R number is nonsense

Reducing the R number to below 1 for the general population is nonsense. Preventing transmission of C19 to those at risk of serious symptoms or death is really the only thing that matters. All the evidence indicates that the vast majority of people who are at serious risk have: Significant pre-existing health conditions Old age Obesity It’s no surprise the huge numbers of people dying in care homes given that’s where so many of our old and frail people are. The government’s efforts should be focused on shielding the old and vulnerable. For the rest of the population however the risk from C19 is relatively small. How often do you read about people being asymptomatic, or having very mild symptoms. One of the investigations (by CDC) into the outbreak on the Diamond Princess showed that 46% of the people testing positive for C19 were aysmptomatic. The UK has 175,000 active cases of C19, however only 1,551 or less than 1% are classified as serious or critical. The number of people who have actually had C19 is much greater than the official number because of the very limited testing in the UK , until recently. Unless you know how many people are catching a disease then it is impossible to properly calculate a transmission rate. The best you can do is to estimate it from new cases or back-calculate from deaths. But considering our deaths are largely limited to the old and frail and testing is limited to hospital admissions, NHS staff and now other key-workers (and is a moving number ) then the R numbers being spouted by Nicola and Boris are guesstimates at the best. At the worst they are misinformation designed to keep us compliant and in the fear that the continuous media barrage has induced. To conclude The NHS has not been overwhelmed, although it is stressed Most people have relatively mild symptoms or no symptoms The R number is a very inaccurate calculation Most deaths are in the elderly and frail - did the governments and their advisors not realise that people in care homes are generally elderly and frail? If you have not already had C19 then you are going to be exposed to it when the lockdown finally ends because nothing will have really changed The world has 2 pandemics occurring simultaneously - Covid 19 and Fear The lockdown needs to end because it’s targeting everyone, whereas the risk (Of death) for most of the population is low My apologies to anyone who has lost a friend or family i

Why the contribution is important

Because the Governments lockdown strategy is wrong

by Don on May 08, 2020 at 10:55AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.7
Based on: 13 votes


  • Posted by Soosieb May 08, 2020 at 11:45

    The R number relating to the general population and those in care homes should not be combined as they are not the same issue.
  • Posted by gilldougall May 08, 2020 at 13:42

    Totally agree with Don and Soosieb. Media emphasis is far too often on those with very serious symptoms.
  • Posted by HD123 May 08, 2020 at 13:42

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by Shaggy May 08, 2020 at 14:30

    Agree 100% with Soosieb. If Nicola is going to use the R number as a guide on when to ease the restrictions for the country then she needs to filter out the care home figure and treat it separately.
  • Posted by cj2000bb May 09, 2020 at 01:38

    Agree fear has set in and govts all over world (including UK) have now invested so much money and resources it is inconceivable that they will divert from current course because the media who scared them into this path will crucify them.
  • Posted by Pamela55 May 09, 2020 at 03:00

    I have found the fluctuating R number concept difficult to grasp until I looked it up online.. this is my initial grasp. In a room of ten average people one infected person would transmit to say 3. In a room of ten vulnerable people one infected person could infect all on them. ( R10) In a room where half had already had the virus, it reduces the original R number of 3 by half. Similar effect if half were vaccinated. By that method it's simple fractions though obviously more complex in a population. I guess if the ten people in the room were locked in, that original person could infect none and there would be an R number of 0, presumably if you lifted lockdown a bit and let half the people out of the room, tp come into contact with person1, then the R number would be half of it's original 3. It occurs to me that times this example by ten, so we have 10 infected and a room of 100 people. By initial R3 modelling, 30 of the room would be infected.( in the first instance) But if we get the initial infected group to drop by half, then 5 people are risking the 100, and only 15 of them get infected, the R number is what? 1.5 . etc.. (that's the limit of my maths, forgive me I have completely misunderstood it) If the R number is going to be relevant for a period of time, cited as the pivotal issue which affects our various freedoms , and we are told 'we need to keep it as low as possible' ,I believe it would be useful to understand what 'we' literally do to make a difference to that number , and how it works. Not just while 'stay at home,' is in place but after, and if we need to adjust our behaviour in any way that relates to lowering the number. Maybe it is too complex for a press briefing, bur perhaps online? I'll also make the point that the R number is affected by the number of people already having had the virus, and although we don't know much about immunity yet, I believe immunity should be brought back into the discussion, also, while I'm at it, the much broader range of odd symptoms that could indicate Covid-19. I think a person knows when something is 'suspicious' even if it's not standard high temp and cough. Widening that net could help.
  • Posted by PiedFifer May 09, 2020 at 10:01

    The R number is an observed number and is not uniform across the country. If everyone was still moving around it would be different in Edinburgh due to population density compared to a small town (Town A). If everyone in Edinburgh was in lockdown the R number would likely be lower than the R number in Town A if they were still moving around. As R is an observed average then it makes sense that it's possible to control the R number using different levels of restrictions depending on location.
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