I am convinced that a lot of people are fed up with being dictated to by this UK government on the lockdown and social distancing. The government should have involved the opposition parties and the people in deciding whether the citizens of the UK wanted to take a risk in getting the coronavirus infection while preserving businesses and the British economy. It is about a balance between maintaining the economy and taking the risk of being infected by the virus. It is not the place of government, in my opinion, to dictate how people decide on this risk.
This is especially true when you consider the computer modelling by experts upon which the UK government made these monumental decisions. Decisions which has resulted in the government employing 41% of the UK population. It is extraordinary. The furlough scheme coupled with a dramatically increased level of unemployment has led to this extraordinary state of affairs.
The lockdown is costing the British taxpayer £2.4 billion every day. Many companies and businesses are going bust. The airline business is all but dead with little prospect of restarting for years by the look of it. Hospitality businesses are the walking dead. Shops all over the country are closing permanently. Near where I live, is Kingston upon Thames’s well-known shopping centre. It is meant to be the best shopping centre in south-west London. It is in a despicable state. It is not only deserted but more and more shops are closing permanently. Their facades are depressing with signage missing and homeless people sleeping on their forecourts.
This was once a buzzing town and now it looks like a deserted one. The mighty John Lewis is heading towards closure. The government must allow people to make their own decisions on risk with respect to this virus. The two metre rule regarding social distancing needs to be relaxed. It will kill businesses for the indefinite future. Leaders of businesses have warned that companies will be bankrupted if their employees and customers are obliged to keep two metres apart. It will also bankrupt the country with massive national debt that will never be paid off. It never is.
The Sage scientific panel which advises the UK government say that the two metre distance must remain and to erode it would confuse the population. Downing Street said that it had no plans to change the “sensible and safe distance”. Greater flexibility needs to be incorporated into day-to-day life nowadays. Only Britain and Spain in Europe have maintained the 2 metre rule. You cannot run businesses on this rule. The economy must now take precedence over the small risk of getting this disease.
As for domestic cats, there be many articles online about them getting the disease and transmitting it to other cats. We have been advised not to kiss our cats and to wash our hands after we stroke our cats. This is over-the-top caution and impractical. We can’t have scientists deciding these sorts of things. It’s a failure of democracy to micromanage people’s lives to this level.
The government cannot rely solely on scientists who themselves were in the dark over this pandemic. This is a novel virus. Neil Ferguson, the scientist to predicted that half a million citizens of the UK would die of coronavirus unless there was lockdown has, in my opinion, been discredited. The computer modelling he used is 16 years old we are told. And he based the modelling on the influenza virus which is different to coronavirus. And modelling depends how you program the application. It depends upon what you put into it. Perhaps Mr Ferguson is a very cautious man and he put in data which would result in the sort of outcome which he wanted.
Governments must use common sense on the basis of scientific information but it should be taken with caution. I sense that the government is passing the buck onto scientist to absolve themselves of error. They’re protecting their backs when they insist upon a two meter, ongoing, distance between people at all times. They’re fearful that if they relax that social distancing rule there would be more deaths and it would be on their heads. So the current impossible conditions of living are dictated by politicians protecting their backs on scientists who don’t know what they’re doing. It must change. People must be allowed to make their own decisions on risk, and it is all about risk. Provide them with the information transparently.
My reading of the situation is that the risk is very low in certain age groups and even those in the so-called vulnerable category have a low risk of death and if they take sensible precautions which they will do to protect their own health then there will not be a second spike. If we do this we will avoid a long “U”-shaped recovery. The economy must get back on its feet qickly because of it doesn’t there will be many more deaths because of a broken NHS, increased poverty and mental health issues.