Choices - a thread

#COVID19 is rising all over Ireland and has been rising at about the same rate for many weeks.
Left to itself we will have 1,000 cases a day in November, and 4,000 a day for Christmas.
The health service will melt, and many people will die.
We should perhaps have gone to level 4 on September 1st.
After some drama we've now gone to Level 3 which may help to stabilize the situation, but is unlikely to make it better.
We have two choices, I think.
1) Living with the virus
2) Eliminating the virus

Both are costly, neither is painless.
1) Living with the virus

This means cycles of #COVID19 going up & lockdowns (Level 5), till a vaccine is widely used (see below)
Every cycle will depress the economy, restrictions or no, and will cost jobs.
More jobs will be lost in rural areas, in towns and in poorer areas.
2) Elimination

This means restrictions (Level 4) nationally for 3 to 4 weeks, and then county level restrictions depending on infections, until we get to zero, probably close to Christmas, or later in Dublin. We get one more tough cycle, then we open, and stay open.

*Both* policy choices need to be rapidly assessed, costed, and appraised. This would take a *week*, if done with a proper sense of urgency.
The elected Government decides, based on evidence, not denial, and not wishful thinking. It takes the responsibility.

There is now no vaccine
There will probably be one by spring 2021, and we will begin to get in Autumn 2021, and vaccinate most people by Christmas 2021. There is no guarantee that this will happen, but it won’t happen much faster than this.
Northern Ireland

@DonnellyStephen is meeting Robin Swann from NI. They have the same problems we do, and a strong incentive to work with the Scots and use to beat this. So, no guarantee, but there will probably be a friendly mutual deal.
NZ - Auckland

In NZ, there was an outbreak in Auckland, more than 100 days after the last case. This was dealt with by imposing restrictions on Auckland. The rest of the country ran more or less as normal.
The outbreak is now over, and life is largely back to normal again.

Melbourne had a big second wave, due to a quarantine failure. Australia had largely controlled the first wave. Victoria was severely restricted for seven weeks, but these are now being eased. The border with QLD and NSW were fairly and effectively controlled.
The bars, and restaurants

Very unlikely to open for at least four to six weeks from the start.
These could open then depending on local conditions, as case numbers get very low. Dublin pubs are probably out of luck for 8 to 10 weeks.
The airport

We need airport testing, and fully enforced quarantine, yesterday. What we are doing now is a joke.
This will hit air travel hard, but that’s the price of controlling #COVID19 country by country. Sorry.

The economy

I’m no economist.
@seamuscoffey from UCC thinks we can afford to support it for quite some time, but probably not 3 or 4 years. At least one year, and perhaps more of cycling up and down likely if the vaccine is delayed.
Elimination is probably cheaper.


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