The Billy Plan Today - 26 Oct. 2020 - Know when to go fast

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One thing I learned in Surgery: "Know when to go slow, and know when to go fast."


I learned that through years of experience, and lessons taught me by many, many patients

who unfortunately had become ill and needed compassionate but skillful help.


Sometimes to do well, you must go slowly, or you break things.

Sometimes to do well, you must go very fast. Otherwise, the operation is over.

Then all that is left is telling the family the bad news.

Knowing when to go slow and when to go fast, avoids having to make that speech.


Click on an icon for details by region ...




Tomorrow, Belgium will probably pass above Czechia to become number 1 in cases in Europe.

Then again, tomorrow is Tuesday, and reported new cases are always lowest on Tuesdays.

So we may have to wait until Wednesday to mount the EU podium.


Cas par jour de semaine - 26 oct

Above is not a picture of how the virus works each day. It works every day. Takes no vacations or time off.

Above is how the Belgian healthcare system works. Including testing and hospital utilisation.

Tuesday is usually a light day. We'll see tomorrow. But these data are for all of Belgium. Not for Stavelot.  So we'll see tomorrow. 




ECDC - Caseload by country - 26 October




So in Stavelot today, this is a time to go fast.




Because the virus has an important lead in this race. We are behind and playing catch-up.


Here are some results for this day in a little gallery of images. It includes first images for Belgium, and for the 3 regions. Cases, then reported Deaths.


For Belgium : cases


For Belgium : deaths


But now we must come together to focus on Stavelot. So the rest is less important at this time.




Just how fast is this game being played?


As shown in the above gallery, the actual number of total positive tests for Stavelot creates the following relationship. Events are now moving exponentially. That word means: very fast.

This is not the world, nor the country, nor the regions, nor provinces : This is Stavelot.


Exponential growth - 26 Oct



Here are the actual and predicted case numbers based on the above relationship.


Actual and Predicted cases - 26 Oct



There is no time now for a statistics lesson.


Since 16 Octber, cases in Stavelot are increasing at 9% per day.


So today, the above equation predicted yesterday that there would be 352 new cases announced.

There were 338. That's a 4% prediction error. 


One problem is that this increase is not happening in an upwards straight line.

It's happening in an upwards curve. So tomorrow? 385 total cases in Stavelot.


Now, predicting where that will take us is dangerous, because:

          1. The situation that got us here may change
          2. One should only predict for the days with actual known results.
          3. The results my scare some people.


So don't try to memorize the following numbers. They might be wrong at some point in the future.

Actually, very truly we would hope that they are wrong for the days to come.


Nevertheless, they give a good example explaining exponential growth.


They strongly suggest that the time to start moving fast to counter the virus, was well before yesterday.

Certainly before September 15.




Predictions through 1 January


Of course one can immediately see that carrying this table of numbers as far as 6 December (la Fête Saint-Nicolas) is pointless since the population of Stavelot is under 8 000 inhabitants. On that day this model predicts 13 885 total positive cases.


But if the model continues to perform at a similar level of error (4%) the predicted numbers should not be too far off. 


The goal was not to frighten you.


The goal was to provide a better understanding of exponential growth.

When such growth occurs, and when it it takes off like a fireworks rocket, all you can do is watch and keep your fingers crossed about how, when and where it will land.


Perhaps all of this is being offered to you by a person who is totally crazy ...

If that is the case, your author was very pleased to find a peer or colleague, Prof. Jean-Jacques Houben.

And a surgeon no less ! And he even practices at Centre Médical Edith Cavell where your author was born many years ago!


So have a listen to his advice:



I could not agree more with Doctor Houben!


When one's government falls on its face time and time again, the best thing to do to help pick it up and wipe up the mess, is to take the lead. The government involved may label such action civil disobedience. It's not anarchy. It's moving fast when that is beyond their chronic administrative slowness. Civil disobedience catches their attention, and may get them to wake up. Hard to tell.


I can only hope that that alarm clock can ring very soon, and won't be confused by the undong of Daylight Savings Time.


There is still tme, but no time to waste in taking appropriate action.


Here in Stavelot, I'll be working on implementing The Billy Plan (Le Plan Billy) at every available moment.

You should think about helping with that if you live in Stavelot.

You should think about helping with that however you can, even if you don't live in Stavelot.


The next charming little town that gets infested with a virus, may be yours.


If you like to read local reports from the Newspapers, here are some from today. 




I leave you with this important thought.

It is directed to those who say that an intervention like the Billy Plan won't work.

Or that it's too complicated. 


You can't convince people to do what must be done now, if they don't believe that we have this disease, this pandemic among us. Some stll find no need to wear masks appropriately, wash hands, keep distances, avoid crowds and special festive gatherings if you just don't believe today, in the numbers presented.


With eyes closed, all problems placed before us, already seem much smaller.


Nit accepting that one person can quickly make three others sick, as though by magic, since the virus is invisible, allows them to persist in having risky contacts and conversations several times each day. Because, ... who believes in magic?


Not all do this. But just enough to keep this infestation smoldering like a fire since months. And others will pay the price now, already have, for that toxic blindness.


And that will be our downfall.




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