Predictable cycling short lcokdowns

To help people and business plan, and also to really support people’s mental health, have lockdowns that are short (e.g 2 -3 weeks) and set at planned times. This could work for example the first 2 weeks of December than another one the first two weeks of February. The timing and length to be determined by predicted data. This will help the r number come down in bursts. The schools, hospitals and care sector remains fully open but everything else is as it was for lockdown. In between, people can go about their business in as close to a normal way as felt possible. Although lockdowns are not great, making them predictable, short and expected helps people cope. It also helps to reduce all the confusion around changing rules, let’s people plan as they know when it’s coming, and will help compliance.

Why the contribution is important

This is basic behavioural psychology. It could really help people’s mental health and capacity to cope. There is no ideal solution but as humans we cope better with bad things when we know when they are happening, they are short, they have a known end point, and they can be as normal as possible in between times. Our cognitive capacity to deal with the ever changing rules that are complex reduces compliance and they are often really difficult for people to understand. This solution is more simple and more likely to be followed by society and it
would also be easier to ensure people are following. This is a long term issue and we require a long term more predictable solution that supports wellbeing and physical risks.

by Drlynnetaylor on October 11, 2020 at 02:22PM

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  • Posted by Chris512 October 11, 2020 at 20:23

    This is worth considering seriously. I differ on keeping schools open as usual during these spells though as I think having full school attendance will undermine the aim of short lockdowns, due to the inevitable mixing of students in an enclosed environment. I work in a school that has handled the situation pretty well, including a phased return of students at the start of this term, which gave a bit of running-in time for both staff and students. The staff do their best to maintain measures but there will always be some students who are unable to or refuse to comply. I would favour a reduced attendance "blended learning" approach during such lockdowns - it's certainly not ideal but we were prepared for this before the decision was taken to return fully and it is our fallback plan, ready to go. This would make managing student behaviour much easier, although of course it impacts upon the curriculum.
    If this were done in Scotland, we might have to make some difficult decisions over visitors from the south. Not a reason for inaction though if planned lockdowns were seen as a realistic option. I could get a lot of admin cleared!!
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