Monday 25 April 2022

Yeah, Covid “insurance”, but sometimes the *premium* is too large

Zero-Covid strategy is like insurance for 1.4b people” says Liang Wannian, China’s top coronavirus expert. Oh dear. 

Once upon a time, after several years of high premiums for comprehensive insurance on a boat, we decided to cancel it. We figured we’d be better off just paying for any potential damage ourselves, rather than paying  huge up-front premiums. And it did work out better in the end.

So talking about Zero Covid being “insurance for 1.4b people”, without talking about the cost of the “premium”? Without talking about the cost to the rest of society? The cost to the young by protecting the elderly and unvaccinated?

 ZPG is crazy. Others call it “insane”. The “premium” is much too high. Not that the opposite of “insurance” is to “let it rip”. That was always a false binary. The alternative was and is: focussed protection. Focus on vaccinating the vulnerable and the elderly. Let the rest get on with life.

ADDED: Voices from Shanghai (unverified, at least by me). A city of 25 million people in the world’s most brutal lockdown.

ADDED: Liang does mention “costs”, like vaccination, mass screening and makeshift hospitals. But these are the least of it. The costs I’m talking about, that the world is talking about, is in livelihoods, scarce food, mental health issues and deaths from non-Covid diseases, untreated because of ZCP. (One estimate has these at five times Covid deaths). Washing streets down with Lime that will go into the water supply.