How social distancing helps keep you safe

Safety Match by Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre

This video from France 24 shows how careful use of social distancing can break the chain reaction. The core strategy is to slow the spread of infection so health care systems can cope with the numbers needing care. Until we can get to the point that the virus is unable to find new victims infectivity rates will continue to increase.

How social distancing breaks the rate of infection

Despite some upscaling, the UK is still not following best European practice and lessons learnt from other countries. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been explicit about stepping up isolation and testing, testing, testing.

Neil Ferguson of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, having himself tested positive for Covid19, is very clear Identify, Test, Isolate, Contact Trace, Quarantine.

France 24 have used Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre’s ‘Safety Match’ video that’s been widely shared on social media…Made by a married team of LA-based artists, it shows matches lighting one by one until one decides to break the chain…This is the concept of “social distancing”… recommended by governments around the world to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Also below further good advice with a traffic light system Red – Don’t do, Yellow – Do with caution, Green – Safe to do.

Updated 21st March

Getting out and getting fresh air whilst making sure to avoid any close contact is good practice. This is not easy in built up areas and cities.

As more stringent measures come in even small private gatherings should now be avoided.

Bumbling Johnson ad-libs dangerously

Yesterday we were expecting to see London move to lock down and what we got was Johnson bumbling and ad-libbing. The point of these briefings is for carefully crafted messages presented in a prime ministerial fashion with no departure from script. Paris, Madrid and other European cities are closing down, allowing essential movement only. Fewer people make it safer for essential workers in the health service, distribution and food stores.

London has the bulk of the cases in the UK. London had 1109 positive cases on Tuesday 17th, by Friday morning of 20th the figure reported for London was 2544 an increase of 130%.

NHSR Cases table for England and Scottish, Welsh and N Ireland governments figures. 20 March 2020

The figure reported by WHO on Friday for the UK was 3277 and this clearly indicates how London is shaping up as the epicentre of contagion in the UK. Based on these figures the Greater London area accounts for 39% of identified positive cases with around 14% of the UK population.

Scotland has some advantages having low population density and more doctors per 1000 of population, but there is no room for complacency because Scotland has been adversely affected by UK budget cuts since 2010.

Boris Johnson and London have to get serious. Stricter measures need to be rolled out in London when the evidence from Scotland is that the population is heeding the advice given out by Nicola Sturgeon and her ministers.

Perhaps we need to close the border for all but essential traffic. Nothing is unthinkable especially at a time when we have an unthinking UK PM who talks off the top of his head.