Written on 18 April 2020, 07:45pm
My view on the recent study arguing that the lock-down measures implemented in Belgium should be relaxed to match the ones in the Netherlands, which lead to similar infection numbers. For completion, the 3 main differences between the two countries are:
- no legal enforcement of the lock-down in the NL
- all shops remain open in the NL
- telework is encouraged, but not mandatory in the NL
Note: For the sake of readability, I will add the relevant links at the end of the post.
What I liked in the study
- the dependency between the policy, human behavior and outcome
- the use of Google mobility data
The two premises
- I pretty much agree with the first one – about the complexity of the epidemic models and the fact that the Belgian government is not very transparent in sharing all the data. But we should not underestimate the importance of the scientists working together with the decision-makers.
- However, I do not agree with the second premise: that the models need precise data in order to work. Scientists routinely work with incomplete or imperfect data. Confidence intervals, margins of error, type I and II errors are all part of the game. This is not a perfect world.