Hard data…

Twitter is awash now with useful data.

Austria will be a guinea pig with a phased release of lockdown starting 14th April, and a push to business as usual on 1st May.

They started full lockdown on 16th March, having already closed some borders and introduced checks and testing at the border. 10 days later, they saw peak new cases on 26/27th March, and, having made masks mandatory in public, plan to start releasing lockdown less than 3 weeks later.

However, their case will not directly correspond to ours in the UK, unless a few things change.

  1. Widespread availability and use of masks (possibly mandated) – we’ll probably struggle on that, with a population 65M vs 9M in Austria, and given likely demand from everywhere else in the world. We may all be getting our sewing kits out, or relying on wine-sozzled catladies on Etsy.
  2. Testing – today’s news on that front is not encouraging.

    Screen Shot 2020-04-06 at 13.09.12
    [Pastebin link]

  3. Border closure – Austria has closed its borders with Italy, amongst other countries, and is doing tests on people entering the country. We’re not doing any of those things.

At the moment, given the above, even if we assume that the UK reaches peak new cases this weekend, it’s difficult to see how a successful return to normal could begin in early May.

As of 25th March, the prediction for the UK was:

  • Peak New Cases: 3rd week in may
  • Earliest Lockdown release: 3rd week in June
  • Latest Lockdown release: 4th week in July

It’s starting to look like even if we get over the new-cases peak in the next week (we might.. we might not), the other ducks will very much not be in a row for an early withdrawal of lockdown conditions.

Soo… plenty more time yet for the whole house of cards to come tumbling down. Easter weekend is going to be gruesome festival of non-compliance and screeching, which the government could easily use as an excuse to prolong the lockdown, concealing the real reasons (masks, testing, borders).

Also I can foresee a case where lockdown is released, and a great many people simply refuse to go back to normal. Who would want to be a middle-manager telling his staff they must all return to the office, rather than working from home? Or a restaurateur trying to coax customers back? Or a theatre manager? Or a travel agent?

There are going to be bargains galore for the brave in coming months.


2 thoughts on “Hard data…

  1. Etsy banned anyone producing/selling face masks who hadn’t done so long term. Although they have since revised this after the POTUS suggested that private enterprises should produce them if they can. There is a slew of rules involved in marketing them which is fair enough I guess.

    I know this because my missus sells on Etsy amongst other platforms. Btw she is neither wine sozzled nor a cat lady, more a chocoholic dog lady. :)

    Boris has apparently spent the night with Corona Virus. Whilst that may be literally true it could also mean that he’s having a dalliance with a punk rock singer.

    Heathrow statement:

    John Holland-Kaye , CEO , Heathrow

    “We stand ready to support the country through this crisis. Our intention is to remain open at all times to serve those passenger flights that will continue to operate. And as the UK’s biggest port, we will temporarily increase the number of dedicated cargo flights. These will bring in vital supplies of food and medical equipment to help Britain weather this storm.”

    Another from Heathrow:

    Are there temperature checks in place at Heathrow?

    ‘There are currently no temperature checks at Heathrow for arriving flights, so you should not expect to see them when you land. This is not a measure that Heathrow decided itself; we would like to reassure you that Heathrow is following the guidance and advice of Public Health England (PHE) on which measures are required to contain and respond to coronavirus effectively.’

    PHE? Omigawd we’re all doomed. PHE should be shut down forthwith and their £4bn cost to the public returned to the public where it would do a damn sight more good. Bunch of clod hopping, bungling, narcissistic teat suckers.

    Apologies, this turned out to be rather longer than I intended. I’m going for a lie down.

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