Time for Voluntary Exposure? Sure, Expose me, or I Will Expose Myself! By Peter West

     There comes a time when you have to stop watching videos on how to swim, from the safety of mom’s basement, and venture out into the cold dark waters, and kick one’s limbs, and swim, or sink and drown. Either way, it is an answer to the problem of the meaning of life:

“Letting young people choose to be infected with coronavirus and protecting the elderly is the best way out of lockdown, scientists say. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have developed a “stratify-and shield” policy for combating Covid-19 in the UK – and they say it is time to consider the approach as an alternative to social distancing measures. Researchers say allowing low-risk, young individuals to be exposed to infection would be one way out of lockdownetty. The strategy would involve imposing more intense measures on the elderly and high-risk individuals while allowing low-risk, young individuals to be exposed to infection until the bulk of the population has developed immunity. The idea would be to protect against any second wave of coronavirus, once the epidemic has passed while relieving the strain on the NHS. “It is time to give serious consideration to a stratify-and-shield policy that could bring the Covid-19 epidemic to an end in a matter of months while restoring economic activity, avoiding overload of critical care services, and limiting mortality,” say Paul McKeigue and Helen Colhoun from the University of Edinburgh. The researchers say the epidemic will only pass if the population’s immunity reached a level where the reproduction number (number of secondary infection cases arising from on. And as an effective vaccine is not expected to be available for at least one year, their “stratify-and shield” policy would be the next best option. Their strategy would use medical records to assign risk levels to people to determine who should and shouldn’t be shielded. The analysis found that the proportion of the population that would be shielded under the policy would be no more than 15 per cent. Meanwhile, the other 85 per cent would voluntarily expose themselves to the virus. This policy has the potential to save lives, restore economic activity and end the epidemic long before a vaccine is available.

University of Edinburgh researchers
These people would then be able to resume something closer to normal life, once sufficient numbers were immune and the Government allowed it. “A stratify-and-shield policy using a classifier based on medical records has the potential to save lives, restore economic activity and end the epidemic long before a vaccine is expected to be available,” the researchers write. “This policy option should not be dismissed but seriously evaluated as an alternative to adaptive social distancing.”

     Despite this, the researchers say there are areas of uncertainty including the prevalence of immunity, the degree to which infection results in immunity, the fatality ratio, and how a classifier based on medical history performs. Unless lockdowns end soon, the economies may get beyond a point of repair, at least in the short term, and the loss of life from famine may exceed any virial deaths. Indeed, facing starvation people may long to die from the plague. Getting the economy going is the most important thing that can be done. Saving lives is vastly over-rated because we all die one day. Only the economy is eternal, well, not theologically but for this world. As most of us worship it, it is only logical to give it priority.



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Saturday, 13 August 2022