care, mind you. I just don't want them in my elevator.

    This is a culling operation, pure and simple. Not that I care, mind you.

    Why don’t you care?

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Bragdocious is posing as some sort of extreme caricature of a thoroughly unassimilated Irish-American sore loser with a massive inferiority complex against his betters. I am little concerned he isn't just a caricature.

    An eminently sensible approach, Once we have all the data on the Wuhan Flu and it shows that fatality rates were grossly over inflated initially, as they always are. Certainly beats Italy's approach which was to take no precautions, the public message about taking sensible precautions to delay spread has been consistent without being excessive. I would say the experts have pretty Good understanding of it now and a Good idea of long term effects as well as risk of reinfection.
    , @Bragadocious
    Why would I care, is the better question.
  17. @Anonymous

    This is a culling operation, pure and simple. Not that I care, mind you.
     
    Why don’t you care?

    Bragdocious is posing as some sort of extreme caricature of a thoroughly unassimilated Irish-American sore loser with a massive inferiority complex against his betters. I am little concerned he isn’t just a caricature.

    An eminently sensible approach, Once we have all the data on the Wuhan Flu and it shows that fatality rates were grossly over inflated initially, as they always are. Certainly beats Italy’s approach which was to take no precautions, the public message about taking sensible precautions to delay spread has been consistent without being excessive. I would say the experts have pretty Good understanding of it now and a Good idea of long term effects as well as risk of reinfection.

    • LOL: Bragadocious
    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Actually the author is incorrect on Italy, the current quarantine is just to slow the spread as the healthcare system needs a breather, they are essentially taking the same approach just they didn't do any early efforts to dampen r value. Identification of infected persons and close contact tracing is perhaps lacking.

    Also the Finns, Swedes and Germans are taking the same approach as Britain. Not a group of countries you want to bet against.
  18. Tweets by a professor of psychology at the U. of Liverpool:

    Do we really want health advice from a city with a name that means “puddle of bile”?

  19. In 2001 the UK had an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in livestock. The UK just let it run. Labour didn’t care about rural Britain was the commonly understood subtext. Ireland pursued the opposite strategy keep out at all costs. It nearly worked. Just one farm was infected just across the border from Northern Ireland. The rest of Ireland was disease free. Foot and mouth never came back too either the UK were it was allowed to run its course or Ireland which opted for lockdown. I’m far from an expert but I’d rather try the crush the curve option. If that means a police state, be it so.

    6,000,000 animals were killed in the UK. 56,000 in Ireland, mostly a precautionary cull.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna

    6,000,000 animals were killed in the UK.
     
    Through no fault of their own, I might add, and in the cheapest, easiest (read: most hideous) ways imaginable. The actual fault? So-called 'animal husbandry' practices which always and everywhere privilege economic factors over 'humane' ones.

    I use inverted commas to highlight words and phrases indicating how our language controls our thinking. Whitewashes, in this case.

  20. This is the most lenten Lent since the Middle Ages. Pi Day, like the feast of St Patrick, falls without fail within Lent. (So go easy on the pie.)

    Vi Hart’s annual videotrashing of π manages to work in coronavirus:

  21. @Polynikes
    Early reports are there’s some permanent damage to older people who recover. But the whole strategy is to miss them anyways.

    Early reports are there’s some permanent damage to older people who recover. But the whole strategy is to miss them anyways.

    What is this “whole strategy” you refer to?

  22. 4. The Italian model the aims to stop infection. The UKs wants infection BUT of particular categories of people. The aim of the UK is to have as many lower risk people infected as possible. Immune people cannot infect others; the more there are the lower the risk of infection

    This is gobbledy-gook. Infected people are by definition not immune.

  23. @LondonBob
    Bragdocious is posing as some sort of extreme caricature of a thoroughly unassimilated Irish-American sore loser with a massive inferiority complex against his betters. I am little concerned he isn't just a caricature.

    An eminently sensible approach, Once we have all the data on the Wuhan Flu and it shows that fatality rates were grossly over inflated initially, as they always are. Certainly beats Italy's approach which was to take no precautions, the public message about taking sensible precautions to delay spread has been consistent without being excessive. I would say the experts have pretty Good understanding of it now and a Good idea of long term effects as well as risk of reinfection.

    Actually the author is incorrect on Italy, the current quarantine is just to slow the spread as the healthcare system needs a breather, they are essentially taking the same approach just they didn’t do any early efforts to dampen r value. Identification of infected persons and close contact tracing is perhaps lacking.

    Also the Finns, Swedes and Germans are taking the same approach as Britain. Not a group of countries you want to bet against.

    • Replies: @Lei
    Same strategy here in the Netherlands. Till now seems to be working just fine (we are in the early stages though).
  24. @Jack D

    A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.
     
    Unlikely. This is a flu-like illness. If you recover from the flu it leaves you feeling kind of weak for a few weeks but there are really no long term effects as long as you survive the initial illness.

    Many, many viruses cause flu-like illness but have very serious long-term effects. For example, HIV infection initially presents as flu-like illness, which the patient seemingly recovers from within weeks. We don’t know if SARS-CoV-2 infection has serious long-term effects until we’re able to study it long-term.

    • Agree: Smithsonian_6
  25. In reference to long terms effects, there are studies coming from Hong Kong indicating that pulmonary fibrosis and reduced pulmonary capacity can occur in “cured” patients. To be honest I have not read the study and don’t know details such as what fraction shows those changes, their average age, or even whether they had suffered from a severe or mild course of the illness.

    I did read a recent study about SARS, another coronavirus that has a similar mechanism of action (although much more severe) in that it attacks lung tissue and kills via ARDS. In that study, a significant portion, I think it was around 15%, of survivors were found to have pulmonary fibrosis and reduced pulmonary function even 20 years after their illness. What is scary is that 80% of the patients in this study were between the ages of 20 and 39 at the time they had their illness in 2003. Make of that what you will.

  26. @Irishman1
    In 2001 the UK had an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in livestock. The UK just let it run. Labour didn't care about rural Britain was the commonly understood subtext. Ireland pursued the opposite strategy keep out at all costs. It nearly worked. Just one farm was infected just across the border from Northern Ireland. The rest of Ireland was disease free. Foot and mouth never came back too either the UK were it was allowed to run its course or Ireland which opted for lockdown. I'm far from an expert but I'd rather try the crush the curve option. If that means a police state, be it so.

    6,000,000 animals were killed in the UK. 56,000 in Ireland, mostly a precautionary cull.

    6,000,000 animals were killed in the UK.

    Through no fault of their own, I might add, and in the cheapest, easiest (read: most hideous) ways imaginable. The actual fault? So-called ‘animal husbandry’ practices which always and everywhere privilege economic factors over ‘humane’ ones.

    I use inverted commas to highlight words and phrases indicating how our language controls our thinking. Whitewashes, in this case.

  27. @anonguy
    This is not a flu like virus, it is entirely different. Novel disease makes people use imperfect templates and analogies.

    it is a disease that has only been known for a few months and much is unknown.

    It is irresponsible to be saying that it is unlikely to have long term effects.

    There is no basis for making such claims atm.

    Steve, you should start filtering stuff like this. People are going to believe it and die because of this type of misinformation.

    It is unbelievable how far behind this blog and commenters have been on this virus issue the past two months. You guys are still way behind.

    “People are going to believe it and die because of this type of misinformation. It is unbelievable how far behind this blog and commenters have been on this virus issue the past two months. You guys are still way behind.”

    Okay, since it is literally a matter of life and death, why don’t you enlighten us as to the facts then?

    • Replies: @anonguy

    Okay, since it is literally a matter of life and death, why don’t you enlighten us as to the facts then?
     
    The reality is that the facts aren't all, or even mostly, known for a disease that has been around for only months.

    No way to know long term effects or not.

    Yes, a lot of people do appear to recover from initial, acute symptoms, but nobody knows what the long term consequences of this are.

    Some data is emerging from China about various organ damage. Google ground glass opacity.

    That doesn't mean that is true either, just that there is some early evidence.

    But even if there weren't, we are just in unknown unknown territory at the moment with this disease.

    That is about the only fact you can hang your hat on.

    And of course, it can always mutate.

    These are facts.
  28. @LondonBob
    Actually the author is incorrect on Italy, the current quarantine is just to slow the spread as the healthcare system needs a breather, they are essentially taking the same approach just they didn't do any early efforts to dampen r value. Identification of infected persons and close contact tracing is perhaps lacking.

    Also the Finns, Swedes and Germans are taking the same approach as Britain. Not a group of countries you want to bet against.

    Same strategy here in the Netherlands. Till now seems to be working just fine (we are in the early stages though).

  29. @PiltdownMan
    Liverpudlian kids in 1985. I expect there's more diversity now.

    https://libcom.org/files/images/history/1985-school-kids-strike.jpg

    It still looked like that in the 1990s, except for in tiny parts of the city. The UK census for 2011 showed only about 5 percent of the population there was non-white. In just a few years this has skyrocketed, largely from Arab “refugees”.

  30. This plan seems to be the Globalism Uber Alles plan–though it’s missing the harping on: “The lack of adequate testing is why the pandemic cannot be stopped.”

    Perhaps harping on testing is U.S. only propaganda.

  31. @Mr McKenna

    A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.
     
    Another big question is whether or not herd immunity develops as they theorize it will. There's no vaccine, and a possibility of different strains and reinfections, right?

    Any plan based on any number of wrong or untested assumptions is likely to fail. BTW, yesterday Merkel announced that the German government has basically the same plan as the UK’s. What can possibly go wrong?

  32. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:

    To summarize then:

    China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea fought and beat the disease.

    The major Western powers just threw hands in the air and capitulated. Instead of acting, they appear to concentrate their efforts on propaganda, spreading the obviously false idea that will inevitably kill a lot of people.

    As always, watch what Israel does. An easy prediction that it will fight. And when you have the will to fight, you will win. This is not a rocket science. For the most recent example, see Ebola epidemics.

    • Replies: @Smithsonian_6

    China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea fought and beat the disease.
     
    They haven't beaten the disease, when they remove their restrictions it will return. This is the whole point of the UK strategy.
    , @LondonBob
    Greek tourists going to Israel brought the virus back from there, Israel has a big outbreak already.

    The Asian countries all had an extensive system set up after the SARS outbreak, the rest of the world doesn't.
    , @Anonymous

    An easy prediction that it will fight.
     
    What does this mean?
  33. @Jack D

    A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.
     
    Unlikely. This is a flu-like illness. If you recover from the flu it leaves you feeling kind of weak for a few weeks but there are really no long term effects as long as you survive the initial illness.

    Covid is not a flu-type virus.

    It is more highly infectious than flu and also far more lethal. That is why Covid is causing such alarm.

    • Agree: Coemgen
  34. @newrouter
    >Schools: Kids generally won’t get very ill, so the govt can use them as a tool to infect others when you want to increase infection.<

    I thought eugenics was a "bad thing" . Speaking about your fellow citizens as a "herd" suggests that the "ruining class" is still very interested in eugenics but in a "wink wink say no more" way.

    This is not eugenics. And “herd” is a technical term. It is also the correct attitude.

    Stop being silly.

    • Agree: epebble
  35. Watching the BBC last night I couldn’t help but get the feeling that the government actually want the disease to kill off millions of useless oldsters who are sucking up public pension money and monopolizing precious NHS resources. The government recommendation for old folk’s homes is to continue to allow visitors who do not show symptoms. The old folk’s homes must get paid by the oldster because many are refusing to allow any visitors, which seems the more sensible policy. The NHS is basically refusing to test most people — if you are sick just stay home for 14 days and who cares if you had it or not?

    In China they are about to do a complete reversal on their open travel narrative. When it was the Chinese who were sick and Europe/USA were not, the most racist thing in the world was to stop a Chinese person from traveling to white countries. Some Chinese dude demonstrated in Florence wearing a mask and cucked Italians hugged him. Now the shoe is going to be on the other foot; the most racist thing a white person will be able to do is visit China and risk repatriating the Wuflu. If some white dude protested in the middle of Wuhan, like the guy in Florence, the Chinese public would lynch his white ass.

  36. @Jack D

    A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.
     
    Unlikely. This is a flu-like illness. If you recover from the flu it leaves you feeling kind of weak for a few weeks but there are really no long term effects as long as you survive the initial illness.

    “Unlikely. This is a flu-like illness. If you recover from the flu it leaves you feeling kind of weak for a weeks but there are really no long term effects as long as you survive the initial illness.”

    Jack, I hope for the England’s victim’s sakes you are right.

    I also hope Trump follows thru with banning travelers from England; as he mentioned he was looking into doing during his remarks Friday afternoon.

    “Some patients who have recovered from the coronavirus have been left with a reduced lung capacity – and left gasping for air when walking briskly, according to a report.

    The Hong Kong Hospital Authority announced the findings after studying the first wave of patients who had fully recovered from COVID-19, the South China Morning Post reported.

    Dr. Owen Tsang Tak-yin, medical director of the authority’s Infectious Disease Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung, said that of about a dozen discharged patients examined, two or three were unable to function as they had previously.

    “They gasp if they walk a bit more quickly,” Tsang told reporters Thursday, according to the news outlet. “Some patients might have around a drop of 20 to 30 percent in lung function [after recovery].”

    Lung scans of nine infected patients at the hospital suggested they had suffered organ damage.

    But Tsang said it had yet to be determined whether they would develop pulmonary fibrosis, a condition in which lung tissue hardened and the organ could not function correctly.”

  37. @Anonymous
    To summarize then:

    China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea fought and beat the disease.

    The major Western powers just threw hands in the air and capitulated. Instead of acting, they appear to concentrate their efforts on propaganda, spreading the obviously false idea that will inevitably kill a lot of people.

    As always, watch what Israel does. An easy prediction that it will fight. And when you have the will to fight, you will win. This is not a rocket science. For the most recent example, see Ebola epidemics.

    China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea fought and beat the disease.

    They haven’t beaten the disease, when they remove their restrictions it will return. This is the whole point of the UK strategy.

    • Agree: epebble
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    They have. R0 is firmly below 0.5, and neither Beijing nor Shanghai ever saw more than 500 total cases the capital never saw. The lockdown is being gradually lifted. They have successfully "crashed the curve" and from this point on can manage the epidemics through wide-spread testing and social distancing.
  38. A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.

    Is it absolutely certain that those who recover will have long-term immunity? Is that a known fact?

    And if the virus mutates is your long-term immunity worth anything then?

    • Replies: @Smithsonian_2

    And if the virus mutates is your long-term immunity worth anything then?
     
    If the virus mutates then a vaccine isn't worth anything either - which seems like a pretty important point.
  39. As I said before in the original thread, it’s not a stupid idea conceptually and since it’s being implemented by Boris, the media is going to only be negative about it.

    But I have no idea how they intend to control the speed of transmission, it’s geographic spread and keep it away from the vulnerable. They’ve been ominously silent on this. Without that, it sounds an awful lot like they’re pretending to be following a careful ‘strategy’ to do this in a way to protect the vulnerable and not collapse the health system while infact they’ve just chosen to do nothing. They simply decided to approach this with primary objectives other than reducing the numbers of deaths and have to be coy about admitting it.

    You could institute a serious of rolling regional quarantines to try and have it burn out locally but leave the rest of the country operating and ensure the health system doesn’t get overwhelmed but they’re not doing that and anyway it’s spread has made it too late for that.

    It does also assume that:
    A) Acquired immunity to future infections of the virus exists.
    B) The nature of the strain in future waves will not be different enough to bypass any acquired immunity from the first wave.
    C) Subsequent infections in those previously infected won’t induce more severe symptoms like a cytokine storm.

    • Replies: @CrunchyButRealistCon
    You would need extraordinary defenses or access precautions around nursing homes, retirement homes and near areas popular with still self sufficient old pensioners.
    Otherwise this approach would just become a crude Euthanasia program for those over 80, even 75. The risk also is to preexisting immuno-compromised hospital patients. They would need separate hospitals where COVID-19 patients are forbidden.
  40. Again, policymakers make the mistake of using the deductive approach to formulate policy. They try to come up with unproven solutions, when there are plenty of proven solutions to be found in other countries. It’s plain arrogance.

    They should be using the inductive approach. It’s not rocket science: 1) search for a solution that’s proven to have worked, 2) decompose the various elements involved in the solutions success, 3) separate the important from the unimportant, 4) weight the relative importance of each element, 5) implement the elements that are suited to your particular situation.

    Which countries succeeded in curbing the virus? Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore. What are the elements involved in their success?

    Important
    1) Inform citizens of symptoms and their responsibilities.
    2) Widely-available testing.
    3) Aggressive detention and isolation of anyone tested positive.
    4) Early ban on travel to and from high-case countries.

    Less Important
    1) Early ban on schools and universities from opening.
    2) Set up a coronavirus hotline. Provide twice-daily updates about the latest cases.
    3) Judicious hospitalization of the ill (not just everyone).
    4) Make sure hospitals have enough equipment so they are not overwhelmed.

    • Replies: @ziggurat
    One problem is that there's not enough test kits. So, you can't make testing widely available, which is a key element to following the success of these other countries.
  41. It seems like a good plan, which doesn’t matter because it’s the only plan. For plan B, see plan A. British society is so geared around liberal freedoms and the service economy, that the notion of locking down the country isn’t just impractical, it’s unthinkable. The young, being the greatest adherents of the ”open society’ should embrace it.

  42. @Altai
    As I said before in the original thread, it's not a stupid idea conceptually and since it's being implemented by Boris, the media is going to only be negative about it.

    But I have no idea how they intend to control the speed of transmission, it's geographic spread and keep it away from the vulnerable. They've been ominously silent on this. Without that, it sounds an awful lot like they're pretending to be following a careful 'strategy' to do this in a way to protect the vulnerable and not collapse the health system while infact they've just chosen to do nothing. They simply decided to approach this with primary objectives other than reducing the numbers of deaths and have to be coy about admitting it.

    You could institute a serious of rolling regional quarantines to try and have it burn out locally but leave the rest of the country operating and ensure the health system doesn't get overwhelmed but they're not doing that and anyway it's spread has made it too late for that.

    It does also assume that:
    A) Acquired immunity to future infections of the virus exists.
    B) The nature of the strain in future waves will not be different enough to bypass any acquired immunity from the first wave.
    C) Subsequent infections in those previously infected won't induce more severe symptoms like a cytokine storm.

    You would need extraordinary defenses or access precautions around nursing homes, retirement homes and near areas popular with still self sufficient old pensioners.
    Otherwise this approach would just become a crude Euthanasia program for those over 80, even 75. The risk also is to preexisting immuno-compromised hospital patients. They would need separate hospitals where COVID-19 patients are forbidden.

  43. @Anonymous
    To summarize then:

    China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea fought and beat the disease.

    The major Western powers just threw hands in the air and capitulated. Instead of acting, they appear to concentrate their efforts on propaganda, spreading the obviously false idea that will inevitably kill a lot of people.

    As always, watch what Israel does. An easy prediction that it will fight. And when you have the will to fight, you will win. This is not a rocket science. For the most recent example, see Ebola epidemics.

    Greek tourists going to Israel brought the virus back from there, Israel has a big outbreak already.

    The Asian countries all had an extensive system set up after the SARS outbreak, the rest of the world doesn’t.

  44. @Moral Stone
    Not sure why a random psych professor’s theorizing is being taken seriously, but he’s outlined the most asinine plan I can imagine. He’s not just assuming that the UK government thinks they can quash this thing to an R0 of say 1.5 (to spread among the younger pop) but that they can then modify it at will. And that somehow they’ll stop the elderly getting sick for long enough for true herd immunity to develop among the rest of the population, presumably while using measures that will only protect the elderly. And the time for this to burn through the population at a sustainable isn’t mentioned... 2 years, maybe? So concerts aren’t cool through 2022 but you can’t visit your grandparents, and we’ll have school one month but not the next, ignoring the interrelationships of elderly and the young vis a vis eg childcare.

    They may well not have a plan, but there’s no way they sat down and came up with this.

    So concerts aren’t cool through 2022 but you can’t visit your grandparents,

    What?

    • Replies: @Moral Stone
    Should have read “concerts are cool but...”

    Also sustainable rate*

    In case those weren’t clear from context
  45. The Great Corona Cull is now in progress?

  46. @Anonymous
    To summarize then:

    China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea fought and beat the disease.

    The major Western powers just threw hands in the air and capitulated. Instead of acting, they appear to concentrate their efforts on propaganda, spreading the obviously false idea that will inevitably kill a lot of people.

    As always, watch what Israel does. An easy prediction that it will fight. And when you have the will to fight, you will win. This is not a rocket science. For the most recent example, see Ebola epidemics.

    An easy prediction that it will fight.

    What does this mean?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It means that Israel will be doing the same as Korea: mass testings and draconian restrictions in order to reduce R0.
  47. @dfordoom

    A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.
     
    Is it absolutely certain that those who recover will have long-term immunity? Is that a known fact?

    And if the virus mutates is your long-term immunity worth anything then?

    And if the virus mutates is your long-term immunity worth anything then?

    If the virus mutates then a vaccine isn’t worth anything either – which seems like a pretty important point.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    If the virus mutates then a vaccine isn’t worth anything either – which seems like a pretty important point.
     
    Yes, that had occurred to me as well.

    I've been amused by the people making confident predictions that in 1-2 years we'll have a vaccine and then the problem will be magically solved. The history of our ongoing wars against viral diseases suggests that vaccines are not quite magical solutions.

    And in this case do we have any idea how quickly this virus might mutate?

    It seems to me that both the pessimists and the optimists are making lots of assumptions about a disease that we still don't know very much about.
  48. @Anonymous

    So concerts aren’t cool through 2022 but you can’t visit your grandparents,
     
    What?

    Should have read “concerts are cool but…”

    Also sustainable rate*

    In case those weren’t clear from context

  49. @Anonymous

    An easy prediction that it will fight.
     
    What does this mean?

    It means that Israel will be doing the same as Korea: mass testings and draconian restrictions in order to reduce R0.

  50. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:
    @Smithsonian_6

    China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea fought and beat the disease.
     
    They haven't beaten the disease, when they remove their restrictions it will return. This is the whole point of the UK strategy.

    They have. R0 is firmly below 0.5, and neither Beijing nor Shanghai ever saw more than 500 total cases the capital never saw. The lockdown is being gradually lifted. They have successfully “crashed the curve” and from this point on can manage the epidemics through wide-spread testing and social distancing.

    • Replies: @Smithsonian_2

    They have successfully “crashed the curve” and from this point on can manage the epidemics through wide-spread testing and social distancing.
     
    If they manage *that* then, and not until then, will they have beaten the virus.
  51. @Anonymous

    This is a culling operation, pure and simple. Not that I care, mind you.
     
    Why don’t you care?

    Why would I care, is the better question.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Why would I care, is the better question.
     
    Because British are being killed (“culled”).
  52. The writer describes a broad strategy with multiple aspects:

    “The Italian model the aims to stop infection. The UKs wants infection BUT of particular categories of people. The aim of the UK is to have as many lower risk people infected as possible. Immune people cannot infect others; the more there are the lower the risk of infection.”

    But his note mostly focuses on the one, managing the infection by mostly letting it ride. That has benefits and risks, as he points out. But what if you make the other rationale (” to have as many lower risk people infected as possible”) the core of it?

    Not to say a nasty bug or even a hospital stay are that nice but the main thing (the only thing, really) is to reduce deaths. The experience in China and Italy shows quite clearly how much this means the very elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions. The WHO report, as I read it, pretty much suggests that the old PLUS infirm are from a practical POV the sum and substance. Mean age of deaths in Italy is 81, and I’d like to know how many of them had pre-existing conditions.

    Americans over 75 are maybe 8% of the population–20 million or so? Which of these are further at risk? Can’t find that easily so let me just say half. That’s 10 million or 4%. Of those how many are already living in a managed community, one that could be quarantined Chinese-style (tho more gently of course)? Pick a number–say, another 50% (probably low). You now have 10 million very vulnerable, half of which would be closed off very tightly. The other half could be the focus of a sustained and organized effort. Each community in its own way would find gentle but inevitably intrusive ways of finding those people.

    Who goes to the Senior Center? Can the members of the Senior Center be helpful in identifying other elderly who are frail or ill? Can these people be quarantined at home using sound mitigation strategies. Live by yourself? We will bring you food and check on your daily. Live with family? Let’s insist on a sound household approach, backed up with visits and under the threat of taking Pops away.

    So while is see some benefit to letting ‘er rip in order to get to a herd immunity the benefit cost of that changes for the better if it is accompanied by a formal and explicit program to separate the elderly at risk from the virus you are going easy on elsewhere. Contagion rate not that important. The only thing that matters is the mortality rate and we know, or we think we know, who the targets are. Shield the targets from the firefight. Not contact tracing but target tracing.

    • Agree: ziggurat
  53. Anonymous[169] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bragadocious
    Why would I care, is the better question.

    Why would I care, is the better question.

    Because British are being killed (“culled”).

  54. @Almost Missouri

    "People are going to believe it and die because of this type of misinformation. It is unbelievable how far behind this blog and commenters have been on this virus issue the past two months. You guys are still way behind."
     
    Okay, since it is literally a matter of life and death, why don't you enlighten us as to the facts then?

    Okay, since it is literally a matter of life and death, why don’t you enlighten us as to the facts then?

    The reality is that the facts aren’t all, or even mostly, known for a disease that has been around for only months.

    No way to know long term effects or not.

    Yes, a lot of people do appear to recover from initial, acute symptoms, but nobody knows what the long term consequences of this are.

    Some data is emerging from China about various organ damage. Google ground glass opacity.

    That doesn’t mean that is true either, just that there is some early evidence.

    But even if there weren’t, we are just in unknown unknown territory at the moment with this disease.

    That is about the only fact you can hang your hat on.

    And of course, it can always mutate.

    These are facts.

  55. @Jack D

    A big question is whether people who recover suffer any long-term ill effects.
     
    Unlikely. This is a flu-like illness. If you recover from the flu it leaves you feeling kind of weak for a few weeks but there are really no long term effects as long as you survive the initial illness.

    This is not a flu like illness at all. It is from a totally unrelated branch of the virus world. Initial HIV infection often causes “flu like symptoms.” Many, many virus have broadly similar symptoms while being unrelated and significantly different. This is a kind of SARS and it has a number of important differences from flu. It seems to linger longer than flus typically do for one thing. Much is unknown, but there are concerns about lingering infections, long term damage and possible reinfection. It also has a death rate much higher than most flu strains.

    Of course, we would expect Jack D to be one of the people to downplay this based on his ideological orientation as a neocon. Neocon media and neocon leaning boomer type conservatives are the people downplaying this. “It’s a DemonRAT hoax against our great President!”

  56. It is strange how many people are silent about this virus.

    The US, many people claims, has the best health care system in the world, yet where are the chief executives of Medicare and Medicaid, who represent the populations most at risk in all this? Seema Velma, the Administrator of Medicare,who has responsibility for 25% of the federal budget, for god’s sake, should be playing a major leadership role in virus response, and while she is a member of the White House Coronavirus task force, that hardly seems enough.

    Where are people like United Healthcare Group executives David Wichmann was paid $18.1 million in 2018, and Andrew Witty, who was named CEO of UnitedHealth’s Optum unit in March 2018, was paid $21.2 million in 2018? Shouldn’t these people be showing why they are paid half a million dollars a week by playing a leadership role in combating the (potentially) most dangerous threat to the health of Americans in years?

    • Replies: @epebble
    What do you want them to do? This is a leadership failure of CDC and FDA in getting sufficient number of good test kits manufactured and distributed to state public health agencies. United Healthcare can't manage this crisis anymore than Bechtel (A construction company) could have managed Katrina crisis.
  57. Trump stopping European travel is starting to look better and better. Never thought that the UK would become more dangerous as an ally than China is as a rival.

    I doubt that the UK actually even has the sophisticated “strategy” being proposed here. I think they’ve just become too impotent and incompetent to implement any kind of aggressive solution, and the enormous pile of assumptions is a way of rationalizing it.

    [Fail to] act now, justify later.

  58. @Anonymous
    They have. R0 is firmly below 0.5, and neither Beijing nor Shanghai ever saw more than 500 total cases the capital never saw. The lockdown is being gradually lifted. They have successfully "crashed the curve" and from this point on can manage the epidemics through wide-spread testing and social distancing.

    They have successfully “crashed the curve” and from this point on can manage the epidemics through wide-spread testing and social distancing.

    If they manage *that* then, and not until then, will they have beaten the virus.

  59. Anonymous[193] • Disclaimer says:

    As everyone has pointed out, there is no lifelong or even yearlong immunity to covid 19, so the herd immunity strategy is completely retarded.

    However, there is the thought that you can make disease, or the laws of nature work for you.

    Competing organisms always have to share the finite pie of resources. Many species have been accidentally extirpated on this biological principle. It happened to indigenous Americans. There is a push for it to happen to indigenous Europeans. We know competition is mitigating pressure on any species.

    Could deliberately spreading other milder coronavirus strains (i.e. common colds) take the wind out of COVID-19’S sails? It would have to be top-down and highly organized of course.

  60. An old saying in the modelling business. “All models are junk. Some are useful”.

  61. Why not at least study the possible effects with a few hundred healthy, young test volunteers. Isolate such a group, infect them and then attend to their recovery. If it works and they have antibodies that protect them from reinfection, they could become part of an Immune Service Corps for performing crucial tasks without (or with less of) the risk of being infected or infecting others. If their immunity fails, that would be very valuable information too. And volunteering for the experiment doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be paid, perhaps quite a lot.

  62. @Jonathan Mason
    It is strange how many people are silent about this virus.

    The US, many people claims, has the best health care system in the world, yet where are the chief executives of Medicare and Medicaid, who represent the populations most at risk in all this? Seema Velma, the Administrator of Medicare,who has responsibility for 25% of the federal budget, for god's sake, should be playing a major leadership role in virus response, and while she is a member of the White House Coronavirus task force, that hardly seems enough.

    Where are people like United Healthcare Group executives David Wichmann was paid $18.1 million in 2018, and Andrew Witty, who was named CEO of UnitedHealth's Optum unit in March 2018, was paid $21.2 million in 2018? Shouldn't these people be showing why they are paid half a million dollars a week by playing a leadership role in combating the (potentially) most dangerous threat to the health of Americans in years?

    What do you want them to do? This is a leadership failure of CDC and FDA in getting sufficient number of good test kits manufactured and distributed to state public health agencies. United Healthcare can’t manage this crisis anymore than Bechtel (A construction company) could have managed Katrina crisis.

  63. @Smithsonian_2

    And if the virus mutates is your long-term immunity worth anything then?
     
    If the virus mutates then a vaccine isn't worth anything either - which seems like a pretty important point.

    If the virus mutates then a vaccine isn’t worth anything either – which seems like a pretty important point.

    Yes, that had occurred to me as well.

    I’ve been amused by the people making confident predictions that in 1-2 years we’ll have a vaccine and then the problem will be magically solved. The history of our ongoing wars against viral diseases suggests that vaccines are not quite magical solutions.

    And in this case do we have any idea how quickly this virus might mutate?

    It seems to me that both the pessimists and the optimists are making lots of assumptions about a disease that we still don’t know very much about.

  64. This is a very irresponsible strategy for two reasons: 1) it will very quickly overwhelm England’s health system and 2) this is a new virus so we dont know what are its long term effects on those who have been exposed to it. Far from being a smart plan it shows how pathetically unwilling the English are to alter their lifestyle even for just a few weeks.

  65. @PiltdownMan
    Liverpudlian kids in 1985. I expect there's more diversity now.

    https://libcom.org/files/images/history/1985-school-kids-strike.jpg

    Madame and I were in Liverpool in 2017. It was still pretty damned white. Great place to visit.

  66. anon[827] • Disclaimer says:

    Close schools? Travel bans? Quarantines? Remote work?

    Nonsense, old boy, this is nothing that a good strong public relations campaign can’t sort out. Once we drop a few leaflets around, a lifetime’s unconscious face-touching will be over in the blink of an eye. Remember when we got everybody to eat carrots all the time?

    Sir, it was the war, it was carrots or starve –

    Well, remember when we stopped smoking?

    It took fifty years and a lot of people still smoke –

    Bah! Pish-posh!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The idea that I heard a lot as a child that carrots were good for your eyesight was made up in 1940 by British propagandists to explain the success of the RAF night fighters at shooting down German bombers without mentioning the existence of radar.
  67. @anon
    Close schools? Travel bans? Quarantines? Remote work?

    Nonsense, old boy, this is nothing that a good strong public relations campaign can't sort out. Once we drop a few leaflets around, a lifetime's unconscious face-touching will be over in the blink of an eye. Remember when we got everybody to eat carrots all the time?

    Sir, it was the war, it was carrots or starve -

    Well, remember when we stopped smoking?

    It took fifty years and a lot of people still smoke -

    Bah! Pish-posh!

    The idea that I heard a lot as a child that carrots were good for your eyesight was made up in 1940 by British propagandists to explain the success of the RAF night fighters at shooting down German bombers without mentioning the existence of radar.

    • Replies: @anon
    I heard that too but I think it might be a just-so story. That might be effective mass propaganda but surely German military intelligence is going to be a little skeptical, even if they back it up with pseudo-studies.

    Carrots were probably just something that was plentiful in wartime Britain for whatever reason. Maybe they're easy to grow and suited to the British climate? People do tend to grow them up the allotment.

    This says that the idea that carrots are good for your eyesight is half-true and predates British WWII propaganda, and also quotes Britain's then-Minister for Food:


    This is a food war. Every extra row of vegetables in allotments saves shipping. The battle on the kitchen front cannot be won without help from the kitchen garden. Isn’t an hour in the garden better than an hour in the queue?
     
    I recall the posters visible at the link. They surely were intended for the domestic audience, not the Germans.

    German submarines very nearly starved Britain to death in the first world war, so self-sufficiency was probably a big priority. (And seems very wise right now, when the supermarket shelves are bare.)

  68. @Yahya K.
    Again, policymakers make the mistake of using the deductive approach to formulate policy. They try to come up with unproven solutions, when there are plenty of proven solutions to be found in other countries. It's plain arrogance.

    They should be using the inductive approach. It's not rocket science: 1) search for a solution that’s proven to have worked, 2) decompose the various elements involved in the solutions success, 3) separate the important from the unimportant, 4) weight the relative importance of each element, 5) implement the elements that are suited to your particular situation.

    Which countries succeeded in curbing the virus? Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore. What are the elements involved in their success?

    Important
    1) Inform citizens of symptoms and their responsibilities.
    2) Widely-available testing.
    3) Aggressive detention and isolation of anyone tested positive.
    4) Early ban on travel to and from high-case countries.

    Less Important
    1) Early ban on schools and universities from opening.
    2) Set up a coronavirus hotline. Provide twice-daily updates about the latest cases.
    3) Judicious hospitalization of the ill (not just everyone).
    4) Make sure hospitals have enough equipment so they are not overwhelmed.

    One problem is that there’s not enough test kits. So, you can’t make testing widely available, which is a key element to following the success of these other countries.

    • Replies: @Yahya K.
    -> One problem is that there’s not enough test kits.

    I agree.

    The US has the industrial power to mass produce though.

    During World War 2, the US's industrial power came to the rescue. They were cranking out gigantic battleships every few weeks. I am sure they can do the same for testing kits. In fact, they already are:


    The approval of #COVID19 tests to run on high throughput systems by Roche and Thermo Fisher is a major expansion in test availability and reflects efforts by the professional staff of FDA's device center to lean into this challenge and advance patient care https://t.co/aIRSDYBy8B— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) March 14, 2020
     
  69. @ziggurat
    One problem is that there's not enough test kits. So, you can't make testing widely available, which is a key element to following the success of these other countries.

    -> One problem is that there’s not enough test kits.

    I agree.

    The US has the industrial power to mass produce though.

    During World War 2, the US’s industrial power came to the rescue. They were cranking out gigantic battleships every few weeks. I am sure they can do the same for testing kits. In fact, they already are:

    The approval of #COVID19 tests to run on high throughput systems by Roche and Thermo Fisher is a major expansion in test availability and reflects efforts by the professional staff of FDA's device center to lean into this challenge and advance patient care https://t.co/aIRSDYBy8B— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) March 14, 2020

  70. anon[827] • Disclaimer says:

    This is so insanely irresponsible it boggles the mind. I can only speculate as to what’s going on:

    1. They really are that stupid. (A genuine possibility.)
    2. They know they’ve missed the boat with quarantines and school closures, and it’s too late to do anything, so they might as well pretend they wanted everybody to get sick all along
    3. They want to ease pressure on the NHS for the next few years by culling the elderly – call it The Shipman Strategy
    4. They care more about the City than any actual city
    5. They’ve been conned into it by the civil service and/or Tory grandees: “Why, that’s a splendid idea, Boris – defeat the pandemic without cratering the economy! You’re a genius: schools and hospitals and a generation of boys will be named in your honour,” then, once he’s left the room, “Okay, that’s him fucked. Begin the thawing of Kenneth Clarke!”

  71. anon[827] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The idea that I heard a lot as a child that carrots were good for your eyesight was made up in 1940 by British propagandists to explain the success of the RAF night fighters at shooting down German bombers without mentioning the existence of radar.

    I heard that too but I think it might be a just-so story. That might be effective mass propaganda but surely German military intelligence is going to be a little skeptical, even if they back it up with pseudo-studies.

    Carrots were probably just something that was plentiful in wartime Britain for whatever reason. Maybe they’re easy to grow and suited to the British climate? People do tend to grow them up the allotment.

    This says that the idea that carrots are good for your eyesight is half-true and predates British WWII propaganda, and also quotes Britain’s then-Minister for Food:

    This is a food war. Every extra row of vegetables in allotments saves shipping. The battle on the kitchen front cannot be won without help from the kitchen garden. Isn’t an hour in the garden better than an hour in the queue?

    I recall the posters visible at the link. They surely were intended for the domestic audience, not the Germans.

    German submarines very nearly starved Britain to death in the first world war, so self-sufficiency was probably a big priority. (And seems very wise right now, when the supermarket shelves are bare.)

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