Models Fail to Predict the British Variant’s Decline

One reason that go-slow BoJo is taking his sweet time over lifting lockdown is to allow himself enough time (frankly, more than enough) to see the impact of each change before making the next.

A Covid surge was, naturally, predicted by Government scientific advisers when schools went back in March. Has that happened? Not even a ripple. In fact, since mass testing in schools began in early March the positive rate has hit a floor of 0.4% (presumably a lot to do with the false positive rate). Are any of these advisers embarrassed by their failed predictions that threatened the education of our children? If so, we’ve not heard.

To be fair, in February, SPI-M member Mark Woolhouse (one of the more heretical ones) told MPs he wasn’t expecting a surge as schools returned, since schools don’t drive the epidemic. “One of the stated reasons for keeping schools closed was to avoid some surge in cases when they open – that’s never happened across western Europe,” he said. Which begs the question: why were schools closed to “avoid some surge in cases when they open” if this has never happened? And why now are children subject to wearing masks all day and constant testing and having to self-isolate whenever they (or a classmate) gets a false positive? Is it all “just in case”?

Perhaps more significant, though, is that this no-show of a surge occurred despite the UK being dominated by the British Covid variant, as the graph below shows, which the Government says is more deadly and more contagious.

SARS-CoV-2 variant prevalence in UK – Kent variant in red (from CoVariant)

New ONS data published on Friday (see graph below) shows that new daily infections in the winter peaked around December 26th – 10 days before the lockdown on January 5th that we were told needed to be “tough enough” to contain the new mutant variant.