Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Coronavirus 14

17th March 2020

Not so long ago the UK Prime Minister was cheerfully dismissing the notion of social distancing, telling us how he had been shaking hands with "everyone" in a hospital.

Yesterday we got a significant policy change, prompted, it has emerged, by the actual scientific advice, particularly this report from Imperial College:

Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand - 16th March 2020

The government is still not telling the whole truth. Prof. Chris Witty, in the prime minister's briefing yesterday, spoke of keeping fatalities below 1%. There were two things wrong with that:

1. He did not point out that 1% translates to around a quarter of a million deaths.
2. He did not point out that 1% assumes that the health services do not breakdown and can provide intensive care to those who need it.  It will break down, unable to treat many. Just what the fatality rate becomes is a deep uncertainty.

It is hard to visualise numbers such as 1,000,000. The Grenfell Tower disaster killed 72. It would take a disaster like that every day for the next 38 years to reach a million.

Now let's get on with the job of building a better world.

Last night saw the launch of the film, The Sequel, based on the  work of my late friend David Fleming. I was planning to attend the launch (see yesterday's blog) but last night we watched it on line and then the discussion between Shaun Chamberlin, Caroline Lucas, Kate Raworth and Rob Hopkins.

I cannot recommend highly enough that people take these dreadful times to look forward with a measure of optimism, learning how to survive the future and build a better society. That was David Fleming's message.

Start the conversation here:


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