The Billy Plan

The Billy Plan (Le Plan Billy) - 3 - Overview

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This must be a cooperatve effort. Or there is no "Billy Plan."


The component parts are :


Overview - BP



1.) The Setting describes the need.


The Setting has already been presented. 


Today's reported cases of people positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Stavelot, increased once again to 338 from 311 yesterday and 298 the day before. That rate of increase should be its own motivator to action. That has also been covered elsewhere. "Be fast. Have No Regrets.  if you need to be right before you move, you will never win."


2.) Sealing the borders. 

Who can enter? Who passes through?
ID bracelets identify those who belong to 4970 Stavelot.
If you know Stavelot, get a similar visual image as the city's entry control points during Laetare.
Those who must pass and enter, for to-and-from work travel for example,  must be identified as a group.

Which are still permitted, and which are not? This is a task for the team involved in this topic.
DO what works. DO it quickly.


Actually, the entire city borders of Stavelot represents the first set of limits. Behavior therein should be in many ways, very similar to that in "The Colony." (see below)

Sealing the borders is the only way to get control of the system.

Think of all those positive cases brought back to Belgium recently from "red zones," by thoughless travellers. We are now learning what is more important: one's health or a vacation. Many chose the wrong answer.


3.) NATO (l'OTAN) and the Army

What is required  in steps 4.) and 5.) of the Billy Plan will not happen if one thinks that one can do this with local resources only. This problem is in fact already much larger than just setting up for the Laetare, and sweeping up the streets afterwards. Humanitarian aid is required right now from those who address wars, natural disasters, and major epidemics. This is now a major epidemic. Providing, moving, and installing facilities and materiel is what successful armies are all about. Stavelot needs the Army.


4.) The Colony

Step number 5.) of the Billy Plan will quickly generate many positive results. These are people who have the virus, and can unwillingly transmit it to those who do not. To stop that chain of transmission, positive cases must and will be separated from the population. It is known that at least 70% of such transmissions of the virus happen at home. Subsequently, family members go out to transmit elsewhere: schools, universities, at work, on the bus. Those admitted to "The Colony" are not placed there for punishment for their positive SARS-CoV-2 status. People in quarantine need to be supported. These are not "camps" with names written above the entrance that still echo in our memory. The population of Stavelot loves it's public amusemuents, and is known for these. Many days do not pass on the calendar before the next feast is welcomed. "The Colony" will have its amusements: Stavelot-style. It will support its residents so they know they are cared for. SO they know that they are in the right place.


5.) Testing

One enters The Colony becasue one has tested postive for SARS-CoV-2. The Belgian Public Health system has set many limits on testing. Some for obvious reasons: no reagents or other materiel was the first. But those days are now behind us. And the testing philosphy that grows out of these valid concerns, today recommending testing only symptomatic individuals, is simply wrong. The populace must also understand that a negative test today or yesterday, should not be taken as a passport to then doing whatever you want. You could be positive tomorrow and bring it home to your family.


More will be appearing on our specific approach to testing as this Plan gets implemented.


The entire population of Stavelot will be tested. A laboratory in Liège that can handle 8000 tests per day has been hampered and manacled by legal debate and unthinking court decisions. Now that must end. We have already seen how the Ghlin region of Mons is moving ahead. What is Stavelot waiting for? All of Stavelot will be tested once a week, for 3 subsequent weeks. If the testing method used has a significant error rate, then all positives will be followed up with a "golden standard" test with better sensitivty and specificity. Discharge from The Colony happens only after 14 days, and a negative test on two sequential days. If someone asks you to contribute 5 or 10€ to pay for your test, reach into your pocket, and do so with a smile. Think of how many times you reached into that same pocket for 50€ to pay for a round of drinks for your friends.


6.) Finance, Policy and Politics

The latter of the three is mentioned only to be cautioned against. If "L'Union Fait La Force," this is not the time for division into groups as Belgium still witnesses this day. Community acceptance is essential. Communication, coherence, coordination will not manifest if that acceptance is absent. Then we can each just wait our turn for the next available hospital bed. What was not done in a timely fashion before today, is why the hospital beds are filling up as we write this. Those with expertise in finance, policy and management, and a desire to help arising in present urgency, must be present and not absent from the effort, as too often happens. WIthout their participation and contribution, the "Billy Plan" is nonexistant.


If the above outline has already raised many clouds of objection, questionning and perceived problems, that's good. The opportunity exists today, for you to join with others and find needed answers for all of these. It's a Challenge. Accept Defeat? Certainly not at this time when the virus has already successfully established its beach head in our city.


All that's missing is your signature on the contract that says you will do your part to end the epidemic in Stavelot. And you can write that contract however you like.


You know better than anyone else, your personal gifts that will help save this great little town.




If this all sounds like several different goals, or too complicated prcedurally, let me state to be clear just one overriding goal : to break the chains of transmission of this virus.

Too much time has already been lost.

There should be NO further waiting.




Eventually Stavelot may put up another little monument, with a few words carved in grey stone:



"This is where the people of Stavelot, brought an end to the pandemic."


it will be placed where "The Colony" was once located.

In memory of all those who believed and took action, even when quite afraid to do so.

WIth a little luck now, they will have merited that honor.




26 October : Know when to go fast >>>>>>>>>>



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The Billy Plan (Le Plan Billy) - Forum - guidelines for posting

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The Billy Plan (Le Plan Billy) - Part 5 of the Plan - TESTING : CURRENT TESTING CRITERIA & PROCEDURE

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Criteria for who can get tested and procedures to follow are explained here.




Dans cette rubrique, vous trouverez des informations concernant le Coronavirus.


(ne sont plus à jour)


Les règles en vigueur dès le 2 novembre



Again, this separates those who should be tested, from those who actually get tested.


While this can be understood when testing is applied at a national level, for a locall level in a town like Stavelot, these criteria and procedures must be greatly simplified to be effective.





Those who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 but aymptomatic, have a viral load that is no different than those who are symptomatic. Here is yet another article published in the New England Journal of Medicine which makes the point. 


What does this mean?


Testing only patients with symptoms as is current government policy in Belgium, is a grave error.

It will lead to persistence and recurrence of this level of transmission of the virus for a very long time.

The pandemic may never end in Belgium until (and if) widespread and effective vaccination has taken place.


If current resources, materiel and personnel are currently so limited in Belgium, that generalized testing can not be implemented, it is time for the government to ask for help from countries who have managed to test widely, those who have no symptoms. Countries are willing to provide humanitarian aid such as this to countries with underdeveloped testing capabilities like Belgium is now suffering.


All one has to do is ask.



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The Billy Plan (Le Plan Billy) - Part 5 of the Plan - TESTING : WHERE TESTS ARE DONE

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Use the map below to find a lab that does COVID-19 Testing in your region.


In Stavelot: SYNLAB - Place du Vinâve 3






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The Billy Plan (Le Plan Billy) - 4 - The COLONY

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Public Health authorities in Hong Kong began to anticipate a need.

As the pandemic took hold, they tested people in increasing numbers.


But they also quickly realized that those who tested positive should be isolated from the rest of society.


The city had a new public housing complex, not yet occupied, and in fact not even completed.


They quickly converted this into a quarantine facility.


Called the Chun Yeung Estate, it is a cluster of 40-story high-rises spread over five blocks.

It was designed to house nearly 5,000 apartments.


But last February, it was converted and prepared to house thousands of people if they had tested positive for the virus.


Housing for quarantine in HK



Stavelot is not in Hong Kong of course.


And for those who do not know Stavelot, it has no high-rises.




But that same question that faced those in Hong Kong last February, has been facing Stavelot as well.


And actually, from about the same time.


How should those who test positive for the virus, be managed ?


For many months, testing results for Stavelot were quite low. 


On April 20, 17 cases of SARS-CoV-2 positive tests had been reported.


On June 19, 28 cases, and by August 24, 35 cases.


There may have been a message in those numbers, but they stayed stable at 35 until September 7th when case 36 was reported.


Still not much evidence so far of attention having been given to thoughts of how to deal with an increased need for quarantining a part of the population, should that need arise.


The basic philosophy from Public Health was that anyone testing positive should simply stay home for 14 days (now down to 7 to 10 days).


This remains essentially the same recommendation today.


But in the interim, it was documented in many different studies that 70% of transmission of the virus to others, happens at home. The workplace was soon recognized as a source of frequent contamination as well.


Next, the case numbers in Stavelot began to change more rapidly.


Cas à Stavelot - 29 oct


Returning an infected person to the home environment (unless living alone) will not contribute to breaking the chain of transmission of this viral illness. It is too readily transmitted. Less than measles, but certainly more easily than influenza or even Ebola virus.


It is not being suggested that Stavelot should now start building high-rises.


But if positives in increasing numbers in Stavelot should not return to their home dwelling, with a very high risk of contaminating others, then where?


We can not offer here an easy or immediate answer.


The first hurdle is of course that many will not accept, will in fact refuse, to go anywhere else but home.


Are there other options

  1. What is currently present that could be, temporarily, converted to another purpose? 
  2. Where are there available spaces where temporary housing (during soon-to-be winter) could be erected?
  3. Who would install such temporary facilities to quarantine positive cases and markedly reduce further transmission?


In all of the above options, moving rapidly enough could probably not be accomplished with resources currently available in Stavelot. 

During the Laetare, Stavelot erects structures to enclose large crowds participating in events.

But this is not housing.

And such structures were erected and taken down in the course of a week or less.


But now occupancy for just a few hours or a week-end is of no use.


One soon begins to think of structures designed for disaster relief. Designed for human catastrophes like wars and floods and hurricanes and earthquakes.


And almost in the same breath, one has said: Army.

Part 3 of The Billy Plan is labelled "NATO & the Army" for this very reason.


Mostly as an experiment or learning process, initial outreach to such potential resources was made and results can be read here.


This is also clearly the time, before proceeding further, to open discussion with Stavelot's governing bodies. Absent that, any movement towards implementation of this Plan will quickly be opposed and even prohibited.


The above numbered options should be addressed in a team environment. Other options could certainly be added.


Here's an example: could the Benedictine Abbey in Stavelot, so closely linked to the history of the city, and now used for tourist activities, concerts and other offereings, be converted to an enclosed space (nice in winter), for quarantining positive cases?  Perhaps its cellars? Perhaps certain spaces (la Salle du Chapître) for specific targetted functions for a large group?


Would it be logistically better, and finally simpler, to provide a large open space for installation of the equivalent of disaster relief housing. Yet much more humane and liveable than tents and awnings.


The ultimate and immediate purpose is health care of a select population. Hopefully not, but some inhabitants of The Colony may suffer deterioration of health status during their quarantine. Temporary care at a more intensive level, or even an area to prepare such patients for transfer to another facility, should be included on the list of requirements.


Such an introduction to housing is quickly followed by requirements for food, sanitation, organizational spaces, and even amusements for psychosocial support.



Referring to it by that name was intentionally selected to avoid the word "CAMP."

Engrained in social memory in Stavelot are too many negative reminders that have not disappeared.


This is not about privation of personal liberty or freedom. It is about setting certain limits for health reasons, and in as organized a manner as can be put in place.


Recently, the mandated closure of hotels, restaurants and bars (HORECA) have been deplored, resisted and protested against by those involved. This is understandable. The COLONY might conceivably provide some relief for this sector as well if providers of food could get involved in its realization.


With its Laetare as a symbolic reminder of the importance of countering stress and unwinding emotionally, with a little effort from the numerous folkloric societies and those who guide them, a two week stay in The COLONY might even be fun.


Allowing those who are infected to return home, and even until now suggesting it, is not the solution.




26 October : Know when to go fast >>>>>>>>>>


29 October : From Ideas to ACTIONS >>>>>>>>>




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