Sutton comedian explains why we can all feel good about ourselves for being in lockdown

Steve N Allen says the science is right when it comes to lockdownSteve N Allen says the science is right when it comes to lockdown
Steve N Allen says the science is right when it comes to lockdown | other
Science is helping the coronavirus situation and it can make you feel better too, writes Steve N Allen.

There are the obvious ways science helps, like Dyson making ventilators for the NHS.

Science can also make us feel better.

We are basically under house arrest at the moment because some selfish people went to the seaside one weekend.

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They didn’t take the advice and it feels like we’re all being punished for it.

If I do some crimes in the future, I hope they count this as time served off my sentence.

The logic that makes us feel like we have been bad can be used to make us feel better.

It’s going to get technical now, but here goes.

Before I did comedy I used to be a scientist.

I was recently asked on radio to explain exponential growth, which is how viruses spread.

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Imagine you’re in a room and once a day you go out and fetch someone to join you (I realise that could be hard because we’re all forgetting what it feels like to go out).

If you fetched a person for ten days at the end there’d be you and ten people.

I’ve played stand-up gigs like that, so maybe I should have stuck with science.

Anyhow, that’s linear growth.

Now, what if everyone you brought back could fetch someone?

You’d fetch someone making two in the room, then you two would get two more, making four, then eight, then 16 and after ten days in there would be 1,024 in that room.

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You’d really have to label things in the fridge and the arguments over the remote control would take ages.

That’s exponential growth.

With coronavirus they say you’re likely to spread it to three people.

In our example, that’s like each person leaving the room and bringing back two people, not one.

In that case, ten days later, it’s 59,049 people in that room and your landlord should be investigated.

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With a mortality rate of two per cent, that’s 1,180 people who would die

But, turn that around and you realise that if you stay in you’re saving the lives of more than a thousand people.

If that doesn’t make you a hero, I don’t know what does.

Steve N Allen is a comedian and broadcaster who was raised in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

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