Your lockdown may vary: Senior Epidemiologist Edition

From last month,

Are we actually all in this together? I talked to four friends from the aviation world in the last few days. One is isolated on 40 acres of oceanfront with 12,000 square feet of interior space, a dock with a sailboat and a power boat (not in the water yet this season), jogging trails, a tennis court, a hotel-size home gym, etc. One is isolated on 90 acres of ocean inlet with more than 8,000 square feet of interior space, a pool, a tennis court, a dock with multiple boats. One is on 20 acres of oceanfront over in Europe (in a country that is smart enough to do load balancing of patients to hospitals). One is in a city in a southern state with ample health system capacity. He’s on more than 2 acres with more than 13,000 square feet of interior space.

(I found out later than my friend on 2 acres also owns 200 acres of land a 15-minute drive away and goes there for dog walks.)

What about the epidemiologists who are promoting lockdowns for the benefit of the general public? I previously noted “Shutdown decisions are made by people with no skin in the game; when would they ever decide to reopen?”

Now it seems that at least one epidemiologist is involved with some skin… “Imperial scientist Neil Ferguson whose advice led to lockdown being introduced QUITS government role after ‘breaking the restrictions to meet his married lover'” (Daily Mail):

  • Prof Ferguson has been a vocal supporter of lockdown, continually telling the public to follow the restrictions
  • However, he has now admitted he allowed his married lover to travel across London to visit him at least twice
  • Antonia Staats, 38, lives with her husband, in his 30s, and two children in a £1.9 million house in south London

The tabloids used to have to make up stuff like this!

9 thoughts on “Your lockdown may vary: Senior Epidemiologist Edition

  1. The internet abounds with reposts of crowds of protesters protesting being shut in with the people they married instead of being allowed access to their far away offices & executive assistants. The problem is none of the internet reposters are willing to jump in the crowds & support the rebellion personally. What are they afraid of?

  2. There was at least one prior, in Scotland, but it wasn’t as juicy, because there was no canoodling involved:
    “Coronavirus: Scotland’s chief medical officer resigns over lockdown trips”

    At least Ms. Staats is a “left wing campaigner” for, and she and her husband are in an open relationship in the £1.9 million home they share. So they have to get some kind of credit for that. I mean, £1.9 million is peanuts in London for a left-wing campaigner. Plus, she wasn’t hypocritical. She says the two households (hers and Ferguson’s) are one!

    “Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, said: ‘If the two halves of a couple are currently in separate households, ideally they should stay in those households.

    ‘The alternative might be that, for quite a significant period going forwards, they should test the strength of their relationship and decide whether one wishes to be permanently resident in another household.’

    ‘However, Ms Staats has insisted her actions to visit the scientist are not hypocritical, as she considers the households to be one.’

    This is a math problem, not a social distancing problem. As long as you don’t mind dividing by zero, 1 + 1 can indeed equal 1.

    I get it, I get it. Ms. Staats is really saying that 1/2 + 0 + 1/2 = 1. Her husband is the 0. “…Focus[es] on tipping-point moments of crisis and opportunity.”

    • J: Thanks for that. This would be related to the original post if you wanted to start a discussion of whether Professor Ferguson and some young married ladies would be happy to snuggle into a row!

      Allowing one passenger on an otherwise jammed flight to pay for a single empty seat. In addition to the additional fresh air that one would find on a flight that was no more than two-thirds full (i.e., nearly all the middle seats empty, unless Professor Ferguson’s ladyfriend needs to travel with both her husband and her boyfriend(s)), the plane will load and unload a lot faster and there won’t be a Fall of Saigon struggle for overhead space.

  3. Lots of good schadenfreude here since mano a mano Phil vs. Fergy as top coronavirus prognosticator, Phil wins hands down, i.e., Fergy has never been close to right and his innumeracy has no doubt cost the planet trillions plus other damage — but isn’t there a more interesting angle? London is the divorce capital of the world — prenups are not enforced and the estate is split 50/50. Don’t know if it is a no fault jurisdiction but I would guess that it is. So if so can’t now Fergy & his paramour really hose the poor sap who married her & presumably paid for the 1.9m townhouse? And then he would not have to walk across the park. He would just own the place.

  4. would the papers in any other country throw in that titbit about the £1.9m house?

    the whole situation is a like an episode from a bad franzen novel (i did enjoy the corrections)

  5. The Prof has released his modelling software for the world to see and here is one comment on it. (A that’s-not-funny rebuke appears two comments later.)

  6. We must keeping going with the lockdown. The Prof. knows better!

    As Strom Thurmond used to say: Coronavirus lockdown now! Coronavirus lockdown tomorrow! Coronavirus lockdown forever!

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