In 2006 a 14 year old kid dreamed up a science fair exhibit for limiting the spread of influenza. The problem is her father was a scientist that built mathematical models and decided to help her with her project. They tried to illustrate how the virus would spread in a population.
It was about that time that Dr. Mecher heard from Robert J. Glass, a senior scientist at Sandia in New Mexico who specialized in building advanced models to explain how complex systems work — and what can cause catastrophic failures.
Dr. Glass’s daughter Laura, then 14, had done a class project in which she built a model of social networks at her Albuquerque high school, and when Dr. Glass looked at it, he was intrigued.
Students are so closely tied together — in social networks and on school buses and in classrooms — that they were a near-perfect vehicle for a contagious disease to spread.
Dr. Glass piggybacked on his daughter’s work to explore with her what effect breaking up these networks would have on knocking down the disease.
The outcome of their research was startling. By closing the schools in a hypothetical town of 10,000 people, only 500 people got sick. If they remained open, half of the population would be infected.
“My God, we could use the same results she has and work from there,” Dr. Glass recalled thinking. He took their preliminary data and built on it by running it through the supercomputers at Sandia, more typically used to engineer nuclear weapons. (His daughter’s project was entered in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2006.)New York Times
The George W. Bush Administration’s initial intention was to use this blueprint in the even of an attack on the U.S. with biological weapons.
The idea of a full lockdown of society in the event of a pandemic first emerged as an extremist proposal in 2006, issued by a computer scientist as part of George W. Bush’s preparations for biowarfare. It provoked a fierce response by the world’s leading epidemiologist Donald Henderson and his colleagues. That proposal, issued by Robert Glass under the influence of his daughter’s high school science fair project (yes, it thanks Neil Ferguson for comments), would sit for 14 years before being deployed in some form during the political panic of March 2020.American Institute for Economic Research
Here’s the kicker… the science project on which all this nonsense is based ONLY WON THIRD PRIZE!!
Her project, based on computer simulations of human interaction, impressed the judges enough to win her third place in the medicine and health category at the Intel fair that year.Albuquerque Journal
Why are we are setting public policy on the notions of children? Adults use children and seemingly plausible and sensible ideas that sound good to achieve their own ends. The education systems of the world teach blind obedience to authority rather than critical thinking. This leads to an ignorant population which leads to an easy subjugation of the population. Your rights were taken away on an unproven whim.
The entire world economy was brought to its knees by the ideas of a 14 year old kid. Yes, the ideas were born from wanting good things for the world. But, as the cliché goes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.