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Not so sage

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Scientific advisers to the government have set out measures to reduce the transmission of coronavirus within homes, which they say can help cut the number of infections by up to 15% in just three weeks.

A document prepared for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) was published on Friday following the recent surge in COVID cases linked to the new, more transmissible variant of the virus.

The scientists warn that the risks from transmission within homes “are likely to be elevated” due to the new variant and “lockdown alone may not be sufficient to reduce infection rates” in disadvantaged households.

What SAGE appears to be claiming is – the current policy isn’t working so lets push the same policy even harder. Oh – and in any event it’s partly your fault you irresponsible homeowners. The piece then goes on to list a range of SAGE recommendations such as -

Infection control measures for all households

The SAGE document advises:

• Restrict visitors to the home to only those who are essential

• Maintain distance as far as possible from any visitors to the home. Keep visits as short as practical

• Regularly air rooms, open windows and/or use extract fans before a visitor arrives, during their stay and for a short while afterwards

At some point, it may become clear even to SAGE members that the virus isn’t actually listening and there is no evidence that the government was ever able to control rates of infection to any measurable degree. How would SAGE members prove otherwise? Run the whole thing again with a different policy?
It may have been better to rely more on information and practical emergency measures and less on coercion and ruinous lockdowns. Again – how would SAGE members prove otherwise?


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