Hancock does *not* rule out even tougher measures incl: curfewsclosing nurseriesending support bubblesmasks outsideone hour exercise "I don't want to speculate", he says, because most imp thing is not whether Govt strengthens rules but whether people follow them. — Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) January 10, 2021 How should we understand this? One theory would be that…Read More Three Matt Hancocks
So how much money has the government spent on the contact-tracing programme? Silly question. Everyone knows the number is £12bn. Or maybe £22bn. I am generally sceptical of the National Audit Office; it’s managed to mission-creep into being a general purpose policy evaluation group, but its terms of reference haven’t kept up, so it has…Read More how much do you think we spent on contact tracing?
This raises the question of why it’s always “grade inflation” we hear about and never “grade growth” or “educational productivity improvement”. A while ago I responded to this Chris Cook piece about The One Where They Decided To Downgrade Everyone To Match Their Class Except For Subjects Only Rich Kids Do – remember that? it’s…Read More looking back on an omnishambles
This long read looking back at the 1978 smallpox outbreak in Birmingham is a remarkable document of mundane competence. Although the origin of the outbreak was a laboratory cock-up, the local authority swung into action, mobilizing local, national, and international resources, tracing contacts, isolating patients, and ring-vaccinating the bug out of existence. This is Dr.…Read More Public incompetence is a moral issue
In the acracy post I briefly touched on the apparently influential idea that there’s an economic calculus you can apply to COVID-19 – an inverse relationship between R and GDP growth. I didn’t really want to go into it much because I was writing about acracy rather than economics, so let’s get back to it.…Read More The Hancock curve
So, after a tragi-comic autumn of increasingly pitiful attempts to project normality, here we are back in lockdown. How did we get here? Here’s Stephen Bush: In both cases, the real problem is not the Chancellor but a Prime Minister whose mode of operation is to pander to which-ever voice is currently shouting the loudest:…Read More U-Turn on Akrasia Avenue
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
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
So remember that time I was trying to understand the contact tracing statistics? Well, the situation has since developed not necessarily to our advantage. According to the most recent release, 68% of suspect contacts are being reached. This is of course less than the official target, a disgrace, etc. However, if the celebrated paper that…Read More Isolate, trace, and test
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?