Separate populations approach

One size doesn’t fit all It’s clear there is a statistically negligible risk to the under 40s and only a minimal risk to the under 60s. However Covid-19 is a higher risk to those in their 70s and 80s. Source: BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51674743?intlink_from_url=& Those most at risk (all ages, but increasing with age) are those with co-morbidities. Ironically those least at risk are also the most economically active. It doesn’t make sense to immobilise everyone and every activity if the risk is so very different. That’s a bit like hosing down the whole street when individual houses are on fire. We should have a dual approach: rigorously protect the elderly, those with co-morbidities and those who are on the shielding list: these people should be isolated but supported in every way possible. Care homes are a particular concern, and need more and better co-ordinated support. BUT we must take care that the R rate in care homes isn’t skewing the national R rate. Otherwise we’ll make the wrong decisions based on the wrong information. We should exclude care home R rates from the national statistics to give the true picture. We risk initiating a generation-long depression if we don’t restart the economy very soon, with far deeper consequences than Covid-19 itself. Everyone under 60 without co-morbidities should be encourage to go back to work. Business should reopen and we should use social distancing, handwashing and face masks where practicable. We’re finished as a country if the economy stays moribund much longer.

Why the contribution is important

The use of total national lockdown is too blunt an instrument to be of effective use. And the care home R-rate figures, if used wrongly will result in wrong decisions being made. We need to rethink a more staged approach t different at risk groups. If the objective has never been to "stop anyone getting Covid" then why are we behaving like it is?

by awalker on May 08, 2020 at 04:36PM

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Comments

  • Posted by lisasilver May 08, 2020 at 16:51

    Whilst I agree with most of the above comments, I have to disagree regarding care home figures. It has came to light that staff at care homes are, in some instances, being moved from one home to another to meet staffing levels. This has caused the virus to spread to previously unaffected areas, and as such, suggests that some staff are themselves infected. So, I think, we have to include all cases of infection and death.
  • Posted by kirst10 May 08, 2020 at 17:06

    Absolutely agree
  • Posted by kedra May 08, 2020 at 17:07

    Care homes aside, this is the sort of pragmatic suggestion that politicians initially tried to make but were attacked for by opposition parties when they discussed herd immunity. It sounds so cold and calculating to accept risk. But we all live with and mitigate risk personally and societally all the time. And there's a real risk of destroying livelihoods and production in the meantime. The current situation isn't feasible for much longer. We have an interdependence on each other and it's unsustainable to continue this approach until there's a vaccine or treatment.
  • Posted by HighlandLass May 08, 2020 at 17:41

    I agree with this approach young/er people with no underlying health issues should be back at work supporting the economy I have huge concerns about the long term financial impact on the next generation.
  • Posted by MAnderson May 08, 2020 at 20:03

    This separate populations approach would seem to strike a reasonable balance between health and economic pressures. Hopefully it would begin to build up herd immunity. A staged approach where those who are already working from home continue to do so in the short term at least, would allow more effective monitoring of the impact on health of those back in the workplace. This approach would need to consider child care at the same time since many in this younger age group have young children.
  • Posted by MSW68 May 08, 2020 at 20:31

    Totally agree, everyone with no underlying health conditions should be encouraged to go back to work to get the economy up and running again. The longer the lockdown the bigger the economic devastation and more companies going into liquidation.
  • Posted by sunshinethrough May 09, 2020 at 08:22

    By all means encourage the under 50's to go back to work BUT only when NHS has been able to resume normal functioning and PPE levels are acceptable to NHS staff. Do we have enough ventilators, doctors and nurses to run the newly opened hospitals as covid centres and allow for the freeing up of our NHS hospitals for non covid19 treatment only?
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