Herd Immunity and the R number explained

Back in May, I posted with updates about the difficulties of calculating the R number, and questioning “why are we using such an indicator as a measure that cannot easily be calculated from the wealth of data available ? A simple and easy methodology needs to be developed to calculate a practical and precise R number that can be used to manage the national pandemic, and also at a local level for regional and city epidemics in future waves of infection. Click here full post

I have also been posting extensively about Professor Sunetra Gupta’s views on herd immunity and The Great Barrington Declaration expounding the same theory together with the concept of “focussed protection” for the elderly and clinically vulnerable. Professor Gupta has been unfairly ostracised and vilified by the media and by many in the Establishment scientific community, who expound Lockdowns as the only strategy for managing and suppressing coronavirus.

Today, I came across Sabine Hossenfelder, a German author and theoretical physicist who researches quantum gravity. She is a Research Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies where she leads the Superfluid Dark Matter group. In her Youtube video below, She explains the mathematical function that defines the R number, and the fact that it is not simple to easily define the function. One of the points She makes is that no government anywhere has sufficiently detailed information to compute the R number with any degree of accuracy. Many R values reported by Government and the media, and upon which big decisions are made, are actually estimated.

She also points out that all solutions are bad, and that there is a need to have an emperical cost benefit analysis of both approaches, with a public scientific debate to determine the best way out of this health and economic emergency. As I do, She thinks that ad hominem attacks launched by the Guardian and NY Times on the Great Barrington Declaration authors have had the consequence of degrading the scientific contribution to finding a solution that is ‘least bad‘ for everyone.

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