COVID-19 and The Swiss Cheese Model

I’d not heard of the Swiss Cheese Model as a way for understanding risks and their management:

“The Swiss cheese model of accident causation is a model used in risk analysis and risk management, including aviation safety, engineering, healthcare, emergency service organizations, and as the principle behind layered security, as used in computer security and defense in depth. It likens human systems to multiple slices of swiss cheese, stacked side by side, in which the risk of a threat becoming a reality is mitigated by the differing layers and types of defenses which are “layered” behind each other.”

A visual of the general approach is given below (from the wikipedia link above):

A virologist, Dr. Ian Mackay, has produced a nice graphic to illustrate it’s application to COVID-19. A really helpful way of communicating the role of each intervention to the general public. Sometimes a visual is more effective than a thousand (often confusing) words! Click to enlarge.


Swiss Cheese Model for COVID-19, illustrating that no single intervention is enough to prevent spread (click to enlarge)

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