A reminder of what Imperial said: with a world on max lockdown, we would still expect about 900,000 deaths around now. Give or take. More or less. Etc. #epitwitter I fear this may be epidemiology’s version of the 2008 financial crisis…

The table below shows 250 days after first infection. Yes yes infection didn’t all start on 1 Jan but this model would only be ballpark correct if the infection started globally 6 weeks ago.

It’s easy to be wise in hindsight – except that quite a few people were saying this sort of thing, at every step of the way. I predict that in future this – the model, the politics, all of it – will become a classic study in how science policy should not be made. In the meantime, as we climb down from the heights of our panic, it’s just so fascinating to witness ideas that start off as dangerous – like “maybe we shouldn’t be locking down” – gradually become more common, and to feel the tug in oneself of trying to decide who to trust.

The usual disclaimer: I’m not saying the virus isn’t dangerous, that lives don’t matter, that we should do nothing… just that we haven’t reacted well.

page 11 of imperial report

1 thought on “A reminder of what Imperial said: with a world on max lockdown, we would still expect about 900,000 deaths around now. Give or take. More or less. Etc. #epitwitter I fear this may be epidemiology’s version of the 2008 financial crisis…

  1. Alex, what concerns me is that governments do not appear to learn, that the same panicked reaction has happened before based on Imperial’s numbers. Examples:
    2002 – 50 000 CJD deaths revised upwards to 150 000 if sheep were infected.
    Resulting in 6 million cattle & sheep destroyed, bringing farming in the UK to its knees.
    FACT, CJD Research Surveillance Unit at Uni of Edinburgh report 178 since 1990

    2005 – Up to 200million deaths from Bird Flu (H5N1).
    WHO reports in 2006 78 out of 147 reported.

    2009 – Swine flu would result in 65 000 deaths in UK.
    Ended up at 457.

    There is everything to support diversity in policy making, yet nothing changes.

    Like

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