A roundup of articles on the status of the Coronavirus and ways we can help….
There are so many stories coming out now, we’ll need to post several roundups throughout the day….
One of Wuhan’s largest temporary hospitals closes
Coronavirus: Finance Minister considers universal basic income to ward off economic peril
Thomas Manch and Henry Cooke, Mar 25, 2020
Finance Minister Grant Robertson has said a universial basic income is being considered to combat coronavirus.
A universal basic income for all New Zealanders is being considered by the Finance Minister as he tries to ward off coronavirus’ economic peril.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson on Wednesday confirmed the controversial welfare measure, which would see the Government pay all New Zealanders an income to survive, was “on the table”.
“We’re obviously going to be in a situation where a large number of people are going to be relying on income support from the state for an extended period,” Robertson said on RNZ.
Unlike other benefit payments a UBI would not be dependent on any kind of means testing and would require no commitments from those receiving it, meaning people would still be able to work and earn as much money as they like without losing any cash from the scheme.
COVID19: What’s the End Game?
by Raywat Deonandan, PhD, March 20, 2020
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
University of Ottawa
(I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one)
Welcome to your new normal. We are a few days into uncharted waters for our species: a global pandemic, with many countries in near literal lock down or compelled isolation. Businesses are failing, relationships are fracturing, workers are losing their jobs, and everyone is panicking at least a little.
But we mostly did it. We’ve “socially distanced” ourselves to slow the spread of the disease in order to prevent overwhelming our health care system, lest we go the way of poor Italy. And when I say “we”, I mean most of Canada. I see that other countries in a similar stage of the epidemic are not being as vigilant.
So now what? How does this all end?
Well, regardless of what happens next, it eventually ends in only one way: global herd immunity. The two questions that remain are: how long will it take to get there, and at what price –human and economic?
What is Herd Immunity?
First, let’s be clear about what we mean about herd immunity. Imagine a herd of cattle walking along a valley. The infant calves and weak members are in the middle of the herd. The young and strong bulls lead from the front, with other strong members patrolling the periphery. If any predator were to threaten the herd, that threat would be dealt with by the strong ones at the periphery. The ones on the inside not only never have to encounter the predator; they never even have to know that the predator was ever there!
So in population health, we try to make a proportion of the population immune to a disease so that the non-immune never have to encounter the disease in the first place, as they are metaphorically in the middle of the herd.
The proportion of a population that needs to be immune before herd immunity kicks in depends on many properties of the disease. For Small Pox, for example, we needed 80% to eradicate that monstrous thing. And we achieved it. For COVID19, I’ve heard estimates of 60-70% immunity necessary to achieve herd protection. This will vary from country to country; but 60-70% is the last global estimate I’ve heard.
How does a population become immune? Two ways: vaccination and recovery from infection.
Thanks to Hugh. In Italy.
More from Italia
And from Germany.