THERE is a deep irony to the government’s determined search for Covid-19 cases to justify ever more lockdown: the more people it manages to test, the lower the Infection Fatality Ratio (IFR) will fall.
Quite how low it already is, the public seem to have little idea. The TCW/Savanta ComRes poll revealed how wildly people are overestimating it.
We know that because the BBC (unusually) have let the cat out of the bag. In an online article published just over a week ago they published this IFR graph from the Cambridge MRC Biostatistics Unit, which you can see below. For under-44s it barely registers.
It raises the question: How much lower does the IFR have to fall before the government agrees that lockdown is unnecessary? To zero?
It prompts another question about the repressive – indeed fascist – idea of ‘freedom passes’ shockingly mooted by Jeremy Hunt and others.
I raised my alarm about it over the weekend.
Do we have to wait until no one over 75 dies of Covid before lockdown is lifted, even though in the meantime the risk of everyone else dying of everything else goes up? The logical policy to follow, given these ratios, is one that targets and protects the vulnerable while leaving others to get on with their lives.
Instead are we expected forever to prove we are not infected by this non-fatal and largely non-symptomatic disease in order to win or earn our basic right to freedom of movement; to be forever restricted with our freedom hingeing on proof that we are not infected by such a low-risk and non-malignant disease? Or alternatively submit to a new and hurried vaccination which as Rod Liddle points out in yesterday’s Sunday Times may be two shots spread over a few weeks, three times each year.
All of this ‘to protect a very small tranche of the population, the very elderly, who, while most at risk from the lethal effects of Covid, are also least likely to get it and are dying at a lesser rate than in previous years’. He asks: Does this make much sense?
No, it doesn’t. It is, as I tweeted, the short route to a fascist state.