What this blog is about

I’m not a doctor.

I’m not an epidemiologist, virologist, disease specialist, statistical modeller or sociologist.

What I am, I guess, is a professional generalist. I take complicated issues, digest them, and break them down into simpler parts for other people, whether policymakers or the general public.

Sometimes I explain or predict how one issue can impact other areas, particularly when they’re relevant to political behaviour. Sometimes I present policy options or make definite recommendations. Sometimes I gesture vaguely at a problem in the hope that cleverer people will come up with a solution.

So I’ve worked on trade and customs, international criminal law, foreign policy, long-term care, civil society, equality, human rights, technology, startups, AI and deep learning, and, of course, the politics that make policy possible.

Lots of very clever people are working on fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Doctors, epidemiologists and virologists. Modellers, public health experts and behavioural physiologists. Economists, pharmacologists, airflow engineers…. so many experts in so many fields all doing their bit.

Lots of very clever people are writing about it, too; about breakthroughs and setbacks, new research, and the complex consequences that the pandemic is causing different parts of society. And, of course, the politics of lockdowns, bailouts, restrictions and reopenings.

I’ve written a few pieces about Israel’s response to the virus, covering the government’s flawed communications strategy, the premature reopening of synagogues and (more polemically) about Israel’s rising death toll from Covid-19. Since I wrote that piece 25 days ago, 246 more Israelis have passed away from the virus.

But I’ve also been using Facebook and Twitter to share shorter thoughts: analysis of infection data in Israel, changes in virus rules, trends, political arguments and policy mistakes.

Those are the sorts of things I’m going to be doing on this blog. Sometimes there will be long posts, and sometimes just a tidbit news, whether it’s an interesting bit of coronavirus research, something from the data, a change in the regulations or the occasional meandering idea.

When I make mistakes, I’ll correct them. If I misunderstand something, I’ll try better next time. My guesses are guesses. My predictions are guesses too.

Anyway, let’s see how this goes.