With immediate effect set up a steering group of different expertise: A combination of scientists including those currently advising the government combined with alternative voices such as Carl Henneghan or Sunitra Gupta. Independent economists looking at the short and long term consequences. Psychologists and sociologists looking at the adverse impacts across all age groups, particularly the most elderly of which we claim to be trying to protect. Childhood development experts to quantify the impacts that lockdowns, fearful propaganda and social distance is having. Then undertake cost benefit analysis of all potential measures using QALY calculations of not just the lives saved but of the lives impacted. This approach with vast and varied representation from all stakeholders will ensure that the advisors and hence the government are not falling victim of tunnel vision. Then as a minimum put these findings to a vote in Holyrood and publish the papers to the public who can then see for themselves the arguments and decisions behind the measures. The findings should then be shared with the other home nations to better inform and direct national policies. To continue with on and off again lockdowns will lead to further damage to us all and a rise in civil unrest. The first lockdown was widely complied with, set against a backdrop of apocalyptic predictions by IC, the novelty of either working from home or being paid to stay at home under furlough, and the pleasant spring weather. Going into winter and the dark damp nights, an already fatigued nations compliance with new measures will wane when furlough is wrapped up and the jobs are gone. Especially in light of the knowledge the population have of their individual risk of the virus. Even a lockdown in name only like now - where the population are treated as cattle who can work and and educate with play - will have detrimental affects on mental health, sense of community and any confidence in the government. Hospitals over capacity is not a new concept. Post viral fatigue syndrome is not a new concept. However these disproportionate measures are something our country and many others have only just started adapting. A change in strategy is now needed. The actions taken this last 6 months have not worked. There is now an opportunity to ensure the next 6 months are not more of the same. The future of our people, our future generation, this government and of the country depends on us getting it right this time.

Why the contribution is important

The government and advisors in their approach to the pandemic need to recognise the difference between just saving lives and impact on quality of lives. We know this is a horrible disease and we do not underestimate its tragic impacts on many in society. However unlike March we now know much more about it. We know better ways to treat it, we know who is most at risk and we also know from empirical studies (eg. Chaudhry, Dranitsaris, Mybashir and Batoszko, The Lancet, July 21 2020) that lockdowns do not work. Lockdowns and restrictions however have proven to not only wreck the economy, but also impact our lives in every possible way as I will lay out below. (At this point I have to disagree with Sturgeon, March 31st viz “we can repair the economy” - as a politician motivated by the loss of jobs under the Thatcher government, surely she can see that when jobs are gone they do not suddenly reappear months later) Yet in our desperate aim to save lives we have also forgotten what it means to actually be alive. Let me ask you which of these “lives” we are actually saving or helping by distancing, incarceration and lockdowns: - the 90 year old in a care home who has not been allowed to see her family in 8 months and who’s cognitive skills have vastly deteriorated (and who regularly states she does not want to be here). - The 80 year old widow who’s son killed himself in June due to the hopelessness of lockdowns. - The 70 year old retired couple who have missed their grandsons 5th birthday and have not yet held their great grand son born in April. - The lonely 60 year old who’s mother sadly passed away alone in hospital, who could only hold a limited funeral and now has to decide which of her two children she can see at any one time. - The 50 year old restaurant owner who has had to close indefinitely due to the 10pm curfew and who now find himself unable to pay his mortgage. - The unemployed 40 year old father of two who can no longer support his family. - The 30 year old who’s dream of joining the property ladder has evaporated with the end of furlough and who’s mental health has deteriorated with the lockdowns and isolation. - The 25 year old couple who have now had to cancel their wedding twice and can see no hope in their future. - The 21 year old who has just had his 21st birthday on Zoom. - The 18 year old who’s university life has turned into a mental torture of isolation and fear. - The 16 year old who has fell over 6 months behind with their studies. - The 5 year old who’s developed agoraphobia and does not want to see anyone even when he is allowed. - The 2 year old who cannot go to classes for their development. I dislike the saying “the cure must not be worse than the disease” but it appears with an almost single focus on “Zero Covid, come what may” the governments around Europe have forgot about what it actually means to be alive. There may well come a time where a disease is deadly enough to make us all fear for lives, that warrant everyone in the country losing 12-18 months of their lives to defeat (something that has not been possible with any other virus before). Covid 19 however is not it, and I hope soon everything is weighed up to offer a proportionate response that balances mental well-being with physical well-being, quality of life with extension of life and that protects the most vulnerable who want to be protected in the most humane way we can. If we remain living under fear of lockdowns and restrictions until March 2021 we will have effectively taken 1 year from the lives of every single person in Scotland. Half of the 2 year old toddlers life to date, 1/5th of the 5 year olds, and the last year of the most elderly at end of life care. The Scottish population are not “case numbers”, we are not percentage points on a graph or chart to be used by advisors and epidemiologists to achieve an unrealistic strategy of “zero Covid”. We are human beings with many different needs and we deserve better than this. .

by Chrishogg84 on October 11, 2020 at 08:17PM

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  • Posted by ammys83 October 11, 2020 at 20:53

    How very well put. I completely agree. We are all living half lives to save lives. The impact and positive effects of human contact is invaluable. Wearing masks, not seeing friends & family, life as we knew it being restricted, is having such a detrimental effect on us all and especially children and youth. This way cannot be the only way. If it didn’t work when the compliance was higher, it’s not going to work now. Just as we can’t protect ourselves from the cold and flu, we cannot protect ourselves from whatever this is eradicate it. Life is for living, not cowering away.
  • Posted by Bolshygirl October 11, 2020 at 21:08

    Excellent summary. I could not agree more.
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