40,000 Corona Deaths. What The Experts Predicted

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Gromit | 05:21 Sat 06th Jun 2020 | News
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UK corona deaths are mow above 40,000 (some claim 50,000 is the true figure). I thought it would be interesting to look up what Imperial College London predicted would happen.

After initially saying 500,000 would die in the UK, and rapidly amending that to 260,000, they settled on a much lower figure.

25 March
//Neil Ferguson at Imperial College London gave evidence today to the UK’s parliamentary select committee on science and technology as part of an inquiry into the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
He said that UK deaths from the disease are now unlikely to exceed 20,000, and could be much lower. //

28 March.
// According to Imperial College London’s new predictions, Britain is on course for around 5,700 deaths - significantly lower than the 260,000 once predicted - leading to them to suggest that the government’s strategy is working. //

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but these predictions were laughably massively wrong.

We have the second highest number of deaths in the world, and the Government must be culpable, but were they misled by the dodgy science ?


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// IHME predictions have been all over the shop. At the time you even drew attention to how they were expecting the UK's deaths to exceed the US's. //

No I didn’t. I even supplied this graphic which clearly showed the US prediction was higher than the UKs. It was you who drew attention to a different prediction.

You also
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ff, there are all sorts of factors in play, including gender of national leaders. But a major one is always going to be whether you close the door before or after the horse has bolted.

Australia, iirc, locked down about the same day as Britain, when no deaths had been recorded; in Britain the total was already somewhere round 350. Outcome: Australia now has 105 deaths, Britain 40,000.

A death toll 400 times greater, in a country whose population is about three times greater, can't just be explained away by population density or other factors. A death toll comparable with Australia's would have been 300 here, but that had already come and gone by March 23.
Isn't hindsight wonderful? I wish I were blessed with it. As the experts can't always agree with one another how is the Government to know which experts are going to be right?
politicians are paid to take decisions themselves. They can't just blame 40,000 premature deaths on scientists. The science has been the same everywhere, but some governments have still managed to act wisely and protect their people, and some have not.
jno, the scientists can't even agree among themselves, how can it be the same everywhere?
vulcan, that's what I mean. The disagreements are the same everywhere so politicians have to take the political decisions.

For what it's worth, I think Boris wants to be loved and doesn't want to do things that might make people unhappy, like lockdowns. (That's why he'll say something to an audience one day and the opposite to another audience next day: he wants to tell both what he thinks they want to hear.) More resolute leaders do what they think best regardless of their own popularity.

But that's just my interpretation; other opinions are available.
England (as opposed to the UK) is pound for pound the worst affected country in the world.
We actually stopped a contact tracing scheme when we probably shouldn’t have. We are now introducing one when it’s far too early. Add to that the ludicrous quarantine plan, which must surely be for the protection of the arrivals not the people already here, and the farcical “are we at level 3 or 4 and if the matter why are we doing what we’re doing??” and it’s the govt has wholly lost the plot. Boris Johnson is plainly not up to this and how anyone can think he is is beyond me.
My mistake, Gromit -- I should have said that you were drawing attention to the IHME models at the same time that they were predicting US and UK deaths to be roughly comparable or, if anything, more deaths in the UK than the US. When I mentioned that it was to point out that I was sceptical of the predictions because of this. It's also notable that, sadly, the IHME predictions for Spain, Italy and France at the time you posted were wrong by about a factor of 2, if not more since those were forecasts for August and they are already far too low in early June.
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// you were drawing attention to the IHME models at the same time that they were predicting US and UK deaths to be roughly comparable or, if anything, more deaths in the UK than the US. //

No I wasn’t.
I was talking about this which clearly predicts a lot more deaths in the USA.

At the time you were agreeing with Imperial’s prediction.

11th April
// As it is, we might be thankful if deaths remain not much more than 20,000*, although I'm currently expecting us to log 900-1,000 deaths a day from/related to Covid for another week or so at least.
*If we assume that the crisis has already peaked, then the optimistic scenario is that total deaths will double by the end. So we're already looking at 20,000 deaths minimum now. //

I don't really think any science can predict a death rate, but a government with at least 3 months warning and seeing what's happening else where should be able to predict what sort of actions to take. We didn't.
The problem with your denial is that it seems to overlook that the IHME forecasts have been in constant flux. At the time you posted it may have been that the US prediction was more than the UK, but at least once during that period the US prediction ended up being less than the UK. In fact the IHME predictions have been all over the place.

I'm sorry, Gromit, but this amounts to you misunderstanding your own sources. I'm not going to claim for a second that I got everything right about this, that would be a stupid claim to make anyway, but I am happy that I was clear about the assumptions I was making at the time. I've even provided at times my own modelling (or, more precisely, data-fitting).
Regardless of who said what when, what you are witnessing here really is nothing more than science progressing as it usually does. Predictions are made, they are adjusted based on data, a new prediction is made, etc etc. Hopefully if the models have any predictive power then the adjustments are not all that significant -- in the case of IHME, which, again, there is no point in denying was a source you were citing -- they have had to make massive adjustments to their forecasts at various points. I am not sure why, as I never saw their input models/data etc, but a model that lacks stability to the extent that IHME has is worse than useless.
Oh, yes, and then there's also this gem:
>But a major one is always going to be whether you close the door before or after the horse has bolted.

Yes, with hindsight I would agree we were late and that could account for a large part of the difference. I do not recall anyone calling for a complete lockdown 3 weeks earlier though. Also, we were not the only country to delay- Sweden for example. And some countries who had very strict lockdown before ours have broadly similar death rates to us and Spain has a higher infection rate. So I'm not absolutely convinced.

>England (as opposed to the UK) is pound for pound the worst affected country in the world.

You may be right- I haven't checked. But that does beg the question why England's figures are worse than those of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland when we locked down at the same time and had very similar systems, services and practices. Maybe that suggests there are other factors at play.
Yes jim360. It would be interesting to look back at the posts from Feb/early March of those who are now saying we should have locked down much earlier. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I can see with hindsight we were too slow but I recall LBC being inundated with calls complaining about the guidance earlier in March for over 70s
// Because nothing would ever get done if we were afraid of being wrong.//
a contemporary of Newton wrote

what if we fail?
we fail! but we ll not fail
we fix our courage to the sticking place

Leddy Macb - er in Macbeth 1606 W Sh
jim - shame on you! ya nardy bye !
it is NOT done on AB to pick over another's posts and pick out the hilariously gormless
and mercilessly ridicule it ( or them, in rotation if you have merrily compiled a top ten)

wait five days and see if there is a spike - I mean that poor horse yesterday - can you get equine covid?
the problem is we record every death with coronavirus an not FROM, Germany separates the deaths those that have died FROM and those that have died WITH coronavirus, our figure could be much lower.
Then you'd be left with the problem of explaining the c. 60,000 excess deaths, webbo. People don't die by accident.

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