It’s time to ease the lockdown

People need freedom and work, so let’s safely start to lift the lockdown.

Rob Lyons
Columnist

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Over the weekend, British media reported that the UK government was looking seriously at a three-stage, or ‘traffic light’, approach to relaxing the Covid-19 lockdown measures. The alleged timescale for the return to something like normality, as reported by Buzzfeed, the Sun and others, was frustratingly long. So for the government then to pour cold water on even these cautious ideas is thoroughly depressing.

And they really were cautious ideas. According to Buzzfeed, phase one – in early to mid-May – would be for pupils to return to schools and for ‘non-essential’ businesses to be allowed to reopen. There would be some other forms of rule relaxation, such as allowing people to do ‘non-essential’ shopping, go out for exercise more than once per day, and even to sit down in parks. But in every other respect, social-distancing rules would remain, and we might even be asked to wear face masks on public transport, too.

Phase two, in late May or June, would allow further businesses to reopen and permit small social gatherings – so at least the odd modest party might be acceptable. But pubs and restaurants would not be allowed to reopen until later in the summer. During this phase, restrictions might be lifted on the basis of age, too, with younger people, who are far less likely to be hospitalised by Covid-19, allowed more freedom sooner.

Phase three is the endgame, a return to normal. This could only happen, apparently, if there is a vaccine or if sufficient people caught the virus to allow for a reasonable degree of ‘herd immunity’. However, it is still not clear whether it’s possible to acquire immunity to Covid-19. Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, pointed out that there is actually no guarantee of a vaccine ever appearing, although hopes are high that, with continued investment, we will create one. Nonetheless, until we have immunity through either a vaccine or widespread infection, the elderly and vulnerable will be asked to stay in isolation – quite possibly for 12 to 18 months.

In last Thursday’s government press conference, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary and currently Boris Johnson’s stand-in, outlined five tests to be met before the lockdown could start to be relaxed: making sure the NHS can cope; evidence showing a sustained and consistent fall in daily death rates; reliable data showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels; being confident that various operational challenges, like testing and supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), are in hand; and being confident that any adjustments would not lead to a second peak in infections.

Yet there are already reasons for thinking the lockdown could be relaxed right now. It is clear that hospitals have coped, and that a lot more capacity will be available very soon. More broadly, infection rates already seem to be falling, and death rates have seemingly plateaued, although that should become clearer over the next few days. And testing and PPE are being dealt with, albeit rather too slowly. We can only assess the effect relaxing the lockdown might have by trying it out.

In other words, it really is time to get on with it. We should be making firm plans to return to something like normal, and soon.

But the government is in a bind. It justified the lockdown on the basis of saving lives and protecting the NHS, and lambasted anyone who was not adhering strictly to the rules. So it cannot suddenly tell us that everything is now okay.

Indeed, when so many members of the media and leading politicians, like London mayor Sadiq Khan, have told us that we must avoid public transport, how on earth can the government tell us it is safe after all, so let’s all get back to work? If we must adhere to staying at least two metres apart from each other, how can pubs and restaurants reopen? In fact, how can we even get a haircut?

Thus, unless the government changes its messaging very soon, then it won’t be possible simply to declare society open again. Many will stay at home rather than risk catching a disease which, after weeks of wall-to-wall coverage of rising death tolls, looms over us like a monster.

The media must take some of the blame for this state of affairs. But politicians should not duck responsibility. An anonymous ‘cabinet source’ was quoted by the Telegraph as saying: ‘We didn’t want to go down this route in the first place – public and media pressure pushed the lockdown, we went with the science. The lockdown will only start coming loose when the public wants it to – not ministers.’ Whatever happened to leadership? Should we really have to wait for Boris Johnson to rise from his sickbed before any decisions can be made?

Ministers are demanding we should be patient. But we shouldn’t. We should be utterly impatient. We should be pushing for these restrictions on our lives to be removed as soon as possible. As Brendan O’Neill pointed out last week, the lockdown itself seems to be costing lives. It’s also costing us our freedom. How can we possibly justify to a great swathe of society – that is, everyone over 70 – that they must stay indoors for many more months?

Covid-19 is a new and terrible disease. No response to it can prevent lives being lost and damage being done. We can only hope to choose a path that minimises these harms. Instead, our politicians seem to be caught transfixed by the deathometer in front of them, and failing to notice the damage being done all around them, to every aspect of our political, social and economic life.

Enough already. Through a mixture of fear and a desire to do the right thing, we’ve given up a lot over the past month. The government now needs to change the message, communicate that this is a mild disease for the vast majority, protect those most at risk, and give us back our freedoms.

Rob Lyons is science and technology director at the Academy of Ideas and a spiked columnist.

Picture by: Getty.

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Comments

Ben Shirley

30th April 2020 at 10:03 am

Whoops! I think, because it’s a new petition and hasn’t yet received the five signatures it needs before it’s published, this is what you’d be signing for:

My petition:
Lift the ‘lockdown’ measures presently imposed upon the UK

The draconian restrictions that prevent people from working, socialising and moving freely in public must be lifted. The ‘lockdown’ has existed for over a month but still no exit strategy has been reached. Businesses must be allowed to reopen and gatherings of people permitted, if only small ones.

There is no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of lockdowns
We have survived worse diseases in the past without panicking
The lockdown is ruinous for businesses
House arrest will cause countless deaths from mental breakdowns or physical inactivity
No government can morally justify total control over its citizens’ persons
Dissent is impossible when only two people may meet at any time
For shopping, socialising and entertainment, we are dependent on global tech companies with dubious morals

Click this link to sign the petition:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/318943/sponsors/new?token=XsmcMMtSTdIVMCsldmyc

Ben Shirley

30th April 2020 at 10:03 am

Whoops! I think, because it’s a new petition and hasn’t yet received the five signatures it needs before it’s published, this is what you’d be signing for:

Dear Benjamin Shirley,
You’re not done yet!
Forward the email below to your potential supporters.
5 people need to click the link and confirm their support for us to check your petition.
Once you’ve gained the required number of supporters, we’ll check your petition to make sure it meets the petition standards. If it does, we’ll publish it. This usually takes a week or less, however we have a very large number to check at the moment so it is likely to take longer. Thank you for your patience.
Once your petition has 21 signatures it won’t be able to add more until it’s been checked by the petitions team. So, please wait until it’s been checked and published before sharing it more widely.
Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament

My petition:
Lift the ‘lockdown’ measures presently imposed upon the UK

The draconian restrictions that prevent people from working, socialising and moving freely in public must be lifted. The ‘lockdown’ has existed for over a month but still no exit strategy has been reached. Businesses must be allowed to reopen and gatherings of people permitted, if only small ones.

There is no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of lockdowns
We have survived worse diseases in the past without panicking
The lockdown is ruinous for businesses
House arrest will cause countless deaths from mental breakdowns or physical inactivity
No government can morally justify total control over its citizens’ persons
Dissent is impossible when only two people may meet at any time
For shopping, socialising and entertainment, we are dependent on global tech companies with dubious morals

Click this link to sign the petition:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/318943/sponsors/new?token=XsmcMMtSTdIVMCsldmyc

Ben Shirley

30th April 2020 at 10:00 am

It’s high time some sort of effective protest against the lockdown were organised. Nevertheless, until such a time, we have a government petition to sign. It’s not that I have any sort of confidence in the effectiveness of such things, but they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions so I suppose it’s best to get one going: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/318943/sponsors/new?token=XsmcMMtSTdIVMCsldmyc

Highland Fleet Lute

21st April 2020 at 11:27 am

Pubs across the UK could be shut until Christmas (make that forever)
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/pubs-across-the-uk-could-be-shut-until-christmas/

Jolly Roger

20th April 2020 at 9:00 pm

Johnson and co are getting it in the neck quite a bit, but really, his main failing was simply cowardice.
People are now starting – at last – to focus on the statistics and the reality rather than sensationalisation and the ‘daily death rate’. The Mail – rag that it is – is now running a headliner having been one of the biggest ‘panic cheerleaders’ of the lot, that asks ‘did we jump the gun with lock-down’. This is because Oxford University is now saying that there is very strong evidence, that has always been there mind, that the ‘peak infection rate’ occured before the lockdown even started, but nobody in Government were looking at the information. They were panicking. And the BBC, most of the printed media and of course, the twitter mob all stoked that by calling for ‘tougher measiures’. Boris the Bottler should have held his ground, but didn’t. This will be seen as his big mistake once the chips have landed regarding this affair; not his lack of attendance at meetings etc. It will be that he wobbled.

Jerry Owen

20th April 2020 at 10:39 pm

Not just wobbled but caused massive financial damage to this country. The MSM are just as culpable themselves.

Catharine Knowles

20th April 2020 at 8:14 pm

Thanks Rob. Funny, that. I spent an hour this morning writing 1000 characters to No.10 telling them exactly that: that they must change their messaging now if they want anyone to go to school or work before a vaccine or a cure is discovered – which may be never, since there has as yet been no vaccine or cure for other coronaviruses (eg the common cold or SARS).

Jonathan Yonge

20th April 2020 at 5:39 pm

If you have many websites to visit and weigh their opinions you should also look at the coments.

So Brendon. What do the comments tell you about your readership ? Happy ?

Jerry Owen

20th April 2020 at 7:15 pm

JY
I agree, your poor grammar as in Brendon, coments, and two question marks where one would have sufficed certainly let’s this site down !
Time to move on?

Jonathan Yonge

20th April 2020 at 7:30 pm

Devastated !
You think yor koments ae wurth it?

James Knight

20th April 2020 at 5:27 pm

The lockdown is the most expensive uncontrolled and unscientific experiment in human history.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

20th April 2020 at 7:53 pm

No, that’ll be Brexit lol.

Jolly Roger

20th April 2020 at 9:09 pm

It could be of course, but it hasn’t happened yet and when it does, it might go well. We’ll have to wait and see I guess.
This has happened though, and it’s a mess. The back peddling has already begun if you look around the various rags; Sweden – not a direct comparison by any means, but the fact is they are doing quite well having gone in the opposite direction to everyone else; Imperial Colleges modelling now under scrutiny as it should have been right at the start, because their previous models for everything from CJD through to Swine Flu have all been totally wrong and panic mongering, as it has been for C19; the division in the scientific community regarding the viruence and mortality rate is now, having been ignored by MSM for a month, being reported. And the hacks are now getting nervous having stoked panic and looking for ways out of the hole thye have dug.

Jonathan Marshall

20th April 2020 at 8:59 pm

I’m afraid you’re right. It needs to be lifted, and soon – or we really will be up Sh*t Creek without a paddle.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

20th April 2020 at 4:57 pm

If we’re not easing the lockdown now you can blame Johnson for that. He missed the first five COBRA meetings on the crisis. If that isn’t criminal negligence and bovine stupidity, I don’t know what is. Johnson is not fit to run a whelk stall on the Isle of Sheppey, let alone run a country.

Vivian Darkbloom

20th April 2020 at 5:22 pm

Who do you think would be better at the job? Genuine question.

I ask because I read acres of contumely directed at Johnson and the evil Tories, some of it quite hair-raising, but few examples of a viable alternative. It’s fine to be “anti-” whatever but what about being “for” something or someone?

James Knight

20th April 2020 at 5:30 pm

He just follows expert advice. The lockdown was a panic measure in response to one study that was not even peer-reviewed.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

20th April 2020 at 7:54 pm

Did he follow ‘expert advice’ when he missed those five COBRA meetings?

Warren Alexander

20th April 2020 at 4:44 pm

This will go down in history as one of the government’s greatest successes – scaring almost the entire population into a pandemic of irrational panic. We are now at a stage when many, perhaps even a majority of the population, are so frightened that they are more than happy for the lockdown to remain whatever the longer term cost in terms of lives lost, livelihoods ruined, businesses bankrupted and the wholesale removal of our rights. There was never a good scientific justification for such a severe lockdown. It was the result of a cowardly capitulation to the screams and rantings of certain sections of the media. The political cost of now admitting that would be far too high for any government to stand.

Jerry Owen

20th April 2020 at 4:56 pm

Warren
Personally I believe that the ‘fear’ isn’t as great as you think… the love of free money and staying home is a great excuse to fake fear.

Warren Alexander

20th April 2020 at 6:16 pm

I hope you’re right

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

20th April 2020 at 4:57 pm

You can add Johnson’s evident incompetence and negligence to that.

NEIL DATSON

20th April 2020 at 6:14 pm

Warren, for my part I suspect that this is likely to go down as a disastrous consequence of our main sources of public information being controlled by sensation hungry media outlets. Really don’t know what the answer is, except to encourage people to seek information from as close to the source as possible. Certainly, don’t buy newspapers and avoid broadcast ‘news’.

Koz Isayso

20th April 2020 at 7:27 pm

Agree with you completely . The MSM and the BBC should be called to answer for the damage they’ve done once it’s over.

Gareth Edward KING

20th April 2020 at 4:34 pm

Pedro Sánchez blithely announced at the weekend that this curfew was to continue until ‘at least’ May 9th. On Thursday there’s a meeting of EU leaders where he’s expecting to ‘talk big’ and demand that as Spain and Italy have been the big losers (44,000 dead between the two countries) in this whole Covid-19 debacle that a ‘perpetual debt fund’ of 1.5 billion (that’s a Spanish billion) Euros be made available. So, apparently there’s lots of money in the EU’s coffers even though the UK has left a ‘big hole’ of 15 billion annually in the EU’s funds. But of course, Albania and North Macedonia are joining up soon, so that’s OK, isn’t it?
This country can’t be serious: tourism isn’t happening anymore, result=12.3% of Spanish GDP that’s just been wiped off as no-one seriously wants to come here with the restrictions that are expected to still be in place in the summer even on the beach! 4.5 billion was lost at Easter and there’s another 4.5 billion to be lost over the summer.
Five weeks have passed since the ‘lockdown’ initiated, but Sánchez can rest easy as the calls for him to resign have been confined to howls on social media: the same people who said that his government reacted far too slowly back in the first few days of March.

NEIL DATSON

20th April 2020 at 6:01 pm

Gareth, I was somewhat confused by your figures, but a quick google has revealed a ‘Spanish billion’ to be a million million, the same as a billion used to be in the UK before we adopted the US standard of a thousand million. Okay, that’s fine, but your reference to the ‘big hole’ in EU finance left by Brexit would be a drop of 15 US billions, not Spanish billions. Therefore what you’re saying is that the drop in EU budget income would be a hundreth of the (1%) of the proposed ‘perpetual debt fund’ rather than ten times as much. Hope I’ve got that right.

Linda Payne

20th April 2020 at 3:56 pm

Expect the lockdown to continue, the excuse will be to ‘prevent the second wave of infection’ and yes public sector employees will want it too while others are facing bankrupcy and loss of income. I am sad that some health workers have died but I suspect there have been far more deaths from the lockdown with people reluctant to call ambulances and paying with their lives ‘to protect the NHS’

Jane 70

20th April 2020 at 3:53 pm

How about the mounting evidence that many many more people have been infected without being aware, as they are, by and large, asymptomatic?
This has been found in a study done in California:

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/17/santa-clara-covid-19-antibody-study-suggests-broad-asymptomatic-spread.html

It is indeed a small sample so open to review, but it does seem to imply that we shall eventually have to accept the existence of this virus as with flu,SARS and other coronaviruses.

It does appear that it mutates, and this might indicate that its lethality will eventually abate: a pathogen is more likely to achieve success if it doesn’t wipe out its hosts.

All this is conjecture, but protests are mounting across the world: people want, and need, to return to work.

Peter Newt

20th April 2020 at 4:56 pm

Jane 70

20th April 2020 at 5:22 pm

Interesting, especially Professor Bhattacharya’s conclusions.
It seems that here Professor Ferguson and his Imperial College paper are still the go-to sources .

Highland Fleet Lute

20th April 2020 at 3:27 pm

I was walking along Upper Street this morning, wondering how many of the cafes, restaurants and bars would go bust because of the lockdown, and what it would look like.

Restaurateurs go bust, the farmers, bakers, fruiterers, wine merchants, etc, go bust. You don’t need to be a genius to figure that out.

“Cometh the hour, cometh the man”.

Was anyone really stupid enough to think that man was Boris Johnson?

“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”

It’s not only weak leaders that are at fault, it’s also weak scientists, weak doctors, weak journalists.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

20th April 2020 at 4:59 pm

And we now know Johnson missed the first COBRA meetings on the crisis. Too busy watching rugby to save people’s lives.

Jonathan Marshall

20th April 2020 at 9:10 pm

You’ve put some stupid comments on here in your time, but that one has to be the most loathsome and contemptible of the lot.

Ed Turnbull

20th April 2020 at 6:42 pm

And a weak populace that believed the meeja’s lie that Godzilla was coming to eat them all up.

That so many still (according to several polls) support the lockdown makes me once more question the wisdom of universal suffrage.

Ed Turnbull

20th April 2020 at 6:45 pm

And a weak populace that believed the media’s lie that Godzilla was coming to eat them all up.

That so many still (according to several polls) support the lockdown makes me once more question the wisdom of universal suffrage.

Jonathan Marshall

20th April 2020 at 9:05 pm

One would think, from all the hype and fear-mongering, that this virus is the 21st century equivalent of the Black Death. It isn’t.
We have become a supine emasculated nation, begging to be “kept safe” at all costs. Positively vomit-inducing.

Dodgy Geezer

20th April 2020 at 3:19 pm

“…so let’s safely start to lift the lockdown….”

If we knew how to do things safely we would probably not have had the virus in the first place…

To end the lockdown we have not only to address issues to do with catching the disease, but also issues of people’s fears. Given that the figures provided by the authorities have been so variable, I cannot see that they will start to be believed all of a sudden. So stating that the ‘peak’ has ended, or the ‘herd immunity’ has been reached is not going to be enough to tempt people back onto public transport, or into an office.

A vaccine ought to be able to do this – if it works, and if people can be persuaded that they are immune as a result. But evidence for this cannot be provided immediately – we will need to wait a year or so. So though that will be a working answer, it will not get people back to work NOW.

There are two things that are needed to get people back. The first is some degree of assurance that the disease spread has diminished – which requires better and extensive testing. We have no capability, or even plans for this yet.

The second, and just as essential as the first, is an assurance that, if we catch the disease, we will receive a treatment with a good chance of curing us. At the moment patients do not receive an optimum treatment, because no one knows what such a treatment is. Patients are being given flu and pneumonia support, while the doctors are pointing out that this is not flu, and causes different types of damage to the body.

We need to understand the Covid-19 mechanism, develop appropriate drugs and apply a suitable treatment to patients which has the best chance of curing it. And we are not doing this at the moment, because we do not understand enough about what Covid-19 is doing.

Once those two markers exist – adequate testing to give a reliable indication that the epidemic has subsided, and a clear clinical course of treatment able to cure {most} patients, then people might feel that it is safe to go out in a crowd again…

Jane 70

20th April 2020 at 3:04 pm

My small town is dying; small businesses which were already struggling are now closing.

We’re obeying the guidelines and I applaud,unreservedly, the ever cheerful, obliging staff in the shops which are still open, the delivery drivers, the care assistants and the dustbin crews, to name a few, but the economic fall out is likely to be severe.

An interesting report from the University of Warwick recommends releasing young people in the cohort 20-30 years of age :

https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/releasing_young_adults/

Too many young people and those on low wages are bearing the brunt of the lockdown.

Graham Southern

20th April 2020 at 2:37 pm

Society is now divided into three broad categories:
1. Those in secure, paid work doing less than usual on basically the same pay.
2. Those in jobs under threat with greatly reduced work and salary but the same bills and the prospect of no work at all next month.
3. Those whose jobs or businesses have disappeared and who are wondering whether the government will give them enough to eat next month.

At the moment, group number 1 has the ear of the government, but group number 3 is likely to be in the majority this time next month.

alan smithee

20th April 2020 at 2:27 pm

Far too risky. There is a mistaken assumption on Spiked that the lockdown has made things worse. It’s not the lockdown that’s the problem it’s starting the lockdown too late that is the problem and easing restrictions will lead to another wave.

Graham Southern

20th April 2020 at 2:43 pm

What risks come when unemployment hits 25%, Alan?

Annabel Andrew

20th April 2020 at 2:49 pm

There is absolutely no proof of this at all. We obeyed the lockdown on the premise that we had to flatten the curve and for the NHS to catch up and be able to cope with all the thousands of people who were about to come in a ‘tsunami’ – which did not happen. This has happened. We now should be let out. You can stay in if you like.

Jerry Owen

20th April 2020 at 5:02 pm

Annabel
‘You can stay in if you like’. Yes, absolutely open everything up, pubs ( must be first!) restaurants clubs cafes etc. Those that are vulnerable or scared can stay at home and self isolate, the rest of us can take our chances. The NHS is no longer ( and never was ) under threat of being swamped.

Jane 70

20th April 2020 at 5:10 pm

Well said; we’re all doing porridge with no end in sight. Couldn’t we at least be let out on licence, like the lads in Porridge?

NEIL DATSON

20th April 2020 at 6:28 pm

Annabel, Jerry, Jane, agree wholeheartedly. Some may have good reason to be especially careful. But not everybody has, and the economic damage being done to millions who are prepared to take their chance is enormous. If some don’t want to work they don’t have to, but (possibly excluding a few special cases of the genuinely vulnerable) they should be expected to bear the economic pain. I really don’t see why anybody should be expected to pay taxes to support the non-working public sector. Small business owners, the self-employed and the low paid in insecure jobs are the ones who are really suffering.

Joseph Adam-smith

20th April 2020 at 3:28 pm

In effect, rubbish. Firstly, there was never any justification for an enforced house-arrest policy. “Lockdown” is an Orwellian expression to justify the government’s policies. See attached link bu eminent professors/doctors etc.

Secondly, it was never ever fully enforced. People still moved around. They shopped and came close to people. There was always a chance of spreading via close contact.

Thirdly, countries with no enforced house-arrest policy, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, have not had any higher death rate as measured as a percentage of the population.

What we have had is a decimation of small businesses due to lack of income. Many will never be able to restart. But, of course, large businesses will continue…….. Think about that.

https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

Jane 70

20th April 2020 at 3:49 pm

How about the mounting evidence that many many more people have been infected without being aware, as they are, by and large, asymptomatic?
This has been found in a study done in California:

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/17/santa-clara-covid-19-antibody-study-suggests-broad-asymptomatic-spread.html

It is indeed a small sample so open to review, but it does seem to imply that we shall eventually have to accept the existence of this virus as with flu,SARS and other coronaviruses.

It does appear that it mutates, and this might indicate that its lethality will eventually abate: a pathogen is more likely to achieve success if it doesn’t wipe out its hosts.

All this is conjecture, but protests are mounting across the world: people want, and need, to return to work.

Thomas C

20th April 2020 at 3:54 pm

To quote the protesters in Michigan: “Security without liberty is called prison”. If we could find the right language to describe the govt’s measures, we’d never accept them.

Highland Fleet Lute

20th April 2020 at 2:18 pm

“Covid-19 is a new and terrible disease.”

Covid-19 is a new and terrible kool-aid.

Ed Turnbull

20th April 2020 at 6:45 pm

+1

Jerry Owen

20th April 2020 at 1:15 pm

‘We can only open up again when the public want it’ … would this be the public sector workers paid to sit at home in the garden sunning themselves and those on nearly full wages working for companies to do the same?
Don’t expect any demand soon, it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas !
When tens of thousands of businesses have gone to the wall and we have millions on the dole again, who will pick up the tab to pay for the extended holiday so many public sector workers have luxuriated in?

Graham Southern

20th April 2020 at 2:28 pm

And the annoying thing is how they think their lives have become so difficult and scary. We should remember that anyone in the media writing such things is in paid employment.

Jerry Owen

20th April 2020 at 3:47 pm

The bravest thing these people do is lean out of their windows on a Thursday night tub thumping.. really truly imbecilic.

Jonathan Marshall

20th April 2020 at 9:00 pm

1984 comes to 2020.

Highland Fleet Lute

20th April 2020 at 2:44 pm

I had a reply to one of my comments from an NHS worker the other day underneath the “We are Living in an Era of Global Madness” vid…

“Unfortunately the NHS is now run by locum, agency and bank staff with the NHS management. Permanent staff largely self-isolate or are on generous sick pay. I am non-contractual labour force for the NHS. Are you surprised? Staff can remain off sick for six months and their sick pay is decreasing with the 1st month being fully paid, and the 2nd – half paid. Who would not take an advantage of this? The lists of absent staff on the wards are endless. This is a nanny state. I am not impressed with the clapping for the NHS. This is another respiratory virus and the normal precautions are necessary, but this is the nature of the job, and the hospitals are usually full of infections. Yet the publicity it had received made me wonder about the real agenda. Here, this interview gives me one of the answers.”

There’s no point in soft-peddling it, the lockdown is probably the most short-sighted, reckless, irresponsible, idiotic decision by a British government since the declaration of war on Germany in 1914.

Coronavirus lockdown to cost UK a QUARTER of all jobs as estimated 7 MILLION jobs to be lost
https://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2020-04-19/lockdown-could-result-in-nearly-seven-million-job-losses-university-of-essex-study-warns/

Jim Lawrie

20th April 2020 at 7:07 pm

What you say will be aired in anger when the money starts running out.

Jerry Owen

20th April 2020 at 7:20 pm

‘When the money runs out’
It already has. It’s borrowed from the future, and has been since before the virus.
I wonder how many public sector workers self isolating at the expense of tax payers on near enough full pay actually think of the debt their kids will have to burden in future in taxes and interest rates on mortgages etc ?

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