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The thing that I find worrying is the thirst for state enforcement by some people, encouraged partly it seems by the current administration. There seems to be a lack of awareness that this approach will be very destructive long term. The new normal should be based on the premise of presumed trust which underpins healthy democracies. The more people are given leeway to use their common sense, the more they develop that sense. And no nation on earth has ever survived which takes away the freedom of the 999 for the silliness of the 1. People need to understand that freedom always entails risk. We seem to be under the illusion that a tough enough lockdown will guarantee 100% safety, and it is incumbent on any responsible government to make it clear that no democracy in the world can survive that illusion. We talk about freedom, but people need to be treated like adults or this nation will fail at the first test.

At the moment, the lockdown, with its penalty- based approach, rewards those who are obsessed with the letter of the law, but who are in danger of forgetting the point of it. Do not pander to those who seek narrower and narrower guidelines. This is a fear-based reaction which will result in more tension, and disrupted communities, and as people become more frustrated, will translate into a worse outcome as people have blow-outs. People need to understand that lockdowns have never before been used in democracies (China is not a democracy, has an appalling human rights record, and is in no way a model for Scotland! That's why so many European countries are making their lockdowns as short as humanly possible.
The figures show that the peak came before the penalty-based system began, and that it was the self-policing and early handwashing that did it. Return to advice, get people handwashing again, get them on board, and people will be self-motivated (it's simple survival). Also get more testing done! Share information! Health board figures alone are not good enough. A town by town breakdown gives useful guidance to grown ups without compromising privacy. Continually focussing on tragic cases while suppressing genuine localised information makes people panicky, prone to aggression, because it keeps them blind while contributing to stress. And stress is bad for the immune system. Being outdoors, getting vitamin d should be encouraged. The decision to diverge from UK rules on driving to exercise is a nonsense, as is the once per day rule (and is particularly unfair in a nation as sparsely populated as ours). The risk outdoors is minimal. Confining people to a built up area where they continuously pass one another makes no sense. I live in the countryside and would certainly not object to sharing the area with my fellow- Scots.
it's time for country folks to be generous, and for us all to grow up a bit and stop thinking that the NHS and the police - or even the government- can sort all our problems. We need less governing and more encouragement to think for ourselves and use our common sense. And the one thing that's really risky, having to attend supermarkets. Start ups should be encouraged for shopping to order and delivery businesses. The riskiest thing people are forced to do at the moment is walk around shops, as there are still not sufficient delivery services to cope with demand. On the one hand, people are stupidly limited in the time they can spend outdoors, while yet being forced to share indoor breathing space while buying food as deliveries are still unavailable. The government really needs to work hard to sort this until private enterprises pick up on the huge ( and sensible) demand for delivery services. Other eu countries did not suffer from this infection risk as they mostly run on delivery-based services for food anyway.

Why the contribution is important

It will contribute not only to the long term suppression of infections, but will keep Scotland a sane and grown-up country, capable of self-governance in the fullest sense of that word!

by Thinkingaloud on May 06, 2020 at 10:41PM

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