The Lockdown – now is not the time to ease off

There has been a lot of talk over the weekend of easing the lockdown here in the U.K. Much of it was speculation about what the Prime Minister was and was not going to say in his address to the nation on Sunday evening.

Lockdown road sign

The speculation by the media does not help the public. It falsely set expectations (which would influence the actions) of the public.

Policy in the U.K. needs to be informed by expert clinical opinion. The economy will recover once the lockdown is lifted, but lifting it too soon risks everything. We need to learn the lesson from Germany, who recently eased their own lockdown measures only to see a resurgence in the virus.

Up until yesterday, the public had been given a very clear message about what was required of them. However yesterday’s slogan (and let’s be honest, the public rarely read or think beyond the soundbites, headlines or slogans) was wishy / washy to say the least.

“Stay at home as much as possible”. That is so ambiguous it could mean something different to every person who reads it. Imagine being a Police Officer having to enforce the COVID-19 regulations. Whenever they stop and challenge someone for being outside their home all they will hear is ‘well I stayed home as much as possible’.

We must be under no illusion. We cannot stay alert to something we cannot see. I have said on numerous occasions how much I hate the lockdown arrangements; however, I am willing to take the pain in the short term to prevent a re-invigorated pandemic occurring. I would sooner do six months of lockdown now, to prevent having to do 18 months in the future, with outbreak after outbreak.

That is the stark choice I see facing the politicians and clinicians.

Today’s COVID-19 casualty stats show 489 new cases in my county, since I last wrote here.

Total UK Cases of COVID-19,219,183
Total UK Deaths31,855
Total cases in my county1,682

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