Assess the risk by looking at what we now know

I think most would accept that the original lockdown decision was looking at a worst case scenario proposed by Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London. In the absence of more data, it seemed a reasonable thing to do. But I think it is now important to accept that, although taken with the best of intentions, the effectiveness of the measure is unclear. According to the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, deaths were already falling when lockdown was introduced. This may well be a combination of ocial distancing and the fact that the epidemic started in the UK in December anyway, so had passed through to some extent. A) First, it is clear now that there is effectively no risk to children. As published on Thursday by Nick Triggle of the BBC "Cambridge University statistician Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter has highlighted evidence which shows the risk of dying from coronavirus is very similar to the underlying risk people of all age groups from early 20s upwards have of dying anyway." ( So if the govenment thinks that there is a risk to children and that is why schools cannot be opened, then it should explain why it is right and Professor Spiegelhalter is wrong. Otherwise open up the schools for most children and staff. And, importanty, do not let anyone who is vulnerable into schools (either vulnerable children or vulnerable adults) - see point C below. B) The website details five points that will enable us to move forward, all of which I agree with 1 In at least 80% of cases, the virus produces either no symptoms or a mild cold-like illness. Most of the population have no risk of dying from COVID-19. 2 COVID-19 can be deadly for older and vulnerable people so it’s important to protect them. This will help eliminate hospital overcrowding. 3 Lockdowns will prevent population immunity and prolong the problem. 4 The panic and hysteria is causing more people to die because they are not receiving proper medical care. 5 The people at risk from COVID-19 are clearly defined and should be protected with targeted measures. C) Point B leads onto the recent paper published by Edinburgh University, referred to by the BBC article above , in which they recommend "Segmentation and Shielding". This, to me, sounds such a ridiculously obvious approach to a situation whereby a small minority of the population is vulnerable to a disease that I simply cannot understand why the Scottish Government is not actively promoting it and talking about how we might implement this at every possible opportunity.

Why the contribution is important

My view there is a danger that if we don't start to get society and the economy moving soon, our children will look back at our generation and ask why we inflicted so much misery, poverty on them throughout their lifetimes, with increased illness and death resulting from poverty, because we got spooked by a virus that was less serious than the UK flu epidemic of 1968 and wrecked the economy and society, leaving inufficient tax base to support any form of NHS and leaving them to sort out the mess after we are long gone. The damage may have already been done, but early action will ensure that the damage to our children's lives is at least a bit less.

by westwell on May 08, 2020 at 11:18AM

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