diamond geezer

 Saturday, March 21, 2020

A couple of months ago, coronavirus treated us all equally.

Not had it

Now some of the population have the disease.

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Got it

Eventually many will have had the disease, so hopefully can't be infected again.

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Had it

This is the trajectory each of us are on.
Yellow, then maybe to red, then hopefully to green.

At present, the proportion of the population with the disease is a tiny.
Even if you assume that actual cases are 100 times worse than government figures, it only looks like this.

Not had it

But without social policies to keep transmission low, this proportion can only increase.
And even a tiny proportion can overwhelm the health service.

A few weeks ago the government was banking on a mitigation strategy.

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At the start, all yellow.
The more yellow there is, the greater the vulnerability of the population.

As time passes, more green.
The more green there is, the less likely transmission will spread.

The end state, so-called 'herd immunity', could well have stopped the spread of the disease.
But a mitigation strategy would have passed far too many of the population through the red stage.

So instead the government switched to a suppression strategy.
Severe limits on social interaction are now being used to slow down transmission.

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This protects the population by flattening out the peak of cases.
But in saving lives it also lasts much longer.

It's also not enough in itself to prevent overwhelming the NHS.
So we've been warned that the next stage will have to be a 'shield' strategy to protect the most vulnerable.

The majority of the population continues with the suppression strategy, including social distancing.


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Got it


Had it

Not had it and must not get it 

But the over 70s, pregnant mothers and those with an underlying medical condition may be asked to self-isolate.
If not exposed to anyone else, it shouldn't be possible to catch the virus.
This should greatly reduce the number of serious cases requiring hospitalisation.

The drawback is how long self-quarantine would need to last to provide continued protection.
The challenge is how to support so many millions in their homes over so many months.
The hope is that this buys enough time for science to help find a long-term solution.

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