The meme is real. That was the reaction across the world as Britain delivered a clear message: keep calm and carry on… we have a plan. UK’s health secretary said:
“We have a plan, based on the expertise of world-leading scientists. Herd immunity is not a part of it. That is a scientific concept, not a goal or a strategy. Our goal is to protect life from this virus, our strategy is to protect the most vulnerable and protect the NHS through contain, delay, research and mitigate.
We are working through our clear action plan. Like all our decisions, the plan is based on the bedrock of the science, with maximum transparency. We will do the right thing at the right time, based on the best available science.”
That’s while hysteria has reached peak levels on social media with calls to shut it down, SHUT DOWN EVERYTHING, as fools in their mind become experts.
They seem agitated that the UK especially but also US seem to be doing their own thing instead of following orders to copy authoritarians of a still developing country whose entire education system of China has produced as top university in world ranking Tsinghua University in circa 45th position, same level as the University of Bristol.
Above the University of Bristol there are 8 other British universities, all of whom you’ve heard of but relevant in this case is Imperial College London, the scientists university, ranked 9th globally.
They have been studying this since it began in early January, and before this became a pandemic partly due to their conclusions UK was able to contain this very well.
Now it can’t be contained, and according to these scientists as a matter of fact the population will have to become immune to it.
That the badly defeated left wants to play politics with such a matter, explains why they were badly defeated, because they keep hysterically shouting at those who have dedicated their entire life studying these things.
Some of them presumably are very passionate and love what they do, and some of them might even be geniuses, or a degree or two away from it.
They have a plan, and the plan is obviously not to infect everyone, that’s just what now is inevitable. It’s a fact, as the only other way to stop this is to stamp down every single case in the world which is impossible because of asymptomatic carriers.
The other fact is young people generally only get a common cold. So to protect the at risk groups, they want to manage to who it spreads and also the rate of it to slow it down, but effectively and at the right time and based on what say British scientists with specific expertise, not politicians or the media or anyone else.
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has stated “within the coming weeks” those over 70 will be asked to stay at home for three months. He said:
“The next planned effective interventions will need to be instituted soon, including measures to ‘shield’ older and medically vulnerable people from the virus.
Everyone will need to help to ensure they get the support they need to stay at home, and to protect them from the consequences of isolation: loneliness, and a lack of support.
Government, local councils, charities, friends and neighbours will need to be part of the national effort to support the shielded. We will provide expert advice and support as soon as we progress to this phase.”
The government has asked “any manufacturers to transform their production lines to make ventilators. We cannot make too many,” he said.
Hotels might be turned into hospitals as well, with the government clearly preparing for the worst as this is a very infectious disease that doesn’t appear to be very containable even with general lockdowns.
The government in UK has stated there won’t necessarily be a general lockdown, but they haven’t categorically ruled one out emphasizing instead getting the timing right is key.
A hint of their approach however might be glanced next week when they are to pass a law to order schools to stay open unless asked to close, alongside many other measures.
So it may be they limit any lockdown to the elderly, who are at most risk and most demanding of health care, with the supposed u-turn in regards to banning large gatherings of more than 1,000 people being more to not have unnecessary extra pressure on the health system as ambulances might need to attend these gatherings, rather than any u-turn in regards to their approach under an understanding that as a matter of fact the population will need to develop herd immunity for this to stop.
UK thus is taking a different approach and it will presumably have to stick to the plan with history to judge whether rightly or wrongly, but it is based on the best evidence available for this specific pandemic and on how to handle pandemics in general.
In addition you’d think as a species it’s good we have two approaches because it’s not clear what happens in autumn or winter when this virus’ season returns after it has already spread.
For Italy it came at the end of winter, and it gotten pretty bad. It’s not clear just how much worse it might get when it can run the whole course from autumn to spring.
So maybe in UK life will continue as semi-normal, but with specific targeted measures especially where the elderly are concerned and in general to slow down the spread in an effective way while having the perspective of months rather than the hope a two or four week lockdown sorts it out when there isn’t really much evidence to suggest so and there won’t be until we see what happens in autummn.
Targeted measures however might be more effective at slowing the spread as the elderly are likely to fully follow the advice given as are those who have symptoms and later on the entire household of anyone with symptoms.
While children might do so for a few days, but most of them don’t even get symptoms, so teenagers especially for example or young adults would probably get bored and maybe won’t do it when it needs to be done, like if someone in their household has symptoms.
So the fundamental difference seems to be somewhat simple. There’s a targeted approach potentially enforced even by the law, and there’s a perhaps far cruder approach which realistically can’t even be enforced unless there’s martial law and even then it won’t change the basic fact that for this to stop some 60% have to become immune to it.
If we are right in our analysis of the British approach, which we don’t know but from what we can logically derive, then there might be minimal disruption, with life going on generally as normal, but not for the elderly for a few months, and not for a household with symptoms for a week.
Were that correct, then markets should perhaps breath a sight of relief at the far more sophisticated approach that keeps the lights on while also addressing the pandemic that we now have to face, but with a cool headed, calm and a scientific approach, rather than shut down everything and pray that magically stops it.
There is of course an information war going over this and the British government has done an excellent job of informing the public and the world so far.
It’s not clear whether, in their view, the public and the world becomes even more educated if we see the actual plan for the reasonable or expected scenario and the reasonably worst case scenario.
They might not because research is still ongoing of course and since timing is key they might judge it’s better measures are stated when the time is right, but it might be useful to know if a general lockdown is out of the view, at least as far as they currently see it, or whether they think this targeted approach is far better and sufficient and thus London will keep moving.
Markets, after seeing a lockdown of Milan, have probably priced in a following suit lockdown in even London or New York.
So if London is taking a different approach, then markets might now have to price in the fact that potentially there won’t be a drastic economic hit for anglo-saxons, but a disturbance.
If that is the case, then perhaps we’ll have to sing The Brits Are Coming a Second Time Amore.