Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Covid-19 discussion, bring your own statistics
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Martin_B
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by Martin_B » Mon May 25, 2020 8:02 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 7:49 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 3:53 pm
Then again, there are photos of people with trolleys full of toilet roll, videos of people fighting over the last packs, etc.

Loads of countries had rules, many of them far stricter than the UK's, limiting the amount of shopping people could do, and I haven't heard of any countries in Europe distributing bog rolls to people as a matter of policy. Nevertheless, anecdotally, few countries saw the same level of empty shelves as the UK and USA have, which suggests cultural factors.
Possibly too sophisticated an explanation. But at the time in the UK there was talk of a herd immunity strategy. If the majority of the population is to be infected and have to quarantine for two weeks then its not completely unreasonable for households to assume that they'll need to stock up with two weeks worth of essential supplies.
However, I'm not sure 100 toilet rolls is "two weeks worth of essential supplies".
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by Blackcountryboy » Mon May 25, 2020 8:13 am

I am feeling guilty because I inadvertently started this discussion on panic buying. When I posted this on 22 May,
We usually shop on Friday but we 16 March concerned about panic buying I went on Wednesday. Went to Sainsburys first, it was packed, like foot
ball terraces in the 1950s, I decided shopping there was not a goog idea and walked right out. I then went to Tesco, crowded but not as bad as Sainsburys so did some shopping, couldn't get everthing so went our usual supermarket, Waitroses, and completed our weekly shop. I wonder how many people who were not at work that week were visiting a lot of crowded supermarkets to panic buy. Could panic buying have been stopped at that time?
lpm had made the point that many people had started to lock down on 16 March, I was trying to make the point this was offset, to some extent, by people crowding into Supermarkets. Sorry folks for not making it clearer that the panic buying wasn’t the real issue but the crowding and people going from one crowded supermarket to another.
Perhaps I am getting too old and my thinking too muddled for this forum.

Thanks to all of you anyway, lurking here keeps me up to date with some good commentary on the worlds events.

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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by tenchboy » Mon May 25, 2020 8:53 am

Blackcountryboy wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:13 am

Perhaps I am getting too old and my thinking too muddled for this forum.

Thanks to all of you anyway, lurking here keeps me up to date with some good commentary on the worlds events.
Not at all bcb, I for one am always happy to see your posts and am grateful for your insight.
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by discovolante » Mon May 25, 2020 8:54 am

Blackcountryboy wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:13 am
I am feeling guilty because I inadvertently started this discussion on panic buying. When I posted this on 22 May,
We usually shop on Friday but we 16 March concerned about panic buying I went on Wednesday. Went to Sainsburys first, it was packed, like foot
ball terraces in the 1950s, I decided shopping there was not a goog idea and walked right out. I then went to Tesco, crowded but not as bad as Sainsburys so did some shopping, couldn't get everthing so went our usual supermarket, Waitroses, and completed our weekly shop. I wonder how many people who were not at work that week were visiting a lot of crowded supermarkets to panic buy. Could panic buying have been stopped at that time?
lpm had made the point that many people had started to lock down on 16 March, I was trying to make the point this was offset, to some extent, by people crowding into Supermarkets. Sorry folks for not making it clearer that the panic buying wasn’t the real issue but the crowding and people going from one crowded supermarket to another.
Perhaps I am getting too old and my thinking too muddled for this forum.

Thanks to all of you anyway, lurking here keeps me up to date with some good commentary on the worlds events.
Nah we just take stuff and run with what we want to talk about ;)
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by Aitch » Mon May 25, 2020 9:14 am

Martin Y wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:59 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 3:53 pm
Then again, there are photos of people with trolleys full of toilet roll, videos of people fighting over the last packs, etc.
The pic I was invited to tut at on Facebook (by someone I don't quietly defriend because I feel it probably helps to see other bubbles than one's own) was a middle aged Pakistani* man pushing a trolley heaped with toilet roll. Except it clearly wasn't a supermarket. It was a cash-and-carry. So he was a shopkeeper.

* Immigrant bonus. Extra tutting points.
Having seen a Chinese woman with a trolley full of loo rolls in Sainsbury's, before lock-down, just as the panic buying started, I'm fairly sure that sort of thing did happen. But maybe she had a giant family, was buying them for a care-home or as presents for friends, I don't know her reasons.

Mind you, whether she was allowed to buy them all when she reached the till is another matter.
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by discovolante » Mon May 25, 2020 9:17 am

Aitch wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 9:14 am
Martin Y wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:59 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 3:53 pm
Then again, there are photos of people with trolleys full of toilet roll, videos of people fighting over the last packs, etc.
The pic I was invited to tut at on Facebook (by someone I don't quietly defriend because I feel it probably helps to see other bubbles than one's own) was a middle aged Pakistani* man pushing a trolley heaped with toilet roll. Except it clearly wasn't a supermarket. It was a cash-and-carry. So he was a shopkeeper.

* Immigrant bonus. Extra tutting points.
Having seen a Chinese woman with a trolley full of loo rolls in Sainsbury's, before lock-down, just as the panic buying started, I'm fairly sure that sort of thing did happen. But maybe she had a giant family, was buying them for a care-home or as presents for friends, I don't know her reasons.

Mind you, whether she was allowed to buy them all when she reached the till is another matter.
What's the relevance of her being Chinese?
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by Millennie Al » Tue May 26, 2020 1:29 am

Blackcountryboy wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:13 am
Sorry folks for not making it clearer that the panic buying wasn’t the real issue but the crowding and people going from one crowded supermarket to another.
It's too late now - you've already triggered the panic posting.

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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue May 26, 2020 1:44 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 1:29 am
Blackcountryboy wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:13 am
Sorry folks for not making it clearer that the panic buying wasn’t the real issue but the crowding and people going from one crowded supermarket to another.
It's too late now - you've already triggered the panic posting.
Nah, we would all have posted that stuff anyway. Blackcountryboy's post just meant we all did it say the same time ;)
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by snoozeofreason » Tue May 26, 2020 11:22 am

I suspect that the principal cause of empty shelves in supermarkets was that we moved to a position where people consumed maybe 80-90% of their food and toiletries at home, and the remaining 10-20% at workplaces or eateries, to one where nearly 100% of consumption takes place at home. Stuff you consume at home tends to be bought from supermarkets and convenience stores, whereas stuff you consume outside comes from different suppliers. (The ever-resourceful Mrs. Snooze twigged this fairly early on, and started seeking out the sort of firms who would normally supply offices and restaurants to see if they would now deliver to residential properties, and a lot of the time they do).
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by shpalman » Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:14 am

Quarantine of inbound travellers in March (rather than just getting around to it now) might have helped https://virological.org/t/preliminary-a ... neages/507
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:40 am

So this is lockdown at all versus no lockdown, but this team estimated the UK alone saved nearly half a million lives by lockdown.

The obvious caveat is that without a top-down lockdown, it is likely people would have adopted many of the measures anyway through fear of the virus, so it might be better to say that the measures taken spared that many. Still, it's a sobering number.

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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by PeteB » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:48 am

Devastating more or less episode this morning - how the IC model underestimated the doubling time and led to the late lockdown

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000jw02

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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by lpm » Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:00 am

I boycott R4 but apparently the program said armchair modellers with spreadsheets did a better job. i.e. us.

When on 12 March they said 4 weeks behind Italy we here instantly knew this was false. We all knew it was about 14 days. Turned out to be 14-16. It was not hard. It was just a spreadsheet with a bit of data copied and pasted in, a couple of formulae and a sense check. The professionals completely forgot the sense check.

The professionals weren't just a bit out, they were unbelievably out. Deaths within a month were eight times higher than their prediction. Not 10% out, or 50% or even double - eight times.
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by PeteB » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:09 am

Yes, they had originally calibrated the model based on early Wuhan data, but not re-checked the calibrations either on Italy data or early UK data

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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by shpalman » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:53 am

PeteB wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:09 am
Yes, they had originally calibrated the model based on early Wuhan data, but not re-checked the calibrations either on Italy data or early UK data
They seemed to be aware that the model was contradicted by the Italy data but chose to assume that the Italy data was wrong (which of course it was, but no more wrongerer than the UK data turned out to be over a similar period).
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by shpalman » Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:36 pm

having that swing is a necessary but not sufficient condition for it meaning a thing
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by jimbob » Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:55 pm

I think it was probably more.

We locked down 15 days after Italy. During that time, the infection rate was growing pretty much at about 35% per day, which wasn't dissimilar to Wuhan at a similar stage. We could have locked down a day after Italy, and still be 2-weeks earlier than we did.

By March 12th, there was a study saying that a week earlier lockdown in Wuhan would have reduced cases by 66%. With the similar exponential rate through that period, it's not unreasonable to say that each week earlier would have reduced the cases to 33% of what it would have been with a week's delay.

So I'm going for closer to 90% of cases could have been avoided.
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by shpalman » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:49 pm

https://twitter.com/Hayley_Barlow/statu ... 42597?s=09
EXCL: Channel 4 News has seen a leaked paper prepared for one of the scientific committees advising the government - which called in the starkest possible way for a lockdown - a full two weeks before the official announcement was made.
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by Fishnut » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:43 pm

shpalman wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:49 pm
https://twitter.com/Hayley_Barlow/statu ... 42597?s=09
EXCL: Channel 4 News has seen a leaked paper prepared for one of the scientific committees advising the government - which called in the starkest possible way for a lockdown - a full two weeks before the official announcement was made.
Not quite as exclusive as the tweet makes out apparently,

https://twitter.com/LawDavF/status/1270784406060437510
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:49 pm

I get the impression that the government selected which scientific advice to follow based on what they wanted to do anyway. Is that uncharitable of me?

I'd love to hear what this forum's emergency-planner thinks of all this, but I'm sure he's far too discreet and professional.
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by Fishnut » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:08 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:49 pm
I get the impression that the government selected which scientific advice to follow based on what they wanted to do anyway. Is that uncharitable of me?
I think that's standard operating procedure for most governments. The only reason we're noticing is that what they want to do is so insane and contrary to the advice that it's impossible to ignore their disregard for experts. At least with Brexit they could wheel out the odd economist who thought it would be great for the UK to leave the EU. There's no expert, it seems, who's willing to throw their lot in with this government and give them the cover of "experts are divided".
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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by PeteB » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:04 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:49 pm
I get the impression that the government selected which scientific advice to follow based on what they wanted to do anyway. Is that uncharitable of me?...
Well, specifically on the doubling time, if you look at the SAGE minutes, it was only at the meeting of the 23rd, that SAGE learnt of the change of the estimate to 3-5 day doubling, and the lockdown was ordered that same evening.

However there was plenty of politicians (including Jeremy Hunt and Rory Stewart) that had called for a lockdown a couple of weeks beforehand.

Our failure, on the Helmand campaign, was not (as the media always assumed) that we were ignoring or overruling military advice. It was that we failed to challenge it, to interrogate it enough, to expose the differences within the expert community and have a proper debate.

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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by Little waster » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:23 am

PeteB wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:04 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:49 pm
I get the impression that the government selected which scientific advice to follow based on what they wanted to do anyway. Is that uncharitable of me?...
Well, specifically on the doubling time, if you look at the SAGE minutes, it was only at the meeting of the 23rd, that SAGE learnt of the change of the estimate to 3-5 day doubling, and the lockdown was ordered that same evening.

However there was plenty of politicians (including Jeremy Hunt and Rory Stewart) that had called for a lockdown a couple of weeks beforehand.

Our failure, on the Helmand campaign, was not (as the media always assumed) that we were ignoring or overruling military advice. It was that we failed to challenge it, to interrogate it enough, to expose the differences within the expert community and have a proper debate.
Incidentally that twitter feed lead to Tim Montogomerie's mea culpa which paints a picture of a No.10 set-up actively hostile to independent thought and critical advice resulting in a talent pool of mediocrities and yes-men.

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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by badger » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:27 pm

PeteB wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:48 am
Devastating more or less episode this morning - how the IC model underestimated the doubling time and led to the late lockdown

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000jw02
It is devastating. One of the many interesting things in it is around how SPI-M (SAGE modelling sub-committee) feeds into SAGE. So it seems it's not a clear case that in early March scientists said "lockdown" and Govt said "let's hold on for a week or two"'. SPI-M had varied views and ended up presenting a model to SAGE which was wrong. When it was corrected, lockdown happened. Therefore, Govt's "Guided by the science" has a ring of truth.

Why did SPI-M not say - "there's some disagreement, but worst case scenario says lockdown now, coz if you wait you'll get loads of death and much, much harder unlockdown"? Why did they feel they had to give a single view (as shown in SAGE minutes, apparently, though have not read them myself)?

Why did SAGE not say - "Hmmm, interesting model, SPI-M, but my twitter feed, WHO, every armchair Epidemiologist in the blogosphere, my spidey sense and also Aunty Mabel's cat, is saying things are worse that your (flu) model and we should lockdown now, please report for interrogation immediately"

We now have scientists breaking ranks and admonishing the Govt for not locking down earlier, but they were also involved in the process of advising the govt - possibly badly. Are we looking at an impending blame-game bloodbath between scientists and govt? And even within SAGE and sub-committees?

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Re: Could an earlier lockdown have saved 30,000?

Post by PeteB » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:02 pm

I don't absolve politicians
Rory Stewart 12th March

https://youtu.be/pdeHUGalpaE

Jeremy hunt was saying similar things

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