From: PDX (and now) London, UK
For more recent information watch this interview of Ferguson (35 minutes). april 25th.
Watching it. Here are the main points:
Lockdown reduced transmission to 0.6 in the UK by May.
Every country has failed to shield the old and vulnerable.
We should be looking at South Korea as a model. The only way to use their model is to get case numbers low enough to help shield vulnerable better, use tracking and isolation.
Also, once case numbers are low other medical issues can be treated more effectively again, reducing non-Covid excess deaths.
If lockdown had not occurred health system would be overwhelmed and both Covid deaths and those from other treatable conditions would have been higher.
Once case numbers are low relaxing more areas of the economy will be possible.
Some social distancing will be necessary until a vaccine is developed.
Some hospitals were at capacity in London during the peak, but the lockdown prevented the overall system being overwhelmed, unlike NYC, which was worse.
There is a tradeoff now as we open between what is able to open and the goal of lowering case numbers, as pointed out above.
If you run a higher transmission rate than Ro = 1 then you will have a higher mortality rate. They've run scenarios for higher transmission rates and it would be very hard to shield the vulnerable in these scenarios. Sceptical it's achievable, and there might be more than 100k deaths in those situations by the end of the year in the UK.
Middle and lower income people much more vulnerable. Hard to protect them for multiple reasons. Same is true for many developing countries around the world.
Worried science will be distorted to support different political agendas, negating it's objective findings.
It is a good interview, I like this interviewer, I have watched two of his other interviews (well, listened to them while I cut the grass).
I would like to have seen more talk of South Korea, and also more of a discussion of his disagreement with Sweeden's route.
He seems to say enough to understand their death rate, at the time the same per capita as NYC apparently, was very high compared to other strategies. I thought his stance on Korea being the model to follow implied what he thought of the Swedish choice. You have to get case numbers down to follow that model, and Sweden's course is to allow a (hopefully) slow burn through the population.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill