They cannot admit that we’ve given up on beating the coronovirus, and that herd immunity is now the objective
LONDON (Project Syndicate) — The COVID-19 pandemic is the first major global crisis in human history to be treated as a mathematical problem, with governments regarding policy as the solution to a set of differential equations.
Excluding a few outliers — including, of course, President Donald Trump — most political leaders have slavishly deferred to “the science” in tackling the virus. The clearest example of this was the U.K. government’s sudden shift on March 23 to an aggressive lockdown policy, following a nightmarish forecast by Imperial College London researchers of up to 550,000 deaths if nothing was done to combat the pandemic.
No policy maker is prepared to allow a killer epidemic to run its natural course, because the potential death toll would be unacceptable.
Such modeling is the correct scientific approach when the question debars experiment. You can test a new drug by subjecting two groups of lab rats to identical conditions, except for the drug they are given, or by administering it to randomly selected humans in clinical trials.