Once More into the Coronavirus Breach

By June 5, 2020 Commentary

A researcher in the United Kingdom has concluded that its lockdown was pointless, because the epidemic had already peaked before it was ordered.   (UK Story)  The study was based on the finding that an average 23 days passes between the time a person becomes infected and death.  Working backward from dates of death, the infection peak occurred before the lockdown.   Similar research has come to the same conclusion in Norway.  The author said that using milder social distancing would have been adequate.

The Minnesota modeling materials were slightly updated today, although the updates were dated May 18.  Nothing terribly material and no acknowledgment of how completely off the projections of the model have been.  More to come on that.

Speaking of models, a UK group has issued a paper on a new modeling approach.  (UK Paper)  The lead author has also given several interviews which can be found on Youtube or other sources in which he explains the model.  The model is heavily mathematical and based on work in neural biology.  One assumption is that there may be unobserved factors that explain observed variables, like cases or deaths.  The model attempts to tease those unobserved factors out.  But the modelers make some of the usual assumptions about susceptibility and other factors that lead the models to be inaccurate.  I have been avoiding modeling studies but this one was a bit of a different approach.

And here is a study from Japan, which I will shortly summarize as the authors finding that a general lockdown is not necessary, milder forms of mitigation are more than adequate with this epidemic.  (Medrxiv Paper)

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