We do not have to choose between lives & livelihoods when fighting #SARSCoV2 - through effective #TestTraceIsolate & suppression, we can allow *everyone* to take part in an open society.

Join myself & more than 80 other #COVID19 scientists & experts - sign the #JohnSnowMemo https://twitter.com/TheLancet/status/1316507074415779840
Why 'John Snow'? It's not just because winter is coming! John Snow is considered one of the founders of epidemiology - he traced a cholera outbreak in London to a water pump & removed the handle to curb transmission. Quick effective action saves lives!

The letter says it best, but why do we stand against 'targeted shielding' & 'natural herd immunity'?
1. We do not fully understand immunity to #SARSCoV2 - we don't know how effective it is, or how long it lasts. It's irresponsible to lean on something we don't know will work.
2. 'Natural herd immunity' doesn't mean eradication. We had herd immunity to diseases like smallpox & measles before we had vaccines - but they did not disappear & caused countless lost lives & disability every year, until a vaccine was found.
3. Shielding sounds good in theory but is incredibly hard in practice. At least 20% of UK population would need to shield - we don't know how we'd do this, with a virus raging outside the door, ensuring absolutely none gets in. What about people who don't know they're vulnerable?
4. It's also very unequal - we don't know how long people will need to shield, or how will they feel about being entirely cut off from society. There's a risk of exacerbating many inequalities & disparities, & decreasing quality of life for an extended period of time.
5. There is still so much we don't know about #SARSCoV2 - it's irresponsible to ask the bulk of the population to contract a virus we do not fully understand. Even rare outcomes in 'young & healthy' people will affect thousands if we are infecting the entire population.
We have evidence the virus can cause damage to some organs & in some people leads to 'long COVID'. Even if none of these apply, it's not uncommon to spend a week or more completely out of action. Nobody should be condemned to this. I certainly have no interest in getting #COVID19
So what do we suggest instead? We believe the best way to save both #LivesAndLivelihoods is by effectively suppressing the virus - making participating in society safer for *everyone*.

But this requires commitment to reducing cases, excellent #TestandTrace & effective measures
We must demand an overhaul of ineffective #TestandTrace systems. We need to be able to trace down outbreaks rapidly & stop them quickly.

We must base our restrictions, if cases rise, in science, not wishful thinking. On what's effective not what's easy.
We have seen through other countries that through suppression we can *all* enjoy more normal, open lives, & return to behaviours & activities that support livelihoods. Until a vaccine is available, that is what we should strive for.

#LivesAndLivelihoods #SARSCoV2 #COVID19
Oh dear - and I forgot the link! Please join us - sign here! http://johnsnowmemo.com 
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