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We must enable the economy to recover as soon as practicable

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Starmill

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The best way to look at this is this: the trade-off is not between the economy and the spread of the virus. It is between the price, capability and ultimately bravery of good governance and economic recovery.

There is a need to be bold, and there is an urgency for leadership to get new ideas approved. There is a need for the spending of an enormous amount of government cash. There is a need for planning, and good management of new schemes which are developed to meet our society's objectives: to reduce inequality, to increase skills and wages, to build what needs to be built to expand the productive capacity of the economy, to reduce our carbon emissions, to clean our air and our waste. Does the government have what it takes to start a new economy? To build from crisis something markedly better than what was before? Or are they obsessed with Brexit and their trade talks failing, the Prime Minister's cult of personality and his partner and new child, and with Michael Gove's ego, and with their own investments losing value, with refusing to acknowledge reality and apologise for what they have got wrong?

To put this another way: if the virus continues to kill people in the way it's doing today, there will be no recovery, lockdown or no lockdown, going to work and school or not. Combating the virus isn't a trade-off with future growth. It's a precondition.

The Americans and Chinese have made up their minds to go right back into the old way in a desperate, headlong rush to bounce back on GDP and jobs, and the effect on society and the environment be damned. The UK has the perfect opportunity to show how we will lead here. But will a man like Johnson take it, or copy the others?

This is supported by all of the historical evidence from the last Pandemic a little over a century ago. The cities who lifted the restrictions too soon suffered more economically than the ones who waited for the right time. The 'right time' is absolutely 100% not going to be determined by Lord Lamont, some random businessman from York, writers in the Telegraph, or commentators on the forum.

I have attempted on a couple of occasions to convince @yorkie and others of this before, although it would seem I wasn't especially successful. Fair enough.

I spend a significant part of my income om leisure activity. Mainly attending sporting events and concerts, eating out and travel from and to these events. I am lucky that I am working so my income is the same but my spending has reduced. I am more than willing to spend money and resume my lifestyle once lockdown is over but what am I supposed to spend my money on to keep the economy going in the meantime?
Personally I've given a little bit of money that I'd have spent on holidays, travel, events, eating out etc etc to NHS Charities Together on a monthly basis, opened a new savings account at a well rated ethical bank, and bought a few little bits and bobs online, most of which were gifts, from firms I reckon aren't too bad. Examples including Brynmawr (flapjacks), Kombucha (tea drink), Graze (snacks) and a local woman making masks on Facebook. I also support some creative types whose work I value using Patreon. Obviously this doesn't totally cover it but there are ideas there.
 
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TheJRB

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I think we should view two things when considering the end of this lockdown: the immediate impact and the long term changes.

For example, I think working at home is going to have to remain in force for a good while longer yet as part of the social distancing measures but the long term impact of this is likely to mean greater amounts of home working and thus companies reducing office space meaning a reduced commuter market. Positives are numerous including the ability to live further from work, seeing that putting up with a longer commute in light of doing it less frequently becomes more palatable. Negatives pretty much speak for themselves.

And clearly the economy. The message will come for businesses to reopen but how many won’t be able to? How many won’t be able to whilst social distancing applies; restaurants might technically be able to reopen at some point but with fewer seats and a limit on diners at any one time but can they sustainably open with this caveat?

Easing of this does create other problems though, especially morally. If I start interacting with a greater number of people, does that mean I can’t/shouldn’t see my 83 year old grandmother, and for how long? Yes, we need to protect the elderly but there will come a point where some of those same elderly will want to ditch the risk and see their loved ones in person again in their twilight years.
 

backontrack

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This is not the kind of discussion I'd wilfully step into, but we have no like button, so:

To put this another way: if the virus continues to kill people in the way it's doing today, there will be no recovery, lockdown or no lockdown, going to work and school or not.

Combating the virus isn't a trade-off with future growth. It's a precondition.
This is an exceptionally good take right here.

The pandemic does not constitute some kind of zero sum game; rather, it's something for which we have no template (nor do we have, dare I say, a congruent mindset). There's no established response to this fairly original and wholly live situation. Our response to this virus is happening in real time; there are no set pathways that could lead us towards one outcome or the other. There are only decisions to be made – decisions with a great deal of interconnectivity, affected by a great deal of variables. The unenviable job of our government should be to navigate that field of decisions with as few casualties as possible.

Ultimately, we are all slaves to the second wave. That's in the nature of what this unprecedented situation is.

But, whatever happens, we are going to have to tread on eggshells in whatever decision we do commit to.

Besides, this is all blissfully plain sailing compared to what will happen when the climate goes haywire, anyway...
 

Bantamzen

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If most deaths are now in care homes, which I believe they are, then surely what you do is lock down care homes more strictly, e.g. get the staff to all live in (pay them a whackload to do so, of course) and do lots of testing?

You don't need to have care workers live-in, this crisis has exposed what many of us have known for years, that many care homes are just under-funded dumping grounds for the elderly. It saddens me that few people are even talking about how to get the right level of care & attention to care homes, give them the funding that they need to protect the elderly (without forcing them to sell their entire estate) and ensure that carers have access to the needed levels of PPE and training. The government has done an incredible job of dodging responsibility thus far, but it is now time to deal with the real problems that the virus has uncovered.

I agree completely. The furlough scheme has insulated many people from the economic catastrophe thats happened without anyones notice, chances are most furloughged people won't have a job to back too when their company reopens.
This is why I'm glad that according to reports the 'Stay home, protect the NHS, Save lives' is being removed this weekend. You never know, a simple slogan change may be enough to slowly make people come around & realise that they need to start working again and live with the virus.

Plus also I think the gradual winding down of the furlough scheme will help, currently people don't mind as they're being paid to sit at home.

The furlough scheme has as you say shielded people from disaster, but is so wildly expensive that it cannot be run for very long. Businesses cannot sit around forever not making money, many are quietly going under even with their workers being paid for by the government, and for every person that loses their job, so the cost to the economy & tax revenue grows. People have often forgotten in this times that the NHS still has to be paid for, and that it is largely funded by taxation. Lower tax revenue increases the risk to the NHS' future.

Quite rightly too given that we're the highest in Europe and 2nd in the world.

Relaxing social distancing for the sake of the economy right now would inevitably lead to a large second wave. The whole strategy should be about how best to protect the health service and keep people safe.

There is simply no way that the tourism or hospitality should reopen anytime soon.

When you say "for the sake of the economy" you do understand that this refers to people's livelihoods, and that those livelihoods ultimately pay for the healthcare system right? Every person I personally know that agrees with your position seems to have something of a blind spot as to how we fund everything going forward. So I'd be more than interested to know how you would suggest sustaining the current position with falling incomes, people's mental wellbeing worsening, and a Treasury that is already having to borrow more & more in a global economy where many countries are borrowing more and more. Sooner or later something is going to give, and the consequences of that could dwarf the problems we have now.

You argue that a second wave is inevitable. Do we actually know this? Do we know how many people have actually had the virus, been ill with it, had mild symptoms, or none at all? The second wave fear is very much one that the government have leaned on to justify their measures. But the simple fact is we simply do not know because they faffed about making scary logos about how if we don't stay at home we could kill people instead of getting out there and actually finding out the full extent of the spread, you know like countries that did & kept the mortality rates a whole lot longer.

I put it to you that we can no longer put the economy, or people's wellbeing at risk to save the face of this more than useless government. Because frankly that seems to be what we are now engaged in.
 

Bletchleyite

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without forcing them to sell their entire estate

Don't agree. Why do people feel entitled to inheritance? It's a bonus that you get if there's something left, not something you are entitled to (after all they might leave it all to charity and you nothing, and that's their absolute legal and moral entitlement) and nobody should ever plan to receive it or expect it. If you need to sell your house to fund your home in later life, why on earth not?
 

Bantamzen

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Don't agree. Why do people feel entitled to inheritance? It's a bonus that you get if there's something left, not something you are entitled to (after all they might leave it all to charity and you nothing, and that's their absolute legal and moral entitlement) and nobody should ever plan to receive it or expect it. If you need to sell your house to fund your home in later life, why on earth not?

You don't think that a lifetime working & paying taxes should afford you some care in your later years? We are not just talking about funding your home here, but funding the care that you might need. Surely that should be something we give as part of the wider healthcare systems? Time will tell, but it may be that a fundamental part of this crisis originated in these places, which means we as a society have failed our elderly.
 

Bletchleyite

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You don't think that a lifetime working & paying taxes should afford you some care in your later years?

I don't think the present taxes are at a high enough level to do that, no. We could consider mandatory care plans of some kind, maybe (or just whack it on general taxation) but it does rile that people consider inheritance to be an expectation, which I don't agree with. You could argue nobody should get it and it should be spread across everyone for real equality, though I wouldn't go that far, but I don't have an issue with the idea that I should sell a house that I don't need to live in any more to pay for a home, which is, er, somewhere to live in.

OK, houses can be investments, but that's very much secondary.
 

Bantamzen

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I don't think the present taxes are at a high enough level to do that, no. We could consider mandatory care plans of some kind, maybe (or just whack it on general taxation) but it does rile that people consider inheritance to be an expectation, which I don't agree with. You could argue nobody should get it and it should be spread across everyone for real equality, though I wouldn't go that far, but I don't have an issue with the idea that I should sell a house that I don't need to live in any more to pay for a home, which is, er, somewhere to live in.

OK, houses can be investments, but that's very much secondary.

You know a lot of people spend their lives working so that they can pass on any gains to their children & grandchildren. In fact around the world it is really quite a common thing to do, and is not how you rather coldly describe as an expectation. It is the reason literally billions of people the world across work as hard as they do. For someone to work all their lives for their kin, then to be struck down and needing care & being made to sell everything is nothing short of an act of cruelty. In my past work life I have been in contact with just such situations, and it is heart-breaking to hear people talk about how they so wanted to give to their family but the government force them to pay for something that a civilised, caring society should offer.
 

HH

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Excellent post by Starmill, to which I can add little. I would say that we can't really compare ourselves to either China or the US; the first because it's an authoritarian state and the second because the power of individual state governors acts as a counterweight to the President.

I would also note that the government has said many times that it is aware of the costs of lockdown and is trying to strike a balance its effects and the pandemic. It has data we don't and will be taking advice from experts in all areas. As we keep hearing, this situation is unprecedented, but I'd rather place my trust in decisions arrived at by this process than in random opinions, even if by 78 year old ex-chancellors.
 

Bletchleyite

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You know a lot of people spend their lives working so that they can pass on any gains to their children & grandchildren. In fact around the world it is really quite a common thing to do, and is not how you rather coldly describe as an expectation. It is the reason literally billions of people the world across work as hard as they do. For someone to work all their lives for their kin, then to be struck down and needing care & being made to sell everything is nothing short of an act of cruelty. In my past work life I have been in contact with just such situations, and it is heart-breaking to hear people talk about how they so wanted to give to their family but the government force them to pay for something that a civilised, caring society should offer.

We'll have to differ on that. My politics flip-flop left and right a bit, and this is something where I tend left - I'd rather see every child get a good and well-funded start into life than a few get to enjoy millions from their parents.

FWIW I'm in my 40s and my parents late 60s, hopefully they avoid C19 (they are being sensible) and I can enjoy their company for at least another 10-20 years (and barring disasters I see that as quite likely, my family have generally lived until at least then, some quite a bit older). That means me inheriting part of their house aged about 60 myself. Is it important that I get to blow it on a holiday (that'll be way too late in my life to spend it on meaningful personal development), or that every child gets proper funding so they can have a proper childhood without wanting for things? OK, I could pass it onto my nephew and niece, or kids if I have any by then (unlikely) but then you're relying on it skipping generations more widely.

I don't mind (as with any other benefit) funding care for have-nots, but I don't see why my estate shouldn't pay for mine when the time comes?

Edit: If we've got people getting to 50-60 and still utterly destitute (as sadly we do), I think it would be better use of public funds to find ways to get them out of that position than for my care to be funded so I can pass my house on to my nephew/niece/kids aged 40-60 by the time it happens if I have any.
 
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Mag_seven

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People have often forgotten in this times that the NHS still has to be paid for, and that it is largely funded by taxation. Lower tax revenue increases the risk to the NHS' future.

Indeed - if we don't get the economy going again very soon we risk destroying the very institution we have cherished the most in this crisis. People need to see the fact that a strong economy equals a strong NHS.
 

SuperNova

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When you say "for the sake of the economy" you do understand that this refers to people's livelihoods, and that those livelihoods ultimately pay for the healthcare system right? Every person I personally know that agrees with your position seems to have something of a blind spot as to how we fund everything going forward. So I'd be more than interested to know how you would suggest sustaining the current position with falling incomes, people's mental wellbeing worsening, and a Treasury that is already having to borrow more & more in a global economy where many countries are borrowing more and more. Sooner or later something is going to give, and the consequences of that could dwarf the problems we have now.

You argue that a second wave is inevitable. Do we actually know this? Do we know how many people have actually had the virus, been ill with it, had mild symptoms, or none at all? The second wave fear is very much one that the government have leaned on to justify their measures. But the simple fact is we simply do not know because they faffed about making scary logos about how if we don't stay at home we could kill people instead of getting out there and actually finding out the full extent of the spread, you know like countries that did & kept the mortality rates a whole lot longer.

I put it to you that we can no longer put the economy, or people's wellbeing at risk to save the face of this more than useless government. Because frankly that seems to be what we are now engaged in.

If you seriously don't believe in a second wave then more fool you. This virus will continue to run riot until there is a) there's a vaccine b) there's a drug c) the virus mutates/dies out. The reason this has been suppressed is due to social distancing. Over 6000 people tested positive for Covid-19 according to the latest government statistics meaning the virus is still prevalent in the community.

Lets look at the USA in the last pandemic that we can compare this to. Those cities who had longer periods of social distancing had lower death rates among their populations and similarly had a smaller economic impact in the long-run. Relaxing the current precautions too soon because of pressure from the business community is terribly naive and awful leadership. Jobs and the economy can eventually recover - lives are lost forever.
 

Bletchleyite

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If you seriously don't believe in a second wave then more fool you. This virus will continue to run riot until there is a) there's a vaccine b) there's a drug c) the virus mutates/dies out. The reason this has been suppressed is due to social distancing. Over 6000 people tested positive for Covid-19 according to the latest government statistics meaning the virus is still prevalent in the community.

What I'd like to know is where most of those people are. I've heard suggestion that there's now very little of it in the wider community, as it now goes around individual homes then fizzles out. If it's mostly in care homes and hospitals, which it seems it is, we may well be able to unlock the wider community by addressing it in the settings where it is now occurring.

FWIW, I was intrigued enough about some symptoms I had in the past few months (and haven't been chucking the railway hundreds of pounds a month) to pay for a private lab antibody test (ELISA) to find out if I've had it. The accuracy of that was quoted as 99%, and it came back yesterday (to my surprise) negative (so the very nasty, very COVID-like thing I had in Feb must have been a different virus of some kind). I've not been being particularly careful in terms of protecting myself, more in protecting others, and I haven't caught it. It can't therefore be that easy to catch it, so it shouldn't be too hard to control it. If it spread to everyone you had contact with e.g. walking past them in the street, the R0 would be much higher than 2-3 as it is - more like measles which is well over 10.

(The test was IgG only - it is possible that I have been exposed to it but only with a low viral load so the "short term" IgM antibodies knocked it on the head - the letter I got back explained that - but they disappear quite quickly so if I had indeed had it in Feb a test now wouldn't identify them anyway)

OK, you can get a cold quite easily, but there are many, many more of those around. I wonder how many people in the UK in normal cirumstances have a cold at any one time? Must be hundreds of thousands.

It very much strikes me that what was happening was primarily that people were catching it from close friends they spend a lot of time with, then going home and passing it to family, then it'd get round there and get passed onto their close friends and so on. That tallies much better with that level of R0, and is therefore really quite easy to break the chain.

Not so easy in care homes and hospitals where staff get very close to patients frequently and repeatedly to give the required treatment.
 
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Bantamzen

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If you seriously don't believe in a second wave then more fool you. This virus will continue to run riot until there is a) there's a vaccine b) there's a drug c) the virus mutates/dies out. The reason this has been suppressed is due to social distancing. Over 6000 people tested positive for Covid-19 according to the latest government statistics meaning the virus is still prevalent in the community.

Lets look at the USA in the last pandemic that we can compare this to. Those cities who had longer periods of social distancing had lower death rates among their populations and similarly had a smaller economic impact in the long-run. Relaxing the current precautions too soon because of pressure from the business community is terribly naive and awful leadership. Jobs and the economy can eventually recover - lives are lost forever.

Well

a) There might never be a vaccine, or if there is the virus will have mutated enough to render it not effective.
b) Treatments don't stop the spread
c) The virus will mutate, in fact it already has. However it won't just die out.

These are facts we are going to have to face. A log lockdown risks the economy, the economy feeds people, the economy funds the NHS. So unless you have an alternative way to feed people & support essential services with an ever reducing budget, I'd say we simply have to be realistic & deal with the fact that we are way too late to stop it & start looking at how we get help to the people that need it most instead of hiding.
 

Jamiescott1

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Completely agree with many of the sentiments above.

The lockdown was originally imposed with the goal of helping to preserve NHS capacity. That has been done but at the vast cost of other treatments being neglected.

This is not a case of lives vs money and people who make this claim are naive. The lockdown will absolutely cost lives. Whether from more direct links such as missed cancer diagnoses to long term declines in overall prosperity (due to the strong correlation between wealth and life expectancy). I've not seen any government analysis on these numbers.

We need to get most people back to some resemblance of normality. Care homes and the vunerable need to be shielded well - something we can hopefully afford as we continue to keepo the economy running.

Completely agree with this. Although it could be argued as not fair to make certain people isolate longer, the simple facts are
- less than 350 under 45s have died of covid-19
- the majority of those who have died are obese or have underlying health conditions
 

trebor79

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Completely agree. The longer this goes on, the more I feel the response has been bordering on the hysterical. Private Eye has been saying for weeks that if you catch COVID, your chance of death is roughly equivalent to your chance of death anyway in the next 12 months. Today there is a balanced article on the BBC news website which (amongst other things) makes the same point and has a very good graph near the bottom of the article which displays this very clearly:

The most vulnerable with underlying health conditions (including my mother) should continue to shield and be very careful about where they go. The rest of us just need to get on with it, accept the fact that we're going to catch it and feel a bit rubbish for a few days and then forget about it. The way people talk about it now, you're think it was a deadly as Ebola or Polonium-210 if you didn't know better (which many don't).

The economy is absolutely trashed. We need to salvage what we can before it's too late. The longer it goes on the harder it's going to be - there's already parents on our local FB groups saying "I'm not sending my kids back to school until there's a vaccine..."
 

yorkie

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Completely agree with this. Although it could be argued as not fair to make certain people isolate longer, the simple facts are
- less than 350 under 45s have died of covid-19
- the majority of those who have died are obese or have underlying health conditions
Good article on BBC now about getting a sense of perspective:

Our constant focus on the most negative impacts of the epidemic means we have "lost sight" of the fact the virus causes a mild to moderate illness for many, says Dr Amitava Banerjee, of University College London...

...In future, we need to stop looking at coronavirus through such a "narrow lens", he says. Instead we should take more account of the indirect costs, such as rising rates of domestic violence in lockdown, mental health problems and the lack of access to health care more generally.

Look at the graphs:

(Graph shows significant numbers of younger people being worried that the virus is a threat to them)

(Graph shows that only a tiny number of under 44s have died from the virus, with the numbers also low for 45-64)

However, although young people have very little to worry about in terms of the virus itself, they stand to lose the most in other areas, such as losing their livelihoods and wellbeing.

And a good comment from Prof Mark Woodhouse:
For the non-vulnerable population, coronavirus carries no more risk than a "nasty flu", says Prof Mark Woolhouse, an expert in infectious disease who led the research.

"If it wasn't for the fact that it presents such a high risk of severe disease in vulnerable groups, we would never have taken the steps we have and closed down the country.

"If we can shield the vulnerable really well, there is no reason why we cannot lift many of the restrictions in place for others.

"The lockdown has come at a huge economic, social and health cost."

It is, he says, all about getting the balance of risk right.

Some people want the lockdown to last until a vaccine is found, but that would NOT be the right balance at all.

It is going to take a long time to fully open the economy and we need to start somewhere and we need to start soon.
 
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theblackwatch

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Am I worried about getting the virus myself? Not at all. I would need to be more worried about things like crossing roads.

But do you worry about passing it on to others that may be more vulnerable than yourself?
 

trebor79

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There also needs, in my opinion, to be the ability to put the brakes on any reopening of the economy, should it be found that it is causing a spike. It also needs people to behave sensibly, which, having seen the way some in this country have ignored the guidelines, is one of my biggest concerns.
Disagree. It doesn't really matter whether the infection spreads as a spike or a slower wave. So long as the most vulnerable are advised what to do to absolutely minimise their risk of catching it, the rest of us have no greater chance of dying if we catch it than we do from dying of any other cause over the next 12 months.
The country is not going to be able to afford another lockdown (the Chancellor is already expresses his alarm at how much the furlough scheme is costing) and I don't think the public support would be there for it second time around either.
 

Bletchleyite

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I wonder what the question asked was in terms of feeling it's a threat.

Do I think it could mean I have a nasty 2 weeks a bit like when I get the flu? Yeah.
Do I think it will kill me? No, it has a very low chance of doing that, I do riskier things in life, e.g. rock climbing. On balance I would go as far as to say I would be willing to be deliberately infected for a double-blind vaccine trial.
Am I scared of it? Not really, the only thing I'm in any way scared of is my parents getting it, and as they live 200 miles away it's easy for me not to give it to them.
Is is a nuisance? Certainly.

I suspect that view will be common among people up to their 40s or so.
 

yorkie

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But do you worry about passing it on to others that may be more vulnerable than yourself?
You can worry all your life about lots of things, as almost nothing is without some risk, but I can see huge damage being done for future generations if the current situation goes on for too long. It's about getting the right balance (as Prof Mark Woodhouse said). However too many people are now acting in a way that is irrational; risks are being taken in other areas that are likely to have more serious consequences for most people than the virus itself, in order to mitigate against the lesser risk of the virus.

If a vulnerable person does not want to take any risks and is self-isolating, then I totally respect that. But the majority of the population have to be able to go about their lives in the not too distant future, for the greater good.
I wonder what the question asked was in terms of feeling it's a threat...
Maybe but I was talking to a key worker parent recently who sounded terrified of her daughter (age 11) going to school, and yet described the situation of the living arrangements while she was off school as a nightmare and it was clear the daughter was struggling. In contrast, another key worker parent was saying how grateful she is that her son of a similar age was able to be in school and how beneficial it was for him.

I think that many people have lost a sense of perspective.
...there's already parents on our local FB groups saying "I'm not sending my kids back to school until there's a vaccine..."
Unless they have someone who is shielding in the family home, they are effectively putting irrational fears first and not putting the child first. This is the sort of thing that really annoys me and is a good example of where people are not looking at the bigger picture. The chances of their child becoming seriously ill due to the virus is absolutely tiny, and yet the chances of them being harmed in other areas by not going to school is far greater, for example it can be very damaging to the mental health of children (especially outgoing, sporty children), affect their development, their confidence, and much more. For many children, the safest place they can be, is actually in school. And the addition of a miniscule risk does not change that fact.
 
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Solent&Wessex

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We won't remain where we are forever. The simple thing about Covid-19 is, how contagious it is and there's no proof of any immunity if you've already had it. 2020 as a year is a write off and like much of the answers with this pandemic, we can't do anything until either a) there's a vaccine b) there a drug c) the virus mutates/dies out

There are some areas of the economy you could open up and I expect these to open up. However, those voicing their disdain at the lockdown and the economy are for areas of the economy where there shouldn't be any reducing of restrictions - retail, hospitality, tourism.

You won't see many people going clothes shopping in the near future - if they do it'll be online (places like asos etc). Pubs? You won't see me in one until after this has ended. Tourism? I'll save my money thanks - holiday when I now there's no risk of a virus that can kill healthy people as young as teenagers.

We won't remain where we are forever but there is a real risk unless the government hands out very large wads of cash to the hospitality and tourism sectors that if enforced closure continues, and is followed by a lengthy period of social distancing restricting visitor numbers, then there won't actually be any pubs or any tourism industry left. If they survive the enforced closure period without running out of cash then many will collapse afterwards in the era of social distancing as they would be uneconomic with fewer numbers and having additional costs associated with the restrictions.

That is just simple economics. There have already been many reports - mainly on regional media rather than national - from zoos, attractions, venues etc saying that they will simply run out of cash and will have to close down, even if they can reopen but are restricted with the number of people they can admit.

All this results in huge job losses, long term economic damage, and a huge personal cost not just directly but also to the supply chains that work with these businesses.



Well

a) There might never be a vaccine, or if there is the virus will have mutated enough to render it not effective.
b) Treatments don't stop the spread
c) The virus will mutate, in fact it already has. However it won't just die out.

These are facts we are going to have to face. A log lockdown risks the economy, the economy feeds people, the economy funds the NHS. So unless you have an alternative way to feed people & support essential services with an ever reducing budget, I'd say we simply have to be realistic & deal with the fact that we are way too late to stop it & start looking at how we get help to the people that need it most instead of hiding.

Indeed.
 

Bletchleyite

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I think that many people have lost a sense of perspective.

Many people are very bad at risk assessment. Risk assessment involves considering risk and likelihood, and even better risk-benefit analysis considers, risk, likelihood and benefit arising. Most people just look at the risk (consequence) and can't quantify the other bits. Therefore they have the image in their head of them and their whole family in hospital on a ventilator.

With regard to their 85 year old nan, the likelihood is high, so it makes sense to take strong precautions (hence shielding).

If people got this right, nobody would be scared of flying (consequence: death, likelihood: infinitessimally low, benefit: quite high - you get your holiday), terrorism wouldn't work (consequence: death, likelihood: quite low, benefit: fairly high, you can live your live without constant fear or pointless restrictions/security theatre) but they would drive a lot more sensibly, carefully and defensively (consequence: death or serious injury, likelihood: surprisingly high, benefit: well, you'd still get where you were going it if you didn't drive your BMW 4" off the car in front's back bumper).

In Scouting we're quite well-versed in this because we need to provide the benefit without kids dying or getting seriously injured, but in reality a fair chunk of it is risk-benefit (because we do do activities which are a fair bit riskier than sitting at home watching the telly), and I suspect some parents give us their kids then run away fingers in ears singing "la la la" because their own personal RA is too paranoid to do the stuff we do themselves.
 

Bletchleyite

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Unless they have someone who is shielding in the family home, they are effectively putting irrational fears first and not putting the child first. This is the sort of thing that really annoys me and is a good example of where people are not looking at the bigger picture. The chances of their child becoming seriously ill due to the virus is absolutely tiny, and yet the chances of them being harmed in other areas by not going to school is far greater, for example it can be very damaging to the mental health of children (especially outgoing, sporty children), affect their development, their confidence, and much more. For many children, the safest place they can be, is actually in school. And the addition of a miniscule risk does not change that fact.

It doesn't of course help that Spain committed institutional child abuse by completely overlooking this.
 

Starmill

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I'm reminded, yet again, of how so many of the things people are not happy with, such as the waiting times for their doctor, the crowding in their child's school, their constant worries arising from their weak employment rights or their concern that they'd be unable to live on Universal Credit, being able to cover their ludicrous housing costs, are actually nothing to do with the virus. The government have for a decade had a policy of deliberately driving people into poverty whom they don't like. Now, suddenly, almost everyone is at risk of that same poverty and is pointing out the unfairness of a system which keeps people poor when they're down on their luck. Well, this is what some of us have been complaining about for a decade.

There was no good justification for the government to atrophy the state, but people voted for it because they were thinking of themselves, and now we're all paying the price.
 

trebor79

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The government have for a decade had a policy of deliberately driving people into poverty whom they don't like.
Sorry but that's just utter nonsense. Disagree with the policies if you like, but to suggest it's all some nasty Tory plot to beat down people they don't like (who are these people, by the way?) is a fantasy.
 

Bletchleyite

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There was no good justification for the government to atrophy the state, but people voted for it because they were thinking of themselves, and now we're all paying the price.

The question there is how long are our memories - as in can we now turn this into a discussion (not the thread, obviously, I'd chuck in a new one if this was likely to be more than a throwaway comment...honest!) on a more Scandinavian style approach to the welfare state?
 

Mogster

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You can worry all your life about lots of things, as almost nothing is without some risk, but I can see huge damage being done for future generations if the current situation goes on for too long. It's about getting the right balance (as Prof Mark Woodhouse said). However too many people are now acting in a way that is irrational; risks are being taken in other areas that are likely to have more serious consequences for most people than the virus itself, in order to mitigate against the lesser risk of the virus.

If a vulnerable person does not want to take any risks and is self-isolating, then I totally respect that. But the majority of the population have to be able to go about their lives in the not too distant future, for the greater good.

Maybe but I was talking to a key worker parent recently who sounded terrified of her daughter (age 11) going to school, and yet described the situation of the living arrangements while she was off school as a nightmare and it was clear the daughter was struggling. In contrast, another key worker parent was saying how grateful she is that her son of a similar age was able to be in school and how beneficial it was for him.

I think that many people have lost a sense of perspective.

Unless they have someone who is shielding in the family home, they are effectively putting irrational fears first and not putting the child first. This is the sort of thing that really annoys me and is a good example of where people are not looking at the bigger picture. The chances of their child becoming seriously ill due to the virus is absolutely tiny, and yet the chances of them being harmed in other areas by not going to school is far greater, for example it can be very damaging to the mental health of children (especially outgoing, sporty children), affect their development, their confidence, and much more. For many children, the safest place they can be, is actually in school. And the addition of a miniscule risk does not change that fact.

Agree completely. in Western countries death is something that’s hidden from view unless it’s a close relative. The fact that apparently large numbers of people die from infectious disease even in Western countries has come as a shock to many. The perception is that the government and healthcare can fix everything. If anything the lockdown has been too effective.

I was concerned when the message was extended from “protect the NHS” to include “saving lives”. The obvious problem being that at some point unless CoV2 disappeared we would have to tell people to return to work which the media still reporting CoV2 deaths. This is the situation we are in now.

The situation is difficult but the at risk groups are well defined. Unfortunately this hasn’t been conveyed well to the public.
 

Huntergreed

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Agree completely. in Western countries death is something that’s hidden from view unless it’s a close relative. The fact that apparently large numbers of people die from infectious disease even in Western countries has come as a shock to many. The perception is that the government and healthcare can fix everything. If anything the lockdown has been too effective.

I was concerned when the message was extended from “protect the NHS” to include “saving lives”. The obvious problem being that at some point unless CoV2 disappeared we would have to tell people to return to work which the media still reporting CoV2 deaths. This is the situation we are in now.

The situation is difficult but the at risk groups are well defined. Unfortunately this hasn’t been conveyed well to the public.
This is a huge problem, the success of the lockdown was on a scale that even the government didn't expect, and people are now fearful of returning to work and school because they've essentially been told that if you walk outside you'll essentially drop dead. The messaging needs to change, but managing to convince a public that you've feared into obeying a temporary measure too effectively that the risk is minimal whilst still announcing daily deaths 100+ will arguably be a tougher challenge than introducing the lockdown in the first place.
 
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