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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
DMcG BS: Brexit & other UK political topics (2770* d) RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics 18 Jul 21

I don't agree, Steve, as you anticipated. I don't think there is anything to be gained by a protracted argument, but I will just pick up on one point:

if you see 100 people wearing masks, 99% of them are doing it needlessly

That is true in one sense, since 99 do not have the disease, but it is a significant fact that you don't know which one. And so you cannot isolate them to control the disease.

Given that, the important thing is the payoff. Compare with these two games. In the first, you pay 1 for a ticket, but one in a hundred wins a 500,000 prize. Do you play? Especially if you can buy multiple tickets? I certainly do! Conversely, the same game with a 5 prize? No, I don't play.

So the "99 free from infection when only one is infected" leaves out a critical factor, which is the impact of that one infected person (given we don't know which of the hundred it is.)

Vaccination certainly reduces the impact significantly, so we are not in the position we were at the start. But I think relaxing almost everything on 19th is unwise, I would certainly have kept the mask rules in place.   Many people, including the Health Secretary of State ask 'if not now, when'? My answer is when cases, hospitalisations and deaths have been sufficiently low for an extended period. Hardening that up, I'd say cases stable at the level of a few hundred at most for several weeks.

As for the fact it will always be with us. I agree, so we will have to run 'forever' a system for detecting outbreaks and dealing with local outbreaks. As we do for other diseases.

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