Why we did the COVID projection Gadget – Maths

At first sight the Covid crisis is not a political issue – and god knows I’ve argued strongly that it ought not to be. But we can’t avoid the fact that it is political.

It shouldn’t be political in the sense that our response should be driven by the medical and scientific advice. The number of poeple thinking that their opinion outweighs experts’ knowledge is terrifying.

The reasonable part of being political is that even with the best advice as to what’s needed there will be a political metric about what’s acceptable. We could in theory stop all road accidents tomorrow by banning cars – brut that wouldn’t be acceptable. So a we make a decision as a society about the costs or harms we’re willing to endure given the pain on the way.

That said what has been frustrating in NSW has been watching the continual statements that things will get better without any change in the underlying factors that are making them worse in the first place. That was the core idea being the Covid projection – to show that the outputs of the equation wont change unless you change the inputs. you might now want to believe that we would have over 1000 cases a day in early September but it was always going to happen without something changing.

There are many factors that could change the equation – from a different form of lockdown to faster vaccination. We’ve now chosen one – vaccination. But again the maths doesn’t lie. No matter how fast we vaccinate there is a built-in lag time before it has any impact. And fudging the percentage figures by choosing how you define the ‘population’ doesn’t change what happens to the numbers.

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