The lockdown

I am trying very hard to not write about the virus, but it seems it cannot be ignored right now. So many people, months ago, warned us that the virus would be back, erm bigly, in the winter. Here we are in autumn (fall) and it has already begun.

The government in the UK, maybe elsewhere too, uses a number called the R value. It indicates how many other people a person with the virus will infect (on average). Zero means no-one gets infected, which is good. One is a kind of steady state. More than one means it is growing. The aim was to be less than one, but now it is above.

I don’t know what they use to calculate this number. I assumed there would be a formula, but I am sure someone once said, when asked, that they take into account a whole load of factors (in other words, anything they can think of that’s relevant), and then estimate it (ie they guess).

We now have new rules. Pubs close at 10pm (so people can pile out together into the streets, into off licences or public transport to spread the virus). No more than six people can meet.

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