I make no apology for breakng the usual Bugle format. It's Friday the 13th for goodness sake so what better day to discuss disaster?
Cycling events (see below) are being cancelled left, right and centre. It's going to change the way we eat, work and play (our Aldi is already almost bereft of pizza!).
I thought as a statistician it would be helpful to give a take on yesterday's and subsequent statements by our Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser as it may effect the club.
Feel free to disagree - we are in uncharted waters and nothing is certain.
The current plan differs from other countries (and WHO advice) but as we don't get a choice it is best to understand and work with it. It's a gamble and only time will tell if it's a successful one.
Although it wasn't stated explicitly yesterday - today it became clear the government's plan is to get us gradually to an 80% infection rate at which point we will have herd immunity and, in Donald Trump's words it will disappear (well nearly until a succesful vaccine arrives to finally polish it off). Life and the economy can then get back to normal.
What they are doing is to try and get there in as smooth a way as possible so that the limited supply of ventilators and associated equipment can be deployed efficiently to the most acute patients to minimise the mortality rate - unlike Italy where people who could be saved are not because the hospitals and staff are overwhelmed.
The good news is that this will not effect 95% of the population who will suffer at worst 'bad flu' to nothing at all.
It will seriously effect the remaining 5% who develop acute pneumonia and who will rely on the NHS to survive. 5% is a big number (over 3 million) and it takes a long time to recover - 5/6 weeks is not uncommon so spacing out the people arrving at hospital will determine the number who will live or die.
The demographic of our Club means we have a disproportionate number who are at particular risk. I qualify on three counts (over 70, respiratory problem and on steroids which depresses immunity - but does help my cycling).
I know quite a few who in the club, quietly, are in the same boat. Our chances of getting through and of everbody's elderly relatives may depend on how the rest of you amend your behaviour. True altruism is the name of the game.
CYCLING IS HEALTHY