Excerpt from an interview with Prof Brendan Crabb, December 2022 – part2.
We definitely have to shift our strategy.
A strategic 180 is required. We should be saying COVID is exceptional, we don’t have anything like this, infection is to be avoided. Not just to protect the vulnerable but we have this Long-COVID that we are concerned about. To avoid another 4 waves in 2023, we need an attitude change that COVID in our community is not OK and to set targets to get those numbers down.
The reproductive number, how many people get infected by someone with COVID (Reff), is only just over 1, it doesn’t take much to drive it below 1. No rule changes, just encouraging people to take some actions is all that is required like: breathe clean air, filtered or UV treated and increase ventilation.
If we keep our current approach to COVID we will have another wave and another wave and so on. However another risk is that there will be a step change that COVID will evolve into something that can transmit better.
It’s a numbers game, even halving or a quarter of the numbers that will make a difference. That would transform the capacity of the country to cope and save a lot of lives.
Lets change the message to individuals who have the capacity to influence the environment they are in.
1 Please be up to date with the vaccine.
2 Breathe clean air – covid is airborne – think about the air wherever you are; can I open a window, ask ‘is there a filter?’, if not convinced that you can improve the air then wear a mask (with a good seal), breathe clean air. We could provice free masks.
3 Get tested when you’re crook because there are good drugs for COVID – like paxlovid, not for everyone, that likely reduce bad effects – of course you can only get the drug if you’re testing.
Science will keep moving so that we don’t have to keep getting infected. What we need to do is science like crazy to get out of this. Meantime the best stragegy is to avoid infection.