A predominantly one-topic blog: how is it that the most imminent and lethal implication for humankind - the fact that the doctrine of "Mutually Assured Destruction" will not work with Iran - is not being discussed in our media? Until it is recognized that MAD is dead, the Iranian threat will be treated as a threat only to Israel and not as the global threat which it in fact is.
A blog by Mladen Andrijasevic
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Reaction in Britain to what Neil Ferguson has done has been too harsh
Thanks to Neil Ferguson tens of
thousands of lives were saved in the UK and US since it was only after
the Imperial College London report on March
16 that both Boris Johnson and president Trump imposed a
lockdown. In his defense, Mr. Ferguson said: "I acted in the belief that I was
immune, having tested positive for coronavirus and completely isolated myself
for almost two weeks after developing symptoms”. He obviously believed that
he did not present a danger to anyone any more. How true was that?
There is no definitive answer yet to
how immune one is after having been infected and the individual’s risk of
getting reinfected and their contagiousness to others. So Neil Ferguson’s
statement was probably based on insufficient data that his immunity would be at
least for a few months (see below) and he took a risk, however small but still
a risk, and he was therefore wrong in doing what he did. In addition, it was
hypocritical of him to go against the very rules he decided others should keep.
In a country where actions have
consequences he resigned, which is fine.
However, my point is that the good
that he had done by saving the lives of tens of thousands of people in the UK
and the US vastly outweighs this error of judgement, and this has not been
adequately recognized in the UK.
What really should be
investigated is why was there such a delay in implementing the lockdown and
whose idea was it to try reaching herd immunity so fast. Because
when you look at Israel, where I live, the figures are stunning.
Israel has 16314 cases and 238
deaths with the population of 9.2 million so it has 27 deaths per million
population which is ten times less than Sweden has per million. I just cannot
imagine that Israel could tolerate 2380 deaths which would approach the number
of deaths in the Yom Kippur war. How to explain such numbers? Israel imposed
strict restrictions early on and a lockdown at the very beginning of the
exponential curve. I personal believe that it helped that Netanyahu has Master
of Science degree from MIT whereas Boris Johnson studied humanities at Oxford
and Trump has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton school so
Netanyahu was much more receptive to the scientists’ advice. In addition,
the health care providers (Maccabi for instance) monitors remotely every mildly
infected person three times a day.
Even more challenging
will be understanding what an immune response means for an individual’s risk of
getting reinfected and their contagiousness to others.
Based on the
volunteer experiments with seasonal coronaviruses and the antibody-persistence
studies for SARS and MERS, one might expect a strong immune response to
SARS-CoV-2 to protect completely against reinfection and a weaker one to
protect against severe infection and so still slow the virus’s spread.