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Don’t delay school closures – they are inevitable

My very conservative calculator predicts 5000 cases before the end of March. Relative to the country’s population, that’s about the same as when Italy went into lock-down, and we all thought they had messed it up somehow.

How to manage an epidemic at the system level

What we hope to achieve from public health measures is to “lessen the area under the curve”. This means delaying the onslaught of an epidemic so the total numbers each day will be less. This lessens the huge demand on resources and spreads them out over a longer timespan. Our Principal has done this for the local population by closing the school.

The National numbers jumped 50% today – wow – that’s possibly previous underreporting, or a sign of super spread.

Back to the school:
A group of 25 individuals have 300 relationships. Each child has 24 other people to relate to. That’s 24 people to catch the virus from.
After 40 years in General Practice I know what happens when a viral infection strikes a class. One third of the class gets it the first week, and one third the second week. After 5 weeks it’s largely over.
With this virus, the infection will then be taken home to non-immune parents and siblings.
That’s what makes it a novel coronavirus. It’s new and no-one is immune, unlike flu where a significant percentage of us have some immunity each year.

 

Terry