the hard and soft science leading our journey

The vaccine will come eventually but meanwhile much can be done to lower R0 without the powers of a repressive regime


Until the completion of an eventual mass vaccination program with either the newly announced vaccine or that and others, China stands out as the only large (of course the largest) country to beat the pandemic. Some have doubted the figures but the success of other large south Asian nations to manage the pandemic suggests their success is real.  New Zealand, a European western-style democracy has also a very good record in delivering eradication but its size and geography make it an exception to any rule. Without the advantages of a small remote island nation with a leader who acted fast and was able to garner a large national consensus, it is instructive to examine the levers China employed to achieve it.  A short article in the Lancet set out the key factors: 

  • speed of action, 
  • use of draconian propaganda (drones equipped with echoing loudspeaker berating non-compliers - the degree to which this actually happened, or was used on social media as a...
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