Author: yorksranter

Even more virus blogging. So, the SAGE 58 meeting on the 21st September supported going back into lockdown. Among much else it said this: An effective test, trace and isolate (TTI) system is important to reduce the incidence of infections in the community. Estimates of the effectiveness of this system on R are difficult to…

Read More Kibitzing SAGE

Things I’ve been reading. Here goes with the obvious. I re-read Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, and now I’m reviewing it in my own journal of the plague year. Meta, huh? From the first time round I’d kept an impression of throbbing body-horror and robust Protestantism, and there are definitely both of…

Read More Books

This quote from the New York Times coverage of Trump’s very own superspreading event leapt out at me: White House officials conceded on Tuesday that there had been an impression created that Mr. Trump was getting tested every day, and a reliance on testing as if it were a curative measure as opposed to a…

Read More Test as cure

The Guardian would like to tell you Germans have curious native customs that include opening their windows twice a day, and that even their leader Angela Merkel gives advice about this on television. Now, one of the basic things everyone should know by now about SARS-CoV2 is that it spreads primarily through aerosol transmission in…

Read More Serious

We keep getting news stories about contact tracing call-handlers with nothing to do. The Guardian is especially keen on these and seems to either think they are just idle and need scolding, or else they should be laid off for reasons of economy, as there’ll be no problem bringing them back in future. Strangely, it…

Read More How bad is the contact tracing – really?

Back in the first week of the virus lockdown, before “non-essential” businesses were closed, I went to my local bookshop. Business, they said, was as good as Christmas with one important difference: rather than Boring Postcards-style toilet funnies and gifts for relatives you don’t actually know, people were buying serious literature they actually intended to…

Read More Boooks

Following Dan Davies’ tracers here. The guy who the care-home industry pushed out to pick a row with the prime minister this week, hoping it would divert attention from their atrocious labour practices and how they helped their customers catch COVID-19, turns out to be the very same whose £100m-big operation got caught perpetrating £20k…

Read More Alternative, Terrible Models of Ownership

There has been quite some concern about what policy Labour can pursue in the context of a Conservative government that has essentially abandoned fiscal austerity as a goal. The good news is that there’s been a natural experiment on this in the United States, as this salty tweet points out – the $1200 emergency aid…

Read More Can’t Buy a Thrill: Keep the Furlough Scheme