Benjamin Smart in the Independent: ‘Parents shouldn’t fear COVID-19’ @bthsmart

This is from last week but I don’t recall sharing it. A concise account of why people should not worry about school reopening. It is written for SA but applies also to the U.K. where timing is similar, as are the fears, including among people who consider themselves educated.

“the truth is that lockdown is a luxury, and it’s a luxury that the middle classes are enjoying and higher income countries are enjoying at the expense of the poor, the vulnerable and less developed countries” Sunetra Gupta @FreddieSayers @unherd

Loads of great points

  • COVID on the way out in UK
  • Antibody tests unreliable, don’t show prevalence
  • Infections rates shouldn’t even be reported; dependent on testing
  • R number depends on immunity and thus a red herring
  • Everywhere same curve: up, then gently down (resonant of Michael Levitt’s interview in the same place). Immunity explains better than a load of different explanations for all the countries with different measures.
  • And lockdown is retrogressive, not progressive; it’s dumb to bundle up the anti-lockdown people as on the right (or left I guess). It’s a luxury that the rich can afford and the poor can’t.

While it’s not my go-to source of health news, the Daily Mail is reporting that 322 Brits under 45 have died of COVID-19 #epitwitter – ALEX BRUMMER: ‘Just 332 under-45s have died in UK from Corona. It’s madness to keep them from work while our economy burns’

Here is the graph they present:

ONS figures released this week show that as of April 24, only 322 people under the age of 45 had died from coronavirus in the UK

Read more…


‘Exclusive: Government scientist Neil Ferguson resigns after breaking lockdown rules to meet his married lover’ reports @Telegraph‬

What is fascinating for me is the regularity with which senior people are demonstrating how hard it is to keep lockdown. This instance is of course particularly satisfying because Ferguson is the global proponent of lockdown and because this particular embarrassment demonstrates how invasive these restrictions are.

Also it has a wonderfully British flavour about it… both the outrage and the immediate resignation

Which epidemiologist do you believe? Asks @freddiesayers of @unherd

And as well as asking this, he provides a nice analysis. “…right in spirit, wrong on numbers” is something that I’ve tried to account for in my model of good epidemiological prediction. In no other field of knowledge besides forecasting do we so easily accept accuracy to indicate knowledge. In no other field do we suffer so severely from a lack of tools to distinguish knowledge from lucky guess. Now we are seeing that I think.