It’s lose/lose for the ICL team though. The 500,000 dead scenario assumed no social restrictions. The media now can bray “but the real deaths were less than a tenth of that”, but that’s with social restrictions, and after decades of dumbing-down and stupid “scientists say” stories, most of the public are gullible enough to regard the restrictions as unnecessary and “Ferguson” as needlessly alarmist.
My take on what happened is a bit different from yours, SA. I think the government were preparing to let covid-19 rip through the population, and orders were issued and preparations made hastily on that basis. Thus we got emergency mortuary plans, the Nightingale hospitals, and a crisis/overload policy of discharging back to care homes. But Ferguson put the ICL output on SAGE’s table, and the majority view was that such carnage couldn’t be permitted to happen. The SAGE committee were witnesses that the government had seen the numbers, denying the government the option of claiming ignorance post-disaster.
Widespread testing wasn’t possible at first because manufacturers were still gearing up to supply test kits. What should have happened was early, forceful restrictions, accompanied by a very clear message; “this disease spreads very fast, so we have to slow the spread with these restrictions until we’re ready with test kits, quarantine facilities and PPE”.
We have two curves; a rising curve of test-kit supply, and the curve of infections. Restrictions should have been applied forcefully – you brake hard immediately in a potential collision scenario – and then eased as test kit supply overwhelmed infection numbers.