Lifting of the Lock-down

With mass immunization years away, Covid 19 is here to stay for the foreseeable future so we must learn to live with it as best as we can and accept that fatalities are a consequence. If lock-down, continues the consequences on livelihoods and lives put at risk by increased poverty are inevitable. The nation needs to get back to work. The five test criteria for lifting the lock-down can be summarized as: 1. Protect the NHS' ability to cope… to provide sufficient critical care ….across the UK. There is now over capacity of beds in Scotland 2. See a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate. This is now the case across the UK. Some regions are better than others. 3. Have reliable data from SAGE showing the rate of infection is decreasing to be manageable. HMG are not clear on this, Scotland has done better. More testing required (see below). 4. Be confident …testing capacity and PPE are in hand with supply able to meet future demand. Two issues here, testing (see below) and PPE is just deplorable. (We have put Care Scotland in touch with mask manufacturers in China and it is progressing.) 5. Be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelm the NHS. The NHS has coped well, even with poor PPE and testing support from HMG. There is now over capacity in Scotland and patients should be cared for in a central Covid unit, such as the new unused or the old Childrens' Hospital in Edinburgh which are already equipped with ICUs. Overall, the outlook is good, but there are caveats. TESTING - THE ONLY WAY TO GET THE FACTS. I know at least 20 people, individuals and families, including myself, who may have had Covid 19 and do not appear in the statistics, i.e. not hospitalized. Testing the public to find out who currently has the disease is both very time consuming (because the analytical process is difficult) and costly. The hope is that most people tested DO NOT have Covid 19 which could be construed as a further waste of time and money. TEST FOR ANTIGENS FIRST - it takes 20 minutes. If positive, ask when and where they think they contracted the disease, if negative, then test for infection. A better demographic data set will result. If the death toll represents only 1% of those who have been infected, then in the UK at least 3 million have already had the disease (including approx 200,000 in Scotland, versus 12000 positive tests). AGE DEMOGRAPHIC OF DEATHS IN SCOTLAND, 2795 to the first week in May. Age 0-14 0 Age 15-44 19 0.68% Age 45 to 64 244 0 .87% Age 65 to 74 435 15.6% Age 75 to 84 952 34.1% Age 85+ 1145 41% The suggestion is that >95% of all those dying of CV19 have underlying other chronic illnesses such as dementia, cancer, respiratory disease, heart disease, diabetes and even obesity can be a co-factor. Less than 5% have no underlying issues and this also applies to the <2% of under 65’s who have died. From these figures we can make some value judgments - it is a disease that targets the old and infirm but the under 65's need to get back to work. SCHOOLS. Open schools because, although children may catch Covid 19, they recover. CAVEAT - If a child shares a house with someone that has an underlying health condition or is elderly then that child should stay at home. WORK. Under 65's should go back to work. CAVEAT - Unless they or someone they share a house with has underlying health problems. If you can work from home then do so. If a staged "back to work" is required nationally, start with those working outdoors (agriculture, building, fishing, utilities maintenance etc.). PUBLIC TRANSPORT. The message must be try to avoid using public transport if possible. GENERAL TRAVEL. Only make necessary journeys for work, exercise or to see family and friends. SPORT AND RECREATION. Sports clubs need revenue and people need to stay fit. Golf and tennis for example are ideal open air "distancing" sports. Young people tend to play team sports, let them get on with it, they are not a demographic at risk. People should be able to socialize with close friends in their homes. Trust people to be sensible. FOREIGN TRAVEL. Banned. This is a two-way street, us infecting them and vice versa. Movement of goods only. PUBS & RESTAURANTS. Spaced queuing for well spaced tables, preferably in gardens. Children stay seated. Customer numbers must be set by the landlords. Maintain government support in the short term. Government guidelines would be useful. HOTELS. No rooms to be let until the all-clear, but use of restaurants and bars as above. TRAVEL AND WORK. Stay close to your local area. Conference call rather than visit. Let the post or couriers deliver goods, it has been working extremely well! HOLIDAYS. Wait for the all-clear before taking holidays or visiting second homes. CARE HOMES AND COVID 19 HOSPITAL STAFF. At the end of April a third of the deaths were in care homes and care homes are still the biggest issue. The workers PPE is still inadequate. The hospital staff seem to be coping well, but vigilance for their safety and all the patients' and staffs' families needs to be maintained. Testing, tracing and isolation should continue. CONTINUING MESSAGE. One message to continue at all times, even in 10 years time, if you have a cough or cold STAY HOME, as said in the old Government TV commercial "Coughs and sneezes spread diseases". Dr. W.R.Simpson

Why the contribution is important

The country needs to get back to work, otherwise we are storing bigger problems for the future, both economically and socially. The bottom line is that the under 60's are being heavily disadvantaged by something that effects the old and already infirm (ill). Do what must be done to protect the vulnerable and the staff who care for them, but get people back to the new normality. Covid 19 isn't going away, we must learn to live with it. Dr. W.R.Simpson

by WRS on May 08, 2020 at 03:10PM

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Comments

  • Posted by Lord_Lookin May 08, 2020 at 15:18

    DR Simpson I applaud you Sir or madam. You speak volumes of sense. Covid19 is here to stay. Imprisoning us all will make it go away. We need life to return to as near to the old normal as possible. Sadly people will die in the future with Covid 19 but people are dying with heart disease, cancer, stroke you name it the list is endless. Sensible fightback is needed now.
  • Posted by Devilfish May 08, 2020 at 15:46

    Agree with everything said apart from the need to avoiding public transport, maintaining social distancing, etc. as if the high risk population are shielded as per your other suggestions in relation to those living with someone in that category then there is no requirement for everyone else to follow the mitigation measures.
  • Posted by LynneP May 08, 2020 at 15:49

    It’s essential to get the country back to work and school. I agree that we look after the old and the infirm and medical staff but the country cannot carry on like this!
  • Posted by DevVeh May 08, 2020 at 17:10

    I hope these ideas are looked at. I think some good ideas can be gained. We of course still want to try reduce the cost on life as much as possible so need to be careful
  • Posted by HelenMathieson May 08, 2020 at 17:24

    This all sounds very logical and considered. Thank you for sharing your suggestion.
  • Posted by HighlandLass May 08, 2020 at 18:03

    Agree with Dr W R Simpson all sensible ideas
  • Posted by Gmac2 May 10, 2020 at 15:10

    Totally agree with most of the above, a common sense well balanced range of statements to help us move forward. The message is Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives and we will be guided by the science. The science tells us that otherwise healthy< 65 year olds will have mild symptoms and feeling unwell from Covid 19 with a comparatively low mortality rate and therefore will not overwhelm the NHS or significantly increase the number of deaths. Statistically this group of people are as likely to die from a heart attack, flu or a car accident. There should be a move to get the healthy under 65s, not living with anyone in a vulnerable category, back to work. This could be on a phased basis, perhaps 30-50% initially and maybe focussing on outdoor work e.g. construction. Other messages around social distancing where possible, hand washing etc should continue to be adhered to with people able to work from home continuing to do so. There should also be a relaxation of allowing people to be outdoors more including allowing non contact sports e.g. Golf, fishing, tennis etc. Jason Leitch was asked a question last week about distancing when out running and his answer was " It is pretty difficult to catch the virus just passing people in the street, you would have to work pretty hard to do so." If our National Clinical Director is telling us this why still have such strict restrictions on outdoor activities?
  • Posted by eildontreerymer May 11, 2020 at 09:07

    Of course socially distanced outdoor working should be encouraged by the Scottish Government, or it should explain why Scottish workers are more irresponsible than English, or that the UK Government is frankly acting dangerously in encouraging English workers to return to work.
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