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-====== Covid-19 Information ======+ ====== Covid-19 Information ======
 [[covid19:​why|Click here if you want to know why I'm sharing this]]. But much more important... [[covid19:​why|Click here if you want to know why I'm sharing this]]. But much more important...
- 
-The line below is a link to the most detailed analysis of the Covid-19 epidemic I've seen. It's information everyone needs, to understand why we are the cusp of the crisis, and what we need to do. 
  
 **[[https://​medium.com/​@tomaspueyo/​coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca|Please click on this link, read the content, and share it to others]]** **[[https://​medium.com/​@tomaspueyo/​coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca|Please click on this link, read the content, and share it to others]]**
 +
 +The line above is a link to the most detailed analysis of the Covid-19 epidemic I've seen. It's information everyone needs, to understand why we are the cusp of the crisis, and what we need to do.
 +
 +  * [[https://​theconversation.com/​the-case-for-endgame-c-stop-almost-everything-restart-when-coronavirus-is-gone-134232]|stop-almost-everything-restart-when-coronavirus-is-gone]]
 +        This argument makes sense on its own. When you take the next one into account, endgame C is **the only game in town**: it's endgame C or the Italian experience (or what will very soon be even worse, the US experience)
 +  * [[https://​arxiv.org/​pdf/​2003.06967.pdf|why no other strategy can work]] ​        
 +  * There is only one option, which is to follow China and South Korea in aiming to elimate Covid-19. Anything else leads inevitably to tens of thousands of deaths. And also leads to far worse economic disruption. The only question is how fast (and how fast will just be a matter of luck). In the end, we are going to follow China and S. Korea, because any government staring into the abyss will blink. Which means we will bear the economic cost of stringent control anyway, but from a far worse base, and therefore for far longer and with far more deaths than necessary. Don't "​flatten the curve",​ **Kill the Curve**.
  
 === Some other Useful Links === === Some other Useful Links ===
 +  * [[https://​www.theguardian.com/​commentisfree/​2020/​mar/​15/​epidemiologist-britain-herd-immunity-coronavirus-covid-19|A Harvard epidemiologist'​s view on '​rapidly getting to herd immunity'​ as a strategy]]
 +       If you think that's worrying, try thinking about rapidly getting to herd immmunity without killing unnecessary millions as a control problem: that will really freak you (see above)
   * [[https://​www.worldometers.info/​coronavirus/#​countries|Worldometer on Covid-19]]   * [[https://​www.worldometers.info/​coronavirus/#​countries|Worldometer on Covid-19]]
   * [[https://​www.worldometers.info/​world-population/​population-by-country/​|Worldometer on Country Populations]]   * [[https://​www.worldometers.info/​world-population/​population-by-country/​|Worldometer on Country Populations]]
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       [[covid19:​How|How you can use these three resources to figure out for yourself the situation in particular countries]]       [[covid19:​How|How you can use these three resources to figure out for yourself the situation in particular countries]]
   * [[https://​ourworldindata.org/​coronavirus|Countries by current doubling rate for Covid-19 Infection]]   * [[https://​ourworldindata.org/​coronavirus|Countries by current doubling rate for Covid-19 Infection]]
-       ​Australia ​is in the three-day tier: that's a dreadful place to be+       Not long ago, Australia ​was in the three-day tier; it's a fair bit better now, but not yet good enough. We need to start to see reductions in the community-acquired infection rate before we can even start to relax.
   * [[https://​www.wired.com/​story/​jack-ma-supply-us-covid-19-tests-masks/​|China as a source of Covid-19 gear]]   * [[https://​www.wired.com/​story/​jack-ma-supply-us-covid-19-tests-masks/​|China as a source of Covid-19 gear]]
       I haven'​t had time to verify this story, but it makes sense -- China has ramped up unbelievably fast to a huge productive capacity for the gear necessary for managing the epidemic. They don't need it all now -- but we do       I haven'​t had time to verify this story, but it makes sense -- China has ramped up unbelievably fast to a huge productive capacity for the gear necessary for managing the epidemic. They don't need it all now -- but we do
-  * [[https://​theconversation.com/​the-case-for-endgame-c-stop-almost-everything-restart-when-coronavirus-is-gone-134232]|stop-almost-everything-restart-when-coronavirus-is-gone]] + 
-        This argument makes sense on its own. When you take the next one into account, it is **the only game in town** +  
-  * [[https://​www.theguardian.com/​commentisfree/​2020/​mar/​15/​epidemiologist-britain-herd-immunity-coronavirus-covid-19|A Harvard epidemiologist'​s view on '​rapidly getting to herd immunity'​ as a strategy]] +/*     ​
-       If you think that's worrying, try thinking about rapidly getting to herd immmunity without killing unnecessary millions as a control problem: that will really freak you (see below) +
-  ​[[https://​theconversation.com/​the-case-for-endgame-c-stop-almost-everything-restart-when-coronavirus-is-gone-134232]|stop-almost-everything-restart-when-coronavirus-is-gone]] +
-        This argument makes sense on its own. When you take the next one into account, endgame c **the only game in town**: it's endgame C or Italy +
-  * [[https://​arxiv.org/​pdf/​2003.06967.pdf|why no other strategy can work]] +
-         There is only one option, which is to follow China and South Korea. Anything else leads to Italy, and tens of thousands of deaths. The only question is how fast (and how fast will just be a matter of luck).  +
-      ​+
 === And here's where it get's a bit Australian and a bit Political === === And here's where it get's a bit Australian and a bit Political ===
-Lest what is to come below seem all negative, I want to first share a piece of bright sunshine. Australia currently has arrival bans on all countries. The good news is, we don't need to. We could un-ban arrivals from China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong or Taiwan with minimal risk. Why? Becsuse their rates of undiagnosed Covid-19 are all far less than ours (and of course, they are not going to let people they know have Covid-19 on a plane). So the safest person you could meet, say on the streets of Sydney, would be someone just off the plane from there. So why is our government maintaining the ban? I think it's **because it would be enormously embarrassing for Australia to un-ban say China**, but still have hardly anyone come because they would know that **China would not let them come back**. Spin wins the day yet again! It shows how badly Australia has stuffed up. But it also shows how much hope there is, if only we could get our act together. We do not need to think pessimistically. China has completely solved its problem, they may have fewer active cases than us in a matter of days. despite around 50 times the population. And **South Korea** is dramatically reducing its active cases too. They are testing more people than us, and their new infection rate is far below ours, strongly suggesting that their undiagnosed infection rate is also way below ours. And they got there without huge social disruption. But the bottom line is, the whole of East Asia is now safer than Australia, despite going to Hell and back. So why are we still on that road to Hell???+Lest what is to come below seem all negative, I want to first share a piece of bright sunshine. Australia currently has arrival bans on all countries. The good news is, we don't need to. We could un-ban arrivals from China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong or Taiwan with minimal risk. Why? Becsuse their rates of undiagnosed Covid-19 are all far less than ours (and of course, they are not going to let people they know have Covid-19 on a plane). So the safest person you could meet, say on the streets of Sydney, would be someone just off the plane from China. So why is our government maintaining the ban? I think it's **because it would be enormously embarrassing for Australia to un-ban say China**, but still have hardly anyone come because they would know that **China would not let them come back**. Spin wins the day yet again! It shows how badly Australia has stuffed up. But it also shows how much hope there is, if only we could get our act together. We do not need to think pessimistically. China has completely solved its problem, they have half the active cases we do, despite around 50 times the population. And **South Korea** is dramatically reducing its active cases too. They are testing more people than us, and their new infection rate is far below ours, strongly suggesting that their undiagnosed infection rate is also way below ours. And they got there without huge social disruption. But the bottom line is, the whole of East Asia is now safer than Australia, despite going to Hell and back. So why are we still on that road to Hell???
 + 
 +Today, 1st April, the New South Wales premier, while making some otherwise reasonable announcements,​ said of covid-19 that "**it can't be stopped**"​. Initially, I thought it might be an April Fool's joke. But let's be clear, that is an **out and out lie**. China and South Korea have both shown that it can be stopped. OK, there may be some fuzziness around the edges of the Chinese figures (but to anyone who is following them, it is clear that they are more accurate than, say, the American figures). But S. Korea is a robust democracy -- somewhat more so than Australia, to be honest -- there is no way those figures are faked. So if we all know this (which anybody who has been keeping touch does), why does Gladys think it is OK to simply and barefacedly lie? **To all politicians**:​ the best way to stop misinformation on social media is to **stop lying yourselves**. If your aim is to '​flatten the curve' rather than 'kill the curve',​ you are being foolish, and the articles above explain why. But at least have the courage to be honest about it: it's not that we can't stop covid-19. It's that you don't want to. You are prepared to gamble with thousands of lives (though I accept you may not understand how bad the gamble is). Have the guts to say so!
  
 Prime Minister Morrison, on the slim chance you encounter this page, right now you have two choices. ​ Prime Minister Morrison, on the slim chance you encounter this page, right now you have two choices. ​
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 One is to ignore your spin doctors, forget the spin, and act now. So far, you have made a complete hash of things. You've now made a start, but nowhere near enough. I don't know whether you are getting bad advice, or whether you are ignoring or dithering on good advice, but the result is a disaster. Don't delay. Your delay last Friday **doubled our rate of infection**. Days, even hours, matter. If you act right now, today, you will bear some very real political cost for a few months. But your government has long enough to weather that. We won't escape some pretty bad consequences because it's already too late, but once the disaster strikes fully in Europe and the US, as it will, you will look Churchillian,​ the man who saved the country.  ​ One is to ignore your spin doctors, forget the spin, and act now. So far, you have made a complete hash of things. You've now made a start, but nowhere near enough. I don't know whether you are getting bad advice, or whether you are ignoring or dithering on good advice, but the result is a disaster. Don't delay. Your delay last Friday **doubled our rate of infection**. Days, even hours, matter. If you act right now, today, you will bear some very real political cost for a few months. But your government has long enough to weather that. We won't escape some pretty bad consequences because it's already too late, but once the disaster strikes fully in Europe and the US, as it will, you will look Churchillian,​ the man who saved the country.  ​
  
-The other is to continue as now, reacting far too little and far too late. People will look at China, and probably the rest of East Asia, and see that a catastrophe was avoidable, but you failed to avoid it. You will destroy not only your own career, but the chances of your party for the foreseeable future. ​+The other is to continue as now, reacting far too little and far too late. People will look at China, NZ, and probably the rest of East Asia, and see that a catastrophe was avoidable, but you failed to avoid it. You will destroy not only your own career, but the chances of your party for the foreseeable future. From a political perspective,​ you are already facing disaster. Your government, and the NSW liberal government, by your combined bungling of the Ruby Princess and other cruise liners, together with your government'​s further bungling of other international travel, especially from Italy, Iran and the US, have contributed a huge proportion of Australia'​s case load. When the general population see through the spin, and they will, no amount of blaming beachgoers -- stupid as they may have been -- is going to save you
  
 If both those decisions are too distasteful,​ there is another: to distance the government from the difficult decisions that need to be taken, by appointing a supremo and giving them the power to take necessary actions. It needs to be someone with a demonstrated capacity for decisiveness,​ for listening to the experts, and sufficiently respected and independent that their decisions are followed. It could be a thankless task. If both those decisions are too distasteful,​ there is another: to distance the government from the difficult decisions that need to be taken, by appointing a supremo and giving them the power to take necessary actions. It needs to be someone with a demonstrated capacity for decisiveness,​ for listening to the experts, and sufficiently respected and independent that their decisions are followed. It could be a thankless task.
  
-Prime Minister, please note that Australia is in the [[https://​ourworldindata.org/​coronavirus|three-day-doubling tier]]. That's a dreadful place to be. Countries in that tier (or even the four-day tier) with strong leadership are now in full lockdown. You should have done the same a week ago, but you have had to be forced to do the right thing by the state premiers. Do the right thing now, or get out of the way so someone who isn't perpetually looking at the spin can take over! +One other concern: the UK seems to be softening people up for a strategy of getting to herd immunity as fast as possible, and with as few deaths as possible. If you're considering any variant of this strategy, including '​flattening the curve',​ **you need to consult control theorists** because it is a control theoretic problem: please do not filter their advice through others, you need direct advice from control theorists. Please see [[https://​arxiv.org/​pdf/​2003.06967.pdf|this article]] for the beginnings of an analysis of why. I say 'the beginnings'​ because on a quick read, I think the model omits the key issues of stochasticity in response and stochasticity in measurement. Stochasticity makes the problem even harder. But it's a good start, the only one I can find on the web that even starts on the problem, and his conclusion seems to be pretty similar to mine: that a prudent '​flatten the curve' strategy would be essentially indisinguishable from an infection minimisation strategy. And because it would be faster **it would come at far less economic cost**. You're going to have to do it eventually. Do it now, when the recovery should only take a  month or so. Don't wait till we have a full-on covid-19 disaster: that way lies many months of economic stagnation, not to mention the excess deaths
- +
-One other concern: the UK seems to be softening people up for a strategy of getting to herd immunity as fast as possible, and with as few deaths as possible. If you're considering any variant of this strategy, including '​flattening the curve',​ **you need to consult control theorists** because it is a control theoretic problem: please do not filter their advice through others, you need direct advice from control theorists. Please see [[https://​arxiv.org/​pdf/​2003.06967.pdf|this article]] for the beginnings of an analysis of why. I say 'the beginnings'​ because on a quick read, I think the model omits the key issues of stochasticity in response and stochasticity in measurement. Stochasticity makes the problem even harder. But it's a good start, the only one I can find on the web that even starts on the problem, and his conclusion seems to be pretty similar to mine: that a prudent '​flatten the curve' strategy would be essentially indisinguishable from an infection minimisation strategy. ​+
  
 I've subsequently read that the UK plans to shut everyone vulnerable out of the way for four months (I guess that's how long they expect it will take to get to herd immunity) and just let 'er rip. That might be a good strategy **if** we knew pretty much everything there is to know about the virus and **if** the control problem was easier. But we don't and it isn't. Remember SARS? Remember Amoy Gardens in Hong Kong? That's where 321 people acquired SARS because the sewerage system was mis-designed and an aerosol of SARS-laden sewage was able to spread throughout the complex. It can't have been a very obvious problem (who would accept a modern apartment that stinks of sewage?). The Covid-19 virus is very closely related to that of SARS (that'​s why it's called SARS-COV-2). It's more likely than not that it could spread in the same way. Given Sydney'​s recent construction stuff-ups, if we can't trust developers to build structurally sound buildings, do you want to bet on the integrity of their sewer designs? More generally, we just don't know enough about Covid-19. Anything we don't know could put us back in the terrifying prospect of the preceding paragraph. Of course, if potential treatments such as [[https://​www.nature.com/​articles/​s41422-020-0282-0|Remdesvir or Chloroquine]] turn out to be effective, this might change -- but if they'​re effective enough, we may not need to aim at herd immunity (and we certainly shouldn'​t be letting 'er rip, or flattening the curve, until we do know). I've subsequently read that the UK plans to shut everyone vulnerable out of the way for four months (I guess that's how long they expect it will take to get to herd immunity) and just let 'er rip. That might be a good strategy **if** we knew pretty much everything there is to know about the virus and **if** the control problem was easier. But we don't and it isn't. Remember SARS? Remember Amoy Gardens in Hong Kong? That's where 321 people acquired SARS because the sewerage system was mis-designed and an aerosol of SARS-laden sewage was able to spread throughout the complex. It can't have been a very obvious problem (who would accept a modern apartment that stinks of sewage?). The Covid-19 virus is very closely related to that of SARS (that'​s why it's called SARS-COV-2). It's more likely than not that it could spread in the same way. Given Sydney'​s recent construction stuff-ups, if we can't trust developers to build structurally sound buildings, do you want to bet on the integrity of their sewer designs? More generally, we just don't know enough about Covid-19. Anything we don't know could put us back in the terrifying prospect of the preceding paragraph. Of course, if potential treatments such as [[https://​www.nature.com/​articles/​s41422-020-0282-0|Remdesvir or Chloroquine]] turn out to be effective, this might change -- but if they'​re effective enough, we may not need to aim at herd immunity (and we certainly shouldn'​t be letting 'er rip, or flattening the curve, until we do know).
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 I note today (17/3) that Britain has clearly abandoned the 'herd immunity fast' strategy. That seems to have been because Boris Johnson was shown that he could expect 20,000 cases if he acted today, and 200,000 if he didn'​t. However I'm leaving the preceding two paragraphs here, because ​ I note today (17/3) that Britain has clearly abandoned the 'herd immunity fast' strategy. That seems to have been because Boris Johnson was shown that he could expect 20,000 cases if he acted today, and 200,000 if he didn'​t. However I'm leaving the preceding two paragraphs here, because ​
   - it's not clear that the Australian government has yet learnt that lesson   - it's not clear that the Australian government has yet learnt that lesson
-  - it's not clear that either the UK or Australian governments have fully recognised ​how difficult the control problem in a '​flatten the curve' strategy actually is. 'Kill the curve' ​is really the only rational strategy.+  - it's not clear that either the UK or Australian governments have understood ​how difficult the control problem in a '​flatten the curve' strategy actually is. 'Kill the curve' really ​is the only rational strategy.
  
-Finally, please don't give in to [[https://​www.abc.net.au/​news/​2020-03-12/​coronavirus-cases-rise-in-nsw/​12048334|pessimism]]. The linked ABC report seems to imply that 1.5 million cases in NSW are inevitable -- I'm hoping it's a misinterpretation of the minister. Either way, it is **not** inevitable. China and South Korea were both in far worse states, within respectively one and two orders of magnitude more population, than NSW when they reacted decisively. They are not going to see 1.5 million cases, China is unlikely ​to reach 100,000 cases, and Korea will probably ​stay below 10,000. OK, China'​s reactions were draconian (but given they had no warning, probably necessary), and we don't want that level of control here. But we have had at least two months'​ warning, or mabye six weeks' if you discount the period of distraction by the bushfire crisis. South Korea is a liberal democracy, and its actions have been measured but effective. We could do worse than follow their example. Yes, one key issue (on-line case tracking) infringes on privacy. But if almost everyone gives this information to google and apple and other large businesses with barely a thought, so that they can send us the right advertising,​ we can certainly do so to save lives. ​+Finally, please don't give in to [[https://​www.abc.net.au/​news/​2020-03-12/​coronavirus-cases-rise-in-nsw/​12048334|pessimism]]. The linked ABC report seems to imply that 1.5 million cases in NSW are inevitable -- I'm hoping it's a misinterpretation of the minister. Either way, it is **not** inevitable. China and South Korea were both in far worse states, within respectively one and two orders of magnitude more population, than NSW when they reacted decisively. They are not going to see 1.5 million cases, China is not going to reach 100,000 cases, and Korea will probably ​just nudge 10,000. OK, China'​s reactions were draconian (but given they had no warning, probably necessary), and we don't want that level of control here. But we have had at least two months'​ warning. South Korea is a liberal democracy, and its actions have been measured but effective. We could do worse than follow their example. Yes, one key issue (on-line case tracking) infringes on privacy. But if almost everyone gives this information to google and apple and other large businesses with barely a thought, so that they can send us the right advertising,​ we can certainly do so to save lives. ​ 
 +*/