Following the Science and Handling the Scientists

Originally published on Substack on 21 November 2023 As the Covid Inquiry continues, we have heard evidence from the former Chief Scientific Adviser. He was questioned on his Almost-But-Not-Quite contemporaneous diary entries that are displayed as excerpts. But this raises questions about the role of science and scientists. Following the Science? The government was very …

Organizational Misbehaviour and the Control of Information

This week at the Covid Public Inquiry included descriptions of misbehaviour in Number 10 and the flow of information to the Prime Minister. Originally published on Substack on 3 November 2023 This week’s evidence session at the Covid Public Inquiry continued its investigation into the UK decision-making and political governance, hearing from witnesses including civil servants in Number …

Models and Policy Paper

Our paper ‘Challenges on the interaction of models and policy for pandemic control’ has been published in the journal Epidemics. ABSTRACT The COVID-19 pandemic has seen infectious disease modelling at the forefront of government decision-making. Models have been widely used throughout the pandemic to estimate pathogen spread and explore the potential impact of different intervention …

Herd Immunity

I’ve built a model to show the concept of herd immunity. It shows why we need to not leave hard-to-reach parts of the population unvaccinated. Herd immunity, also called population immunity, is the protection for the population that comes from when a proportion have been vaccinated. With more vaccinations, we move towards this herd immunity …

The Government is making the same mistakes as it did in the first wave.

This was originally published on Twitter on 9 January 2021. The Government is making the same mistakes as it did in the first wave. Except with knowledge. The Government’s strategy at the beginning of the pandemic was to ‘cocoon’ the vulnerable (e.g. those in care homes). This was a ‘herd immunity’ strategy. This interview is …

A review of where we are with UK Covid restrictions. With apologies to Nandos.

It wasn’t meant to be like this. Remember the Alert Levels (the ‘Nandos chart’)? The whole idea of that was to set some sort of policy – a roadmap if you will – of how we get out of a national lockdown. Introducing… Covid Alert Levels. 12 May 2020. And remember this? The gentle ski …

Media Roundup week ending 12 October 2020

Letter in the Financial Times The failure of the government’s testing strategy (Report, September 22) is a lesson in confusing resources with capabilities. Commercial NHS test and trace has resources but not capabilities. NHS labs and local authority directors of public health supported by Public Health England have capabilities but not resources. In order to …

Heatmap of Cases & Deaths in the over-80s

Here is the heatmap of cases for PHE week 41 using week 40 data. Studies in Spain, France, and the US have all shown that although the second wave may start in young people, it will inevitably move to older people. The remarkable thing about this disease is that the death rate increases massively with …

We May Be Systematically Underestimating R by Excluding Students in Halls of Residence

We know that data on the Government Coronavirus dashboard is unreliable (see this Twitter thread). We also know that we are not doing enough testing as the positivity rate is so high (7% overall for Pillar 2 tests and up to 15% in some areas such as Liverpool) (see this thread) So, how do we …

We Are Still Not Doing Enough Testing: A Case Study of New York and Liverpool Schools

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that “New York City on Wednesday will close public schools and nonessential businesses in parts of Brooklyn and Queens that have registered a week-long spike in coronavirus cases” Let’s look at New York and then compare to a UK city, Liverpool. Cases are high in some New York boroughs. …