I've had a few drinks tonight and have just caught up on the last 20 posts about R=1. My heads was spinning before, it's really spinning now

There are valid points being made but I think the key thing is that its not just about the R number in isolation, its a combination of R number and number of current cases.

For example. If there were 5 million current cases of C-19 and the R=1, then the health service would be in a constant state of being overrun and stricter measures could be justified (as they would pass on to 5million etc). I'd personally be staying in the house as theres a fair chance of catching it. Thats despite R=1 feeling fairly 'safe' right? (5m is a lot of folk to potentially bump into)

If there were 5million cases with R=0.5, stricter measures could still be justified since 2.5m is still a lot of folk to pass it on to. So just because the R rate may be lowi as in this exampke there is still a high likelihood of bumping into someone with it and therefore I'd probably still stay in the house, again despite R=0.5 feeling 'really safe'

Now, if the were only 5000 cases and R=1 I'd be happy to go out although I wasn't happy to go out when there were 5m cases at R=1!

In fact, and weirdly, if the number of cases was only 5000 and the R number suddenly changed to R=3 I'd probably still go out for a while as it could take a bit of time reaching me depending on where the hotsports were!

So, the R number is just an indication of rate of change of transmission rate up or down at a point in time, and any decisions around it have to be tied in with how many are actually infected at that point. Theres no logic in the statememt that Im hearing a lot just now: 'the R number is low so its safe to go out'. Not if there are 10m cases if it its not!

R=1 is only significant in that it indicates steady state, somethings in control, but needs to be used with other factors

For R<1, the only difference between say R=0.1 and R=0.8 is just the length of time it would take to reach R0. Yes both are still propagating the virus but its not doing so at a sustainable rate and in both cases will eventually see the virus disappear.

Its a bit confusing but if the R number was to remain stable at R=0.8, the number of overall cases will keep going down as remember, anything less than R=1 is in decline. The bit thats hard is thinking that if numbers keep declining, even to a very low level, the expectation is that the R number will reduce to say R=0.1? Well not necessarily so. The R number is influenced by the measures that are in place and other conditions UV etc.

So even although R=0.8 will result in a smaller and smaller group, that tiny group will still pass it on at R=0.8 if the same measures and conditions in place, it doesn't matter that theres fewer of them.

So regarding people flying in people in from abroad if they are coming from countries with low infection rates and only a small proportion are actually infected then they shoul not affect our R number if they follow our measures (thats the key part).

Anyway, I might edit or delete tmrw cheers