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Quantifying lives saved by individual actions against COVID-19

Thanks for doing the math, I think this is valuable even with a basic model.

I think this analysis undercounts the impact of spreading the virus. You only model local community transmission, but if the epidemic doesn't burn out in the Seattle area, it'll cause additional community spread elsewhere, which leaves room for another lg(8B/4M) = 11 doublings.

A linear reduction in R also might be too optimistic. In the plausible worst case, R is nearly constant until the final few generations when it saturates and starts to burn out.

4Denkenberger2yI agree that it is useful to make simple models. The consensus appears to be that there will be a global spread, so then it appears that short-term actions could have very high impact. However, one could also argue that then the end state is going to be the same, so that would mean short-term actions would have no impact. It is true if social distancing (physical distance, handwashing, gloves, masks, etc.) is maintained for the entire pandemic, then R0 falls below one sooner, so fewer people get the disease. You can see a model of this here []. On the 80,000 Hours podcast [] , they say that reducing travel out of the place of origin by 90% in the beginning only delays the outbreak 3 weeks, likely not enough time to get a vaccine. So which one is right, a huge impact due to short-term actions or basically nothing?