Thanks Gideon for a useful article. I had the same reaction to the model. That said, I’m still puzzled why hardly anyone seems to be pointing out the obvious: all models being used so far assume a generic population. As we know that c-19 is dangerous primarily for the old and those with underlying health problems, this means the total population at risk does not equal the total population. Yet all the breathless sensationalist reportage and all government actions imply the opposite. The Oxford model was at least an attempt to reflect what we know about the lethality of c-19, albeit in perhaps the most clumsy way imaginable.

In a sane world (one free of posturing politicians desperate to win votes by appearing “to do something” to “save lives”) we’d be implementing stringent measures to smooth the mortality curve for those at high risk, without crippling the global economy and plunging hundreds of millions of people worldwide into penury and starvation. We’d focus our efforts where they are needed and not indulge in mass hysteria that will lead to some very bad outcomes indeed.

But apparently a crisis is no time for anyone to be thinking clearly. We’re doomed, by our tiny ape-brains, to be forever in a situation of “panic, fire, think about aiming maybe sometime later….”

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.