Covid-19 - Case, case, cluster, cluster, boom!

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So far in the Covid-19 pandemic, the British government's response has been absolutely woeful. I don't think they could have done a worse job of containing the virus's spread through the UK if they'd tried. Here's a selection of reports, just from today, showing what our leaders have been saying. First off, a BBC report which includes the official advice:

Dr Harries (Britain's Deputy Chief Medical Officer) said cancelling big outdoor events like football matches would not necessarily be a decision supported by science.

"The virus will not survive very long outside," she said. "Many outdoor events, particularly, are relatively safe."

This is patently bad advice, scientifically. It is true that viruses don't last long outside, especially due to ultraviolet light smashing the virus particles, but according to this report, you can be standing fifteen feet away from a person infected with Covid-19, who's shouting or singing for an hour-and-a-half, and you can breathe in his air-droplets and thereby contract the disease. One infected person therefore stands a good chance of infecting dozens of people at one match. This is why New Zealand authorities warned everyone standing near an infected person who went to a Tool concert in Aukland to watch for symptoms (which unfortunately is also too lenient; they should have all been self-isolated).

These article are taken from the Guardian newspaper, The first one is plain idiotic from a science perspective:

guardian-coronavirus-response-10th-March

Covid-19 is a virus with a doubling rate of around 4-5 days, according to multiple studies and epidemiological analysis. It is spreading in a population that has no immunity to it. Therefore, the peak of the epidemic will be when approximately half the population, or more, are infected. Dr Jenny is therefore either saying that half the country will go down with it in the next fortnight (which is very scary but also impossible) or that it will somehow magically stop working (which is either miraculous or impossible).

This second report is plain idiotic from an epidemic-control perspective:

guardian-coronavirus-Italy-10th-March

Our government is allowing people travelling from a country that has epidemic-lockdown to turn up at airports in the UK and wander home via public transport, when they could be carrying a virus that spreads for days without the host showing any symptoms.

Fortunately, a few good things are happening, mostly because some of the public are forcing our government to change their policy. Here's a third report, giving a government page link to report on where cases have occurred in the UK:

guardian-coronavirus-report-locations-10th-March

It's worth mentioning at this point that in comparison, South Korea has been given its citizens comprehensive information about cases and where those cases are located for weeks. South Korea has also been actively testing thousands of people on order to get control of the virus and contain it. Well done, South Korea!

The above government link shows that the cases are spread over the UK and mostly in single digits for each borough/county. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean we're okay. Firstly, these are only people that have been tested and the UK is only testing people with severe symptoms (I kid ye not). There will therefore be dozens, if not hundreds of people who are infected who haven't been tested. What's more, as Chris Martenson has been saying on his Peak Prosperity YouTube channel, any epidemic that spread exponentially will follow a 'case, case, cluster, cluster, boom!' progression. In other words, the problem looks small, as the single cases trickle in, but they soon become clusters and then, before anyone has been able to control what's happening, everything goes bananas and there are cases everywhere.

I'll therefore repeat my earlier warnings. This is a dangerous time in the UK, and elsewhere, especially for the elderly. The virus is very likely to be spreading rapidly through our population, mostly unseen. Please cut back on social activity and wear a mask if you have to interact with, or just sit alongside a lot of people. You might get some funny looks but it's better than getting infected, and then passing it on to others.