Thank you for the comment @GavrielK!
On one of your thoughts:
I've personally received conflicting opinions from people in the field about how much policymakers care about/pay attention to in-depth analyses that they didn't actually commission. I like that this analysis format will result in a solid headline number that can be communicated simply.
I think the skepticism from people in the field is warranted. And I agree it's attractive that this project will result in a headline number -- this is definitely what Vivian and Richard have in mind. But I think there's a related risk of the project here: because the (at least MVP) analysis will be less in-depth, the headline number will be easier to undermine.
On your questions:
I'm sort of surprised that this needed to be pursued through independent funding [...] What's the missing expertise that Qally's brings to the table, and why isn't CHS backing this piece of the project?
I think the missing expertise is: having the time to do the work! My understanding is that the project hasn't moved for a few months for this reason. That said, since posting this project on Manifund, I'm less confident that Vivian would not contribute (further than she already has) to the nitty gritty of the long COVID estimates; I guess this is mostly upside from your perspective.
As for why CHS isn't backing this project, I think there's a mix of (1) limited JHCHS staff capacity, and (2) part of the original motivation of this project being Vivian receiving mentorship from Richard. (I am happy to explore the possibility of funding from JHCHS at some point.)
The think-tank-friendliness of it reduces the failure risk from the team not having time to write up results--possibly could rope in the dedicated policy advocates at IfP or Rethink for advocacy-style writing?
Could you possibly expand on what roping in dedicated policy advocates would involve? Asking them to produce a document that reads like a policy report, given our less friendly write-up? And perhaps asking them to share this document with contacts in government and media?
Are you also considering long-term costs of other viruses? Just curious--I know this is much more speculative, but my impression is that COVID just had the most attention on it for a while and now there's increasing scientific interest in possible long-term effects of flu. That would also emphasize the importance of endemic disease. But could be way too complicated, just wondering if it was discussed!
Aron and I are not, at least not right now. But Vivian and Richard have so far considered: common cold, influenza, and TB.
You reference researching other contributions to disease burden as a possible extension of this project--what contributions would those be, if the bulk of the project has already been completed?
The other components that Vivian has marked as needing to be revisited are: mainline estimates of direct medical costs of common cold and of influenza, lost productivity from influenza, and learning loss due to common cold and influenza. She already has low and high estimates for each of these, but I think hasn't thought about which of these estimates is more appropriate (which in turn would affect her averaging for the mainline estimate).