1. This thread has been given a new lease of life today. People keep saying, "We can't do #ZeroCovid, it doesn't fit with our way of life."

Look around.

What way of life?

The one we used to have?

The UK has been under varying degrees of restriction since March 23rd 2020.

2. Nearly a year of having our social and economic freedoms curtailed in one way or another. Nearly a year of muted economic activity. Nearly a year of mass death and disease.

#ZeroCovid doesn't fit with a way of life that doesn't exist anymore.
3. The question isn't whether it fits with our old freewheeling ways, but whether it would lead to better outcomes than the UK's current (poorly defined) strategy? Experiences in New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, China, Taiwan and elsewhere very much suggest it would.
4. #ZeroCovid isn't about what's possible. It's about what's necessary. Decide what's necessary and figure out a way to make it possible. We can't force travellers to quarantine in hotels for two weeks? Why not? Taiwan does. And if that's what's necessary, why aren't we doing it?
5. I've heard some odd things said about #ZeroCovid

Simple-minded clod Matt Hancock said Zero Covid is impossible because no country has had zero cases.

Zero Covid sets out an ambition. It signals a country treats any infections as serious incidents.

6. It gears public health institutions towards a target of zero, instead of 60,000 or whatever the UK government now considers acceptable. It recognises that aiming for zero gives every public health intervention its best chance of success. From social distancing to masks.
7. From test, trace, isolate and support to hospital treatment, everything works better if cases are as close to zero as possible.
8. Another argument I've heard from a few people is that it would take two years for Britain to become self-sufficient and that we couldn't close our borders to imports without severe disruption to food supply. Another misconception. #ZeroCovid countries have maintained trade.
9. Border closures applied to people, and even those were only temporary until infection control procedures could be established. China, Taiwan and South Korea all maintain international links, subject to strict infection control.
10. Independent SAGE recently published a useful document on improving safety measures in schools, calling for masks, ventilation, smaller teaching groups etc.

Unless the UK gets cases down significantly, I'm not sure these measures will be sufficient.

11. The new variant and the more relaxed lockdown will make it very difficult to bring R below 1. How can schools be opened at full capacity against a backdrop of 50K to 60K infections, 3,000 to 4,000 hospital admissions, and 1,000+ deaths per day?
12. Some say the British people don't have the stomach for the measures taken in New Zealand, Vietnam, Australia and elsewhere. Do we have the stomach for what's happening now? Are we going to have the stomach for a nation conversation about death?

13. The government doesn't really have a strategy beyond straddling some awful middle way between the economy and health. It's giving the UK the worst possible outcomes; mass disease and death, and a crippled economy.

14. Scientists are calling for stricter measures. The public are desperate for an end to this.

15. The PM was not able to categorically commit to children being back in schools before the summer holidays, because even the eternal optimist understands this is a gamble. There are many uncertainties in the government's current approach.

16. The plan to vaccinate the vulnerable and then open up comes with some serious risks and @dgurdasani1 does a great job of explaining them.

17. If it goes wrong, we might find ourselves living with restrictions for another year or more. Pursuing a target of eradication using non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines gives both the best chance of success.
18. We know what works. We can see other countries enjoying success.

Why isn't there greater public outcry for the government to stop gambling on moonshots and longshots, and for it to deliver simple, effective measures that have worked elsewhere?

19. How long do we accept suboptimal and risky [email protected] @SafaMote @yaneerbaryam @devisridhar @dgurdasani1
20. Adding this pan-European call for more effective measures to contain #COVID19

h/t @ViolaPriesemann

21. And the John Snow Memorandum which called for countries to learn from those that had implemented effective measures to reduce transmission. https://t.co/DHwB2qP81J
22. And @endCOVID19 which offers information and resources for those interested in eliminating #COVID19 https://t.co/3R7GJpQKKA

More from Adam Hamdy

1. I believe the government is about to make another huge mistake. Where is @UKLabour in all this? I have some questions @Keir_Starmer should be asking urgently. Please RT to raise awareness.

2. Where is the modelling or evidence to support a focused protection vaccination strategy? The government has chosen it as its preferred strategy but it must have considered other options. Will the government publish the data and the alternative options considered?

3. A responsible government will have modelling for 20%, 50% and 80% vaccine coverage, and projections for the number of infections, Long Covid and deaths in each scenario. Where are those models? On what basis has the government opted for the 20% scenario?

4. The government should also have modelled each of these scenarios against a backdrop of low, medium and high community transmission. What is the impact of each vaccination scenario against varying levels of community transmission?

5. There should also be some assessment of incidence of reinfection and likely evolution of variants given different levels of community transmission. What does this assessment tell us?
1. I find it remarkable that some medics and scientists aren’t raising their voices to make children as safe as possible. The comment about children being less infectious than adults is unsupported by evidence.

2. @c_drosten has talked about this extensively and @dgurdasani1 and @DrZoeHyde have repeatedly pointed out flaws in the studies which have purported to show this. Now for the other assertion: children are very rarely ill with COVID19.

3. Children seem to suffer less with acute illness, but we have no idea of the long-term impact of infection. We do know #LongCovid affects some children. @LongCovidKids now speaks for 1,500 children struggling with a wide range of long-term symptoms.

4. 1,500 children whose parents found a small campaign group. How many more are out there? We don’t know. ONS data suggests there might be many, but the issue hasn’t been studied sufficiently well or long enough for a definitive answer.

5. Some people have talked about #COVID19 being this generation’s Polio. According to US CDC, Polio resulted in inapparent infection in more than 99% of people. Severe disease occurred in a tiny fraction of those infected. Source:
1. The problem facing Europe & the US isn't a scientific one. Scientists have been clear for months: public health and economic & social wellbeing are best served by policies that supress the virus. The #JohnSnowMemo cites evidence that makes this

2. Some media commentators seek to present the issue of how to respond to the virus in simplistic terms: Lockdown vs Herd Immunity. This a mischaracterisation. The countries that have tackled #COVID-19 best have used a range of public health

3. Almost every scientist acknowledges lockdown equals failure. It is a sign governments have failed to implement the measures needed to allow life to be lived more or less as normal, without risking exponential growth in transmission.

4. There is an active misinformation campaign that is being aided and abetted by certain sections of the media and some politicians. The campaign would have us believe that if we open up and shield the vulnerable, all will be well. This approach has been derided as inhumane...

5. ...by the WHO, and ridiculous by Dr Fauci for many reasons. It is based on faulty logic, and the proponents of this approach have submitted no evidence that it can be achieved nor any practical examples of how they would do so.

More from Society

Two things can be true at once:
1. There is an issue with hostility some academics have faced on some issues
2. Another academic who himself uses threats of legal action to bully colleagues into silence is not a good faith champion of the free speech cause

I have kept quiet about Matthew's recent outpourings on here but as my estwhile co-author has now seen fit to portray me as an enabler of oppression I think I have a right to reply. So I will.

I consider Matthew to be a colleague and a friend, and we had a longstanding agreement not to engage in disputes on twitter. I disagree with much in the article @UOzkirimli wrote on his research in @openDemocracy but I strongly support his right to express such critical views

I therefore find it outrageous that Matthew saw fit to bully @openDemocracy with legal threats, seeking it seems to stifle criticism of his own work. Such behaviour is simply wrong, and completely inconsistent with an academic commitment to free speech.

I am not embroiling myself in the various other cases Matt lists because, unlike him, I think attention to the detail matters and I don't have time to research each of these cases in detail.

You May Also Like

The chorus of this song uses the shlokas taken from Sundarkand of Ramayana.

It is a series of Sanskrit shlokas recited by Jambavant to Hanuman to remind Him of his true potential.

1. धीवर प्रसार शौर्य भरा: The brave persevering one, your bravery is taking you forward.

2. उतसारा स्थिरा घम्भीरा: The one who is leaping higher and higher, who is firm and stable and seriously determined.

3. ुग्रामा असामा शौर्या भावा: He is strong, and without an equal in the ability/mentality to fight

4. रौद्रमा नवा भीतिर्मा: His anger will cause new fears in his foes.

5.विजिटरीपुरु धीरधारा, कलोथरा शिखरा कठोरा: This is a complex expression seen only in Indic language poetry. The poet is stating that Shivudu is experiencing the intensity of climbing a tough peak, and likening

it to the feeling in a hard battle, when you see your enemy defeated, and blood flowing like a rivulet. This is classical Veera rasa.

6.कुलकु थारथिलीथा गम्भीरा, जाया विराट वीरा: His rough body itself is like a sharp weapon (because he is determined to win). Hail this complete

hero of the world.

7.विलयगागनथाला भिकारा, गरज्जद्धरा गारा: The hero is destructive in the air/sky as well (because he can leap at an enemy from a great height). He can defeat the enemy (simply) with his fearsome roar of war.