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Brunolem

The downside of having a small number of cases

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Posted (edited)

If Western European countries were seeing their cases of new infections going down to, say, 100 to 150 per day, maybe they would declare victory and start lifting restrictions in order to put their economy back on track. 

 

Yet, with numbers already in the low hundreds, Thailand, along with a number of other countries, is in the process of ramping up its restrictions. 

 

The question is: what kind of figures these countries with already low numbers would need to lift the restrictions and go back to business as usual? 

 

This question matters because it may take a very long time to see them decline to double digits, and even in this case, some countries, like Japan, are still in a defensive position. 

 

Thailand has about 1,600 officially infected people within a population of about 70 million... at the actual pace of infections, the reservoir of potential victims appears nearly infinite (it would take years to infect a significant percentage of the population). 

 

All this to say that the information missing, not only from Thailand, but from almost everywhere is: at what point (number of new cases) will a country go back to normal? 

 

If this number is very low, it may take forever to be reached... 

 

 

Edited by Brunolem
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That’s a great question. At the end of a successful 6 month strict lockdown, only a tiny proportion of the population might have been infected. With consequent zero herd immunity, things would just start up again if everyone resumed normal life. A vaccine would change everything, but have just read a New Scientist article which states that the much quoted timeline of 12 to 18 months for development of an effective vaccine is wildly optimistic.

 

People might just have to get used to the idea that there’s one more thing that mainly the elderly and frail will die of, in addition to cancer, heart disease, stroke, dementia, and that the cure for the China virus, with its consequent economic devastation, has become worse than the disease.

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Posted (edited)

It is In Neil Ferguson's botched twice-written paper, which remains the blueprint for the madness:

 

"The main challenge of this approach is that NPIs (and drugs, if available) need to be maintained – at least intermittently - for as long as the virus is circulating in the human population, or until a vaccine becomes available. In the case of COVID-19, it will be at least a 12-18 months before a vaccine is available3 . Furthermore, there is no guarantee that initial vaccines will have high efficacy."

 

"Once interventions are relaxed (in the example in Figure 3, from September onwards), infections begin to rise, resulting in a predicted peak epidemic later in the year. The more successful a strategy is at temporary suppression, the larger the later epidemic is predicted to be in the absence of vaccination, due to lesser build-up of herd immunity."

 

"Given suppression policies may need to be maintained for many months, we examined the impact of an adaptive policy in which social distancing (plus school and university closure, if used) is only initiated after weekly confirmed case incidence in ICU patients (a group of patients highly likely to be tested) exceeds a certain “on” threshold, and is relaxed when ICU case incidence falls below a certain “off” threshold (Figure 4). Case-based policies of home isolation of symptomatic cases and household quarantine (if adopted) are continued throughout."

 

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf

 

So for as long as the virus is circulating or a vaccine comes. But it depends on the capacity of each country's health system. Because they'll monitor ICU usage and when a capacity point is reached they will put the policies in place again.

Edited by Logosone
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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, CygnusX1 said:

That’s a great question. At the end of a successful 6 month strict lockdown, only a tiny proportion of the population might have been infected. With consequent zero herd immunity, things would just start up again if everyone resumed normal life. A vaccine would change everything, but have just read a New Scientist article which states that the much quoted timeline of 12 to 18 months for development of an effective vaccine is wildly optimistic.

Johnson & Johnson is optimistic about starting trials in September: https://www.ft.com/content/90de944f-8903-4489-8a05-41a7e8742161 . Moderna is already doing trials: https://www.ft.com/content/e0ecc6b6-5d43-11ea-b0ab-339c2307bcd4

 

With the enormous effort that is being poured into developing a vaccine it might be a shorter than usual timeframe.

Edited by DrTuner

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I'm hoping normal travel will resume by July /August, but I am not optimistic. It's the contagiousness of this strain that is the problem, perfectly designed for human hosts. Plus its stealth in having asymptomatic carriers. Until a vaccine is found, it will continue to disrupt.

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16 minutes ago, DrTuner said:

With the enormous effort that is being poured into developing a vaccine it might be a shorter than usual timeframe.

Thanks for links, though the first is paywalled. Second link interesting, lots of novel but untried technologies being used, but doesn’t fill me with confidence. Quote “Despite the rush, vaccine experts say that it will be at least a year to 18 months before one is available for widespread use — typically the process takes several years.”

I’d be delighted to be proved completely wrong.

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20 minutes ago, Lacessit said:

I'm hoping normal travel will resume by July /August, but I am not optimistic.

Did you mean July/August 2021 or July/August 2022?

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Posted (edited)

UK may get a vaccine in January, if all goes perfectly

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8169323/British-doctor-overseeing-hunt-coronavirus-vaccine-says-medics-fast-tracked.html

 

By the way, if you google how to avoid newspaper paywall you can put a chrome extension in the browser that avoids the paywall. All articles become readable.

Edited by Logosone

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To all members above:

 

Guys, remember that millions upon millions of people are out of work, without any form of decent income, without any light at the end of the tunnel... that is, if it is a tunnel, and not a cave. 

 

Even in the "rich" USA, a very large part of the population was living from paycheck to paycheck, before the virus crisis...and it was wellknown that almost half of the population couldn't face an unexpected 400 dollars expense. 

 

The World Bank, which is, as usual, way behind the curve, just declared that 11 million people "could" soon go into poverty. 

 

I would multiply this ridiculous number by somewhere between ten and one hundred (just think about India alone). 

 

This is so insane that it is hard to believe that the governments don't see what they are doing and where this is leading... 

 

Hungry and angry people don't wait for vaccines, especially when they are not sick! 

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I gave my gardener a sack of rice. Hopefully that will keep the wolves at bay for a few months.

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As we try to keep the "infection-rate" low (not overwhelming the health systems), it also means that this will (theoretically) go on forever. Never reaching "herd-immunity".
A Vaccine is the only cure.

Unfortunately, the Testing and Approval phase takes longer than the developpement of the vaccine itself.
Suggestion: To shorten this process, offer any guy on "death-row" to function as as a Ginnie-pig. Offer him reduced sentencing. If he doesen't drop death within 48 hours and he is "cured": We have the vaccine. Only way to reduce this lenghty Testing and Approval nonsense that takes longer than the developement of the  vaccine itself.

Of course, this will only come into consideration if people start to die in the millions, the world running out of perfectly innocent laboratory-rats. As opposed to murderers on death-row.

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3 hours ago, Brunolem said:

To all members above:

 

Guys, remember that millions upon millions of people are out of work, without any form of decent income, without any light at the end of the tunnel... that is, if it is a tunnel, and not a cave. 

 

Even in the "rich" USA, a very large part of the population was living from paycheck to paycheck, before the virus crisis...and it was wellknown that almost half of the population couldn't face an unexpected 400 dollars expense. 

 

The World Bank, which is, as usual, way behind the curve, just declared that 11 million people "could" soon go into poverty. 

 

I would multiply this ridiculous number by somewhere between ten and one hundred (just think about India alone). 

 

This is so insane that it is hard to believe that the governments don't see what they are doing and where this is leading... 

 

Hungry and angry people don't wait for vaccines, especially when they are not sick! 

So right you are. The economical aftermath will still have far reaching effects, long after the Virus has vanished into history. Our Children will have to deal with it.

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8 hours ago, Logosone said:

I gave my gardener a sack of rice. Hopefully that will keep the wolves at bay for a few months.

How generous of you.

 

Somehow I doubt that such gifts will keep the Western wolves (yellow vests and the likes) happy for long.

 

After all, our society is/was a consumer society, not a cavemen society.

 

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5 hours ago, swissie said:

So right you are. The economical aftermath will still have far reaching effects, long after the Virus has vanished into history. Our Children will have to deal with it.

Not only our children, but also us...unless we don't survive the pandemic.

 

Once the economy in ruin, sacrifices will be asked/imposed, and they will probably include large cuts in retiree pensions.

 

Of course, these cuts will be presented as temporary...

 

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