File under - remember the risk budget. Risk of transmission may be the same in food as book shops, but we need food more than books. And to keep the virus from spreading, contacts between people have to be limited. (The limit growing as the vaccinated pop grows.)
'This is similar to that; that is allowed; therefore this is allowed.' It's been a persistent difficulty with the regulations that the virus control measures don't spring from the same ethical/moral sources as other laws where we demand consistency.
Lockdown sceptics have, variously, failed to understand the notion of the risk budget, or just sought to exoloit the fact that lay people don't, and played on the expectation that virus control measures will adhere to non-pandemic norms of consistency...
... pointing to the apparent lack of consistency as evidence that the restrictions on civil liberties are opportunistic and arbitrary lurches towards authoritarianism.
This form of lockdown scepticism is dangerous as a shortage of resources means regulations have to be complied with by consent, + if people don't think the regulations are fair and consistent, and don't understand the public health mechanics behind them, they won't comply.
Exhibit A: lockdown sceptic views pre-announcement of the gradual increase in the risk budget and how it will be spent as 'micro managing', playing on the notion of infringement of private liberties.

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More from @t0nyyates

20 Feb
Rarely a week goes by when I don't wonder at how weak and diffuse the pro business pro markets Tory voice has become. Compare that to the concerted pressure and debate from the currently unseated left in the Labour Party.
Where are those pushing for free trade with Europe? Arguing against levelling up and invasive industrial policy? Reducing bureacracy and regulatory barriers at our EU border? Many of the individuals have nothing more to lose, yet seem to have given up.
In the late C19th early C20th when labour felt that no Parliamentary group adequately represented its interests, sufficient pressure built up to organise one that would, the 'Labour Party'.
Read 16 tweets
14 Feb
Taking the 10 year view this is ten lots of one year costs coming from the fact that because of trade gravity we can’t replace EU trade with that from farther away countries. Thanks.
I might compile a thread of pro Brexit faux big picture long termism. Seem to remember Rees Mogg taking the 50 year view.
Someone already made a start on this:…
Read 4 tweets
14 Feb
This article doesn't quite make the point clearly enough IMO. The contention is that if you get close enough to the best policy, you can improve both economic and health outcomes.…
In which case the 'price of a life' - while an interesting and difficult convsersation we have all the time - is not relevant.
What the article does not dwell on is the counterfactual path for the *economy* if the virus were to be let loose. Much of the econometric research shows that the major portion of the 'damage' is done by the virus, not lockdown restrictions.
Read 25 tweets
8 Feb
He dabbed on the brakes not once, but three times. And yet he still failed to stop and crashed. Explain that Chris!
Moments like that tilt me towards the ‘stupid, not lying’ theory.
There are a lot of subtleties in mastering the formal techniques used to study the control of large systems. Optimal control with imperfect lagged data, with sentient agents forming expectations over your actions, with blunt, partially responsive instruments....
Read 5 tweets
7 Feb
Any health economists there know the best discussion of the optimality or otherwise of the NICE valuations for a life year?
As an outsider, I'd view these as uninformative for decisions about the resources to spend on a new health challenge.
A new condition, one that threatens our ability to treat existing conditions, might raise the point at which marginal benefits and marginal costs are equated.
Read 6 tweets
6 Feb
Thought provoking. Not sure what I make of it:
1. I don't have a clear view yet a) how permanent a feature the actual disease will be in our lives, and, even if it is basically tamed, b) what the legacy would be anyway.
2. One question is 'what is a rational and just response to the challenge posed by the post covid era, whatever that turns out to be?'. Another is: how do you win elections?
Read 5 tweets

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