Experts must be listened to. The science is settled. Except when the views of the experts conflict with the narrative and then they transition from experts to deniers.
For those in Victoria or who might have access to Premier Andrews, consider the following conclusion from research conducted by the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government:
there’s little correlation between the severity of a nation’s restrictions and whether it managed to curb excess fatalities — a measure that looks at the overall number of deaths compared with normal trends.
Before getting to the essence of the conclusion, note the magic words of excess fatalities. And to repeat the definition of excess fatalities – a measure that looks at the overall number of deaths compared with normal trends.
This suggests, and please pay attention Australia’s health technocrats, the issue is not to stop all deaths (an impossible task) but rather to limit the number of deaths compared with what might normally be the case. For example, from flu and from which the death numbers in Australia this season have been remarkably low.
Hang on, before moving on. The Blavatnik School of Government is at Oxford University. Isn’t there a statue of Cecil Rhodes somewhere at Oxford? Should not this research be deemed racist and imperial and this ignored?
But a bid of modesty from the researchers. How quaint that they aren’t absolutely positive and await further data to analyse and thus refine their research:
The economic data for the lockdown period are only just appearing, and they may be revised substantially in the future given the obvious difficulties of collecting data during a pandemic.
But based on what they have seen thus far:
Regardless, what the past few months suggest is that the economic cost is not the only downside to a draconian lockdown. The Covid-19 experience has taught us that it’s far better to respond quickly and smartly, with the right technology and mass testing and tracing, rather than only relying on the crudest of shutdowns.
The final suggestion of the experts:
If there are second waves of the virus, we shouldn’t repeat the mistakes of the first.
TAFKAS can only wonder what the response would be if the remuneration of the politicians and bureaucrats was directly linked to the combined economic and health outcome measures. You know, skin in the game.
But as Nassim Taleb describes out political and bureaucratic systems – they are designed to insulate decision makers from the consequences of their decisions.