British scientists have crunched the numbers and done the formulas and have this week announced what they believe is the best way to beat coronavirus – a ‘lockdown rollover’ until 2022.
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An alternating 80-day cycle of 50 days on and 30 days off will reduce the number of COVID-19 deaths and admissions to intensive care units, according to their research.
This would allow month-long intervals of relaxed social distancing followed by proper lockdowns which would last 20 days longer.
As reported by MSN, the strategy is based on mathematical formulas using data from 16 countries and applies to the UK.
Lead author Dr Rajiv Chowdhury of Cambridge University, says:
Although we did not model the situation in the UK, I would expect it to be very similar to that in other high income countries.
Their studies showed that this system is more sustainable over the long term than current methods that minimise person-to-person transmission of the virus. It would also save jobs and relieve financial insecurity and social disruption. They would also keep the “test-contact trace-isolate” system in place.
Our models predict dynamic cycles of 50-day suppression followed by a 30-day relaxation are effective at lowering the number of deaths significantly for all countries throughout the 18 month period.
This intermittent combination of strict social distancing, and a relatively relaxed period, with efficient testing, case isolation, contact tracing and shielding the vulnerable, may allow populations and their national economies to ‘breathe’ at intervals – a potential that might make this solution more sustainable, especially in resource-poor regions.
Well this isn’t exactly what anyone wants to hear, but I get that they’re just trying to find the best solution that will protect the population from COVID-19 as well as minimise economic hardship and ensure we don’t all start going crazy on permanent lockdown. A widely available vaccine is still said to be at least a year away, so I guess there’s got to be some kind of plan in place until then.
You can read more detail on the study here, but it looks like this is the safest, least annoying approach they could come up with. I don’t expect it will be met with much positivism considering more and more people seem to have had enough of quarantine and are buying less into the idea that coronavirus is a big enough deal to maintain lockdown/social distancing measures until 2022. All we can do is hope that things continue to get better and that the vaccine arrives sooner rather than later.
To meet the man who has been giving himself a new tattoo every day during lockdown, click HERE. He’s almost out of skin.