Talking of limitations to mental capacity (and apols if this has been done elsewhere), but am sure you will all be surprised and delighted to find out how wrong you all are in your Coronanalyses, courtesy of none other than Toby Young.
(Various bad science trigger warnings, continue at your own risk, etc.))
When we have herd immunity Boris will face a reckoning on this pointless and damaging lockdown
At the beginning of March, a lively debate took place about whether Britain should pursue a strategy of "herd immunity" – allowing coronavirus to spread until so many people had developed antibodies that it no longer posed a threat to public health – or place the entire country under lockdown. As is well-known, Boris Johnson initially embraced the former, saying the public needed to take the virus "on the chin", then performed a U-turn and imposed a full lockdown on March 23.
But recent data coming out of New York reveals that this was a false dichotomy. Sixty-eight per cent of people who took antibody tests at a clinic in the corona neighbourhood of Queens received positive results, suggesting that, in this area at least, the population is already close to achieving "herd immunity". This is in spite of the fact that New York imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the United States.
This fits with other data showing that the life cycle of the epidemic in each region or country where there’s been a viral outbreak follows a very similar pattern, regardless of whether or not a lockdown was imposed or how severe it was. For instance, if you plot the rise and fall in the number of new cases in Sweden on a graph, and then compare it to the same data in the UK, the two lines are almost identical, in spite of the fact that Sweden never imposed a lockdown. The same is true if you compare the trajectory of the virus in the 43 US states that locked down with the seven that didn’t.
In one respect, this is good news: it means a "second wave" of Covid-19 is unlikely and we can dispense with pointless social distancing measures, such as mandatory masks on public transport. The reason the number of new cases dwindles away to almost nothing after a fixed period of time – literally nothing in some regions – is probably because the majority of the population has been exposed to it, not because transmission has been interrupted by imprisoning people in their homes.
This isn’t immediately obvious because most people who catch the virus are asymptomatic, but that appears to be what’s happening. Some will have developed antibodies without knowing they had the disease, while others will have a natural immunity because they’ve already successfully fought off other coronaviruses, such as the common cold. People in that latter category will be immune even though they won’t test positive for Covid-19 antibodies. That means that the population of London is probably approaching herd immunity, even though only 17 per cent tested positive in the most recent seroprevalence survey.
But the bad news – at least from the Government’s point of view – is that this means the lockdown was unnecessary. So the loss of life that will result from suspending cancer screening programmes and postponing operations will turn out to have been avoidable, as will the catastrophic economic damage.
As it becomes clearer that the British population will soon achieve herd immunity, just as the population of Corona has, and the lockdown has done nothing to mitigate the impact of the virus, people will begin to ask tough questions of the Government. And Boris won’t be able to say we only know this now with the benefit of hindsight because he recognised the wisdom of the "herd immunity" strategy back in March. Whatever his excuse is, it will have to be better than that if the Conservatives are going to survive the reckoning.
Does the first brain cell make it up, and the second congratulate the first on an amazing job?