At Least The 360 Economists Were – While Wrong – Economists

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Way back when St Maggie muttered the idea that perhaps the Man in Whitehall didn’t know best 360 economists signed a letter to the papers insisting that this was nonsense, terrible, the end of civilisation and what the heck would 360 economists get to do if it wasn’t telling everyone else how to live now that markets would take the strain?

They turned out to be wrong and that’s fine, all of us are at times even in our professional lives. But they were at least economists muttering about the economy:

News of the unprecedented partnership came as 245 scientists and mathematicians denounced the government plan to achieve “herd immunity” by delaying measures to prevent the virus spreading, saying acting now would save “thousands of lives”.

Hmm.

“Under unconstrained growth, this outbreak will affect millions of people in the next few weeks,” the letter states, adding the NHS would be “at serious risk” of not being able to cope.

“Going for ‘herd immunity’ at this point does not seem a viable option, as this will put the NHS at an even stronger level of stress, risking many more lives than necessary. By putting in place social distancing measures now, the growth can be slowed down dramatically, and thousands of lives can be spared. We consider the social distancing measures taken as of today as insufficient.”

Gosh. The letter is here.

Amazingly, this is a round robin letter which isn’t signed by the Sage of Ely. Thus it has a possibility of being correct. Except the BBC tells us:

The group, specialising in a range of disciplines, ranging from mathematics to genetics, though no leading experts in the science of the spread of diseases,

Ahh…..

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SpikeHJ777Michael van der RietAddolffJohn B Recent comment authors
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Phoenix44
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Phoenix44

If Boris had instead done what they want, they would have been now arguing for the herd immunity route.

Spike
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Spike

“slowed down dramatically”…That’s a “dramatic” word. Perhaps “slowed down measurably,” except that, like human causation of global warming, there is no alternate reality to “measure” it against. I would buy “slowed down.” Then the question recurs: Is the cost of being sidelined by a virus worse than the cost of being sidelined by a shutdown of your industry by a National Emergency? Yes, a few will die – in both cases, despite government supplementary payments.

John B
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John B

Except the mortality rate among those millions will be approaching zero, since it is only serious in the same cohort that is most affected by ‘flu, and that cohort is a small percentage of those millions.

Michael van der Riet
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Michael van der Riet

Take a cohort of 100,000. About 6,000 will present themselves at a healthcare facility, where they will first enter the official statistics. About 360 will be diagnosed CV19 positive. About 14 of them will die.

Michael van der Riet
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Michael van der Riet

“Herd immunity” in this context is utter codswallop. We all carry around a viral load of the thousands of virii we have contracted in the past. We carry around suitable antibodies too. We can pass the virii on to others who do not have these antibodies, even if they have spent a year quarantined on a desert island with one palm tree and a thousand cases of beer.

Anyway it’s a relief to find that Tim is not once again going to claim that every single economist without exception backs the carbon tax and is unquestionably right.

HJ777
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HJ777

NO. If we are immune to something either because we have had the same infection previously or because we have been immunised, we cannot pass the virus on.

Addolff
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Addolff

HJ777 – Typhoid Mary?

HJ777
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HJ777

A carrier. There is no evidence that she had ever had the disease herself and so she presumably didn’t develop the necessary antibodies. Her resistance to Typhoid would probably have had another cause. The point, however, is that she could pass it on because most people didn’t have immunity because they had never either had the disease before and had not been vaccinated.

Addolff
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Addolff

So for some reason or another she was immune then. Passive immunity?

HJ777
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HJ777

It’s not known. The point, however, is that ‘herd immunity’ is real. Thats why mass vaccination protects even those who haven’t been vaccinated.

Michael van der Riet
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Michael van der Riet

If you want to keep your immunity, you have to keep your antibodies, and to that you have to carry that viral load. The virii don’t undergo a sudden change of heart from baddies to goodies and promise never to attack another person again.

HJ777
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HJ777

That’ll be news to virologists.

Spike
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Spike

But the viral load remaining in his body has been neutralized by the antibodies. They are not virulent even when sneezed out.