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I need to do a bit more research about the ‘modelling’ that our government has based its inaction upon. It seems to be based as I understand it on the assumption that to really cope with this ? in the long term, we need to acquire a herd immunity for this country by not really trying to stop the spread of infection, but by just protecting the vulnerable through self isolation whilst getting other members of society to weather the disease out and develop this herd immunity.
I think this approach is based on a study from epedemiologists from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and first saw it aired by them on a programme presented by Emily Maitlis. The programme also included experts from elsewhere who strongly disagreed with the model.
It was then presented again by Boris Johnson, Flacked by two government employees, his scientific advisor and his medical advisor in a triple act of self reassurance.
Any disease or for that matter, any strategic modelling, relies on data input. The more robust the data, the more reliable the modelling. Even then any data has a margin of error and therefore the error will be compounded by the error of each variable entered. For example what value was entered for mortality? Less the 1% as in South Korea, or 6% as in Italy? What value for ultimate infection rate? This is bound to be a total demise as even in China it is not know as disease course has been stopped, at least for now.
Also whatever the outcome of those who are healthy and get the disease will be dependent on the presence of medical support facilities which will be completely swamped and people may be turned away from vital treatment by some triage as to who is worth saving.
Any ‘modelling’ therefore that has so many variables, with potentially serious consequences, and with assumptions not based on facts, can only be presented as a set of results to chose from, not as presented, as an article of faith.
I am sure that when the storm hits, Johnson will be able to use the excuse that he consulted the experts and that he was guided by the science. The poor experts will of course be scapegoated, but maybe not. I don’t know how much they were leant upon.