As usual, our gubmint is running around like a headless chicken.
I get the distinct impression that they have given up altogether and are just handing the keys over to the National Public Health Emergency Team, or Nphet as they are lovingly called by one and all. I think there may be an actual doctor or two in Nphet but the bulk seems to consist of theoretical epidemiologists and statisticians who just love numbers.
Numbers is what it’s all about. Nphet have a computer program which they run on a Sinclair Spectrum 16K and this is their God. They put numbers into it and it beeps and squeaks before churning out another number.
So what are these numbers that come out? Well, there are quite a few. There is the R0 number which means something and the Re number which means something else. Both these numbers have to be kept as low as possible. Then there’s the Number of cases per 100,000 of the population on a 14-day rolling average. That’s a big number and is often used to scare the shit out of us. Sometimes it isn’t scary enough so they use the Number of cases per 100,000 of the population on a 7-day rolling average. It’s amazing what you can do on a Spectrum?
The numbers they put in are quite weird. There is the number of people you can have in your house. There is also the number of houses those people come from. There is the price of a meal in a pub. There is the distance you can travel from your house. There is the number of guests you can have at a wedding or mourners at a funeral. There are a few others which are even too weird to mention. But by tweaking around with these numbers they get the numbers out that they want.
So Nphet sit in a huddle all day around their Spectrum and play with their numbers. You will hear the occasional exclamation on the lines of “Hey! If we reduce the travel limit to 4Km then the R0 drops by 0.004!” or “Wow! If people only meet a single person in their garden the Re number is down by 3%!” and the others gasp in amazement and an urgent memo is sent to MeHole to implement a new law.
They are showing no signs of relinquishing the amazing hold their Spectrum has on the country.
They’re enjoying themselves too much