No, it’s not the fact that Euro 2020 is actually Euro 2021, nor is it a dodgy off-side decision or goal disallowed by the Video Assistant Referee… nope, I’m talking about Covid-19 and the need to self-isolate… What else would it be?!
Okay, okay, I probably should have written this blog a year ago, but I couldn’t work out how to do it and besides statistics make my head hurt! And anyway, better late than never….
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have been repeatedly bombarded with a statistic called R0 (often referred to as the “basic reproductive rate”), whether from the Government or the news channels, as a way of describing how SARS CoV2 is spreading in the community. By now most of know what it is; it’s the number of people that a person with an infection will infect. If R0 >1 then the initial “outbreak” is expanding, if R0 <1 it is shrinking.
But, the Government and the news have been using it incorrectly… and as a result so have a lot of us. Let me explain….
Why do I watch the news? It only winds me up…
Watching loads of people queue (not socially distanced!) to come home from their beach holidays in Portugal because the rules about quarantine have changed really irritates me. Has everyone forgotten there’s a pandemic going on?????
I love this quote from Winston Churchill, and often try and slip it into teaching sessions, and any conversation actually! But over that past year or so I have been wondering whether we might be able to use history to help us better understand the Covid-19 pandemic. My reason for this curiosity is that we have 4 common cold coronaviruses that infect humans, but it is likely that they didn’t originally start in humans but rather crossed from an animal into us in the past, and therefore we may have had a coronavirus pandemic before… we just didn’t know it or maybe we have forgotten it. Therefore, is there any evidence in the historical medical literature that would help us understand what might happen as the Covid-19 pandemic progresses? I do love dusty old medical “history” books…
Firstly, has there been any likely pandemic for other possible coronaviruses… I was wondering if the so called “Russian Flu” of 1889-90 might be just the thing I’m looking for…
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