UK Lockdown Challenge for Young People: Finally, Some Good News
Analysis of the mid size town of Swindon indicates vigilance for another 4 weeks post the current 4 week lockdown combined with vaccines could cut Covid deaths and subsequent suffering from Long Covid by more than 70%
By Maurice Glucksman¹ and Kim Warren¹
When a four-week Lockdown was announced on November 3rd we launched a challenge for young people to use our modelling tools to answer the question: What does the lockdown need to achieve in My local area?
To help the competitors focus their analysis we have produced a case study of Swindon and reviewed the results in detail in this Webinar.
Step 1 was to collect data on Swindon
Including age demographics, Covid 19 new cases, deaths and hospital Capacity.
And we used data on the Inferred Infection Fatality Rates from London (0.42% from Seroprevalence Surveys) to estimate how many people must have been infected. The model makes adjustments for the differing age demographics resulting in this overall assessment of Swindon versus other areas in the UK (courtesy of our competition co-sponsor Edge Health)
Then Step 2 was to set up the model to mimic the data. This requires a few steps explained in Webinar 2 working backwards from the data on resistant people who have already been infected from to determine the number of people who must be infected now and the remaining susceptible in the Swindon area
In Webinar 3 we showed how to use the model to evaluate the impact of varying the length of the lockdown in a range from no lockdown, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks. The lockdown on its own, as one would expect, only delays the inevitable: eventually everyone gets infected. But it buys valuable time resulting in less stress on healthcare and the possibility of better treatments
Buying time has a huge impact when combined with vaccinations starting in January. There is up to a 40% reduction in total deaths since the beginning of the outbreak. But the reduction is even greater if you look forward and if new cases can be prevented from rising significantly after the lockdown.
Measuring what is likely to happen going forward the impact is much greater: the base case projection is 850 deaths, of which 350 happen in every scenario so that leaves 500 additional that might be avoided. In the 8 week lockdown deaths are 500 so 850–500 =350 are avoided. So 350 out of 500 are saved or 70%. More people would be saved with targeting of vaccines to vulnerable people.
It is possible the 3-tier system of social distancing and other measures such as aggressive testing and tracing to limit transmission could achieve the equivalent of an 8 week lockdown without imposing draconian restrictions if compliance is widespread. The key is keeping the infections down. Also, there would be a similar impact on the number of people suffering from the effects of Long Covid.
To see the full analysis and the accompanying Webinars showing you how you can do this analysis for your area visit our competition website where you can access the tools and instructions.
If you are 24 or under you can compete for a cash prize for the best analysis. Entries due by 5th December.
- Co-Lead Architects, The Covid 19 Localisation Modelling Group