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We must enable the economy to recover as soon as practicable

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WM Bus

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The problem the UK has is that we now have the highest death rate in Europe (depending on how accurate the figures of other countries are being recorded) and our daily death rate is still quite high.
And does a bigger population size mean more people will get it/a factor? Would have thought so, as then there's more people for it to spread among?
Deaths per million stats on the link below - particularly how high the figure in Belgium is (736.73 per million), with a much smaller population, wander why?
 
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thejuggler

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The announcement on Sunday will be a glimmer of hope for many people but I don't anticipate a major change to the situation. It would appear that social distancing is going to be enforced for the immediate future.

The problem the UK has is that we now have the highest death rate in Europe (depending on how accurate the figures of other countries are being recorded) and our daily death rate is still quite high.

Boris Johnson has an impossible decision to make - damned if you or damned if you don't!!! He needs to act to stop the economy sky rocketing into further recession & things like mental health & domestic violence are soaring to worrying levels.

However, can he really justify loosening the reins slightly when the UK is clearly still weathering a storm?

The protection of human life must always be a priority & I suspect that in order to prevent deaths that can be avoided, BJ will have to delay some things until June at least.

CJ

Completely agree. Yesterday's headlines of the Boris cheerleader newspapers will be no comfort on Sunday evening.

Deaths are still over 500, care home cases are rising, top end R value is still 1, testing is still inadequate.

The big issue to ending this is childcare and schooling. Until you can get children back into nurseries and school it is difficult to tell parents they can all go back at work, especially as grandparents may still be in 12 week lock down.

Wales have already said schools won't be opening on 1 June, which was the expected date a few weeks ago, so opening may now shift to September. That isn't an environment for reopening the economy.
 

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We never got to see the results of that because it only lasted one week so there is insufficient data to analyse. It's very easy for you to claim it wouldn't have worked, but if it was done at the right tie, the evidence elsewhere suggests it would have.
Agreed, and it wasn’t really a “voluntary lockdown.” Hair salons were still open, garden centres were open, there was no social distancing in supermarkets. I remember going past so many shops and restaurants thinking how quiet they were, yet they were still open.
 

Ianno87

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And does a bigger population size mean more people will get it? Would have thought so?
Deaths per million stats on the link below - particularly how high the figure in Belgium is (736.73 per million), with a much smaller population, wander why?

Population density is perhaps a factor. More dense population means more probability of coming a transferable distance away from others.
 

Carlisle

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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.
Whilst appreciating its a continually evolving subject, current evidence suggests the Swedish or South Korean approach ie early imposition of social distancing, testing & banning mass gatherings etc, but avoiding total lockdown may well emerge as future best practice
 

bramling

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Whilst appreciating its a continually evolving subject, current evidence suggests the Swedish or South Korean approach ie early imposition of social distancing, testing & banning mass gatherings etc, but avoiding total lockdown may well emerge as future best practice

The problem is that doesn’t necessarily help us now. Clearly we didn’t do enough early on to get hold of things, now we have too many infections in circulation and don’t seem able to get a firm handle on them - plus a now increasingly restless public.

Sweden certainly does have benefit of a less dense population, and from experience one more likely to be compliant.
 

43066

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The problem is that doesn’t necessarily help us now. Clearly we didn’t do enough early on to get hold of things, now we have too many infections in circulation and don’t seem able to get a firm handle on them - plus a now increasingly restless public.

Sweden certainly does have benefit of a less dense population, and from experience one more likely to be compliant.

I can’t help but think the government have failed to manage expectations properly. People are clearly expecting a much greater easing of restrictions than will actually be forthcoming this weekend. No doubt enforcement will become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, especially as the weather continues to improve.

Anecdotally compliance has markedly reduced over the last couple of weeks. The roads near me are almost as busy as they were pre lockdown, my local parks are full of large groups of people (who may or may not be part of the same household). I’ve also noticed a marked increase in sunbathers etc.
 
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Huntergreed

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I can’t help but think the government have failed to manage expectations properly. People are clearly expecting a much greater easing of restrictions than will actually be forthcoming this weekend. No doubt enforcement will become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, especially as the weather continues to improve.

Anecdotally compliance has markedly reduced over the last couple of weeks. The roads near me are almost as busy as they were pre lockdown, my local parks are full of large groups of people (who may or may not be part of the same household). I’ve also noticed a marked increase in sunbathers etc.
The problem isn’t the government, it’s the media. If one politician even suggests something tiny then suddenly the lockdown is ending on Monday. I would agree that it’s been getting busy but overall compliance has been very high and there are thousands terrified of the virus, perhaps due to the overly aggressive messaging and fear monger ing. Perhaps this is the change in messaging that will get us back to a balanced and healthy state of mind
 

Huntergreed

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Would it not be impossible to enforce social distancing in parks? And allow people to sit on benches, etc, but ensure that they are spaced out and don't come within 2 metres of one another? Maybe even limit how many people are allowed in the park as well - so if it becomes too busy, nobody else can come in?
That’s hard to manage with a constant stream coming/going and especially with more than one or two entrances or exits
 

Ianno87

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I can’t help but think the government have failed to manage expectations properly. People are clearly expecting a much greater easing of restrictions than will actually be forthcoming this weekend. No doubt enforcement will become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, especially as the weather continues to improve.

Anecdotally compliance has markedly reduced over the last couple of weeks. The roads near me are almost as busy as they were pre lockdown, my local parks are full of large groups of people (who may or may not be part of the same household). I’ve also noticed a marked increase in sunbathers etc.

Roads have got busier near me *but* that may simply be due to people having an overly draconian interpretation of the restrictions in the first place.
 

C J Snarzell

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I do think the UK is sailing into some very unsettling territory. The daily death rate is too high and although there is a steady decline in cases, the problem is that the virus is running rampent across care homes.

Realistically, the UK needs to hold back until the death rate falls to considerable daily number. For example, getting the daily death rate below 100 a day for at least a fortnight before relaxing certain things. However, judging how the figures are showing - we could be waiting until July or August to get these daily figures right down. I do reckon that sadly, the death rate will pass 40,000 at some stage in coming weeks.

The problem is the economy DOES need to be protected. The hospitality industry (pubs & restaurants) will be completely shattered beyond repair and businesses working around health & fitness (gyms, health spa's) may never reopen.

As I've said mental health is now becoming an ever growing problem with people experiencing problems such as social isolation and alcohol dependancy has increased due to people spending alot of confinement drinking heavily. These types of issues will become just as much an epidemic as the virus itself.

I am finding that more people I speak to are now of the opinion - 'I would much rather carry on with life normally and run the risk of getting the virus than being left with no income or quality of life'. It does potentially feel that this attitude is a selfish one but more & more people are starting to get impatient about so much hardship being inflicted by a virus that is just like get flu symptoms for most people.

CJ
 

bramling

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I can’t help but think the government have failed to manage expectations properly. People are clearly expecting a much greater easing of restrictions than will actually be forthcoming this weekend. No doubt enforcement will become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, especially as the weather continues to improve.

Anecdotally compliance has markedly reduced over the last couple of weeks. The roads near me are almost as busy as they were pre lockdown, my local parks are full of large groups of people (who may or may not be part of the same household). I’ve also noticed a marked increase in sunbathers etc.

Agreed very much, some of the comms has been very poor - we don’t really know *why* we had a lockdown in the first place as Boris never actually told us the reason, it felt like more of a panic.

One difficulty I think we have now is that everything is quite inter-related. Release lockdown too much now and there will be chaos because too many people are off work, so there will be a sudden rush to get out and about, which would certainly be counter-productive. But we can’t realistically get many people back to work whilst the schools are still closed as these are many people’s childcare, plus there’s the issues over transport capacity.

I do sense there’s a genuine quandary over where to go next, and no doubt an element of watching with trepidation what happens elsewhere. China is no comparison as their lockdown was several orders of magnitude stricter than ours.
 

bramling

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Roads have got busier near me *but* that may simply be due to people having an overly draconian interpretation of the restrictions in the first place.

I think in some cases it’s due to some businesses re-opening. As well as places like B&Q and Halfords (which have no doubt proved incredibly popular) near me some restaurants have re-opened for takeaway, for example. This means more reasons for people to go out, no doubt in some cases testing the boundaries of the lockdown, as well as more staff making work-related journeys.

However I don’t think this is quite the full picture, as it doesn’t explain why roads are still busy well into the evening, when most of the shops still have reduced opening hours, and certainly here there’s pretty much nothing open after 2200 at the absolute very latest. Places like B&Q are closing at 1800.
 

HH

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I think in some cases it’s due to some businesses re-opening. As well as places like B&Q and Halfords (which have no doubt proved incredibly popular) near me some restaurants have re-opened for takeaway, for example. This means more reasons for people to go out, no doubt in some cases testing the boundaries of the lockdown, as well as more staff making work-related journeys.

However I don’t think this is quite the full picture, as it doesn’t explain why roads are still busy well into the evening, when most of the shops still have reduced opening hours, and certainly here there’s pretty much nothing open after 2200 at the absolute very latest. Places like B&Q are closing at 1800.
Takeaways are probably part of it. And builders are all getting back to work, and from what they say, while they are social distancing while working, when they have their cuppa they are not; plus handshakes are happening. Basically we are already at stage 2; I think the delay until Sunday to make an announcement is a tactical mistake.
 

yorkie

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I do think the UK is sailing into some very unsettling territory. The daily death rate is too high and although there is a steady decline in cases, the problem is that the virus is running rampent across care homes.

Realistically, the UK needs to hold back until the death rate falls to considerable daily number. For example, getting the daily death rate below 100 a day for at least a fortnight before relaxing certain things. However, judging how the figures are showing - we could be waiting until July or August to get these daily figures right down. I do reckon that sadly, the death rate will pass 40,000 at some stage in coming weeks.

The problem is the economy DOES need to be protected. The hospitality industry (pubs & restaurants) will be completely shattered beyond repair and businesses working around health & fitness (gyms, health spa's) may never reopen.

As I've said mental health is now becoming an ever growing problem with people experiencing problems such as social isolation and alcohol dependancy has increased due to people spending alot of confinement drinking heavily. These types of issues will become just as much an epidemic as the virus itself.

I am finding that more people I speak to are now of the opinion - 'I would much rather carry on with life normally and run the risk of getting the virus than being left with no income or quality of life'. It does potentially feel that this attitude is a selfish one but more & more people are starting to get impatient about so much hardship being inflicted by a virus that is just like get flu symptoms for most people.

CJ
Very good post; I'm sure an increasing number of people will come to this conclusion over the coming weeks. I just hope it won't be too late. I just can't see how anyone can disagree with this. It's so obvious.
 

bramling

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Takeaways are probably part of it. And builders are all getting back to work, and from what they say, while they are social distancing while working, when they have their cuppa they are not; plus handshakes are happening. Basically we are already at stage 2; I think the delay until Sunday to make an announcement is a tactical mistake.

Boris has followed rather than led the pack pretty much every step of the way, with a few special extras thrown in like contracting C19 himself, so why should now be any different?!
 

bramling

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Very good post; I'm sure an increasing number of people will come to this conclusion over the coming weeks. I just hope it won't be too late. I just can't see how anyone can disagree with this. It's so obvious.

Yes it is obvious and in principle I agree. However, we mustn’t lose sight that a second lockdown would be even more terminally damaging, so we do need to consider what might happen if the infection / hospitalisation / death rate starts climbing heavily again. Unfortunately no one, including the scientists, knows exactly what’s going to happen next, it really is a walk into the dark.
 

Belperpete

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Agreed very much, some of the comms has been very poor - we don’t really know *why* we had a lockdown in the first place as Boris never actually told us the reason, it felt like more of a panic.
Really?!! I think most people were perfectly well aware of why we went into lockdown. What the government has singularly failed to do is manage people's expectations of when we will come out. There were many who truly believed that it would all be lifted at the first three week review (several posting just that on this group, refusing to believe otherwise) and the government did little to disabuse them of this view. Admittedly, there were a few "this is a marathon, not a sprint" messages, but it wasn't hammered home what exactly this meant. Too many people have been allowed to get their hopes up (encouraged by the newspapers), only to have them dashed. The result being that when someone like Nicola Sturgeon tells it like it is, people don't want to believe it. Yes, people need to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but all these false dawns are a real issue.

To be honest, I think the government and their advisors were expecting the numbers of new infections and numbers in hospital to have dropped faster and more significantly than they have. Compared to London, where the drop off has been pretty much as expected, in some regions the numbers are barely falling at all.
 

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I think it depend where you live as to how well lockdown is being observed. My village has been fairly quiet yes a slight increase in traffic this week, but the main road which is normally queuing in the evening peak is still empty, The local Petrol Station has reopened but not much else the repairs part of the garage is still shut, however I gather in some other areas nearby its like the guide lines don't exist. Personally I'm uneasy about easing lockdown the death rate and transmission rate are still far too high.
 

bramling

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I think it depend where you live my village is fairly quiet yes a slight increase in traffic but the main road which is normally queuing in the evening peak is empty, The local Petrol Station has reopened but not much else the repairs part of the garage is still shut, however I gather in some other areas nearby its like the guide lines don't exist. Personally I'm uneasy about easing lockdown the death rate and transmission rate are still far too high.

There’s certainly not been a return of peak traffic levels, certainly I’ve not encountered any congestion as such for some weeks now (apart from a localised gridlock around a Halfords store!). However where I am I’d say things are certainly back to levels one would normally expect on a normal base Saturday daytime (ie with no extra congestion caused by an event), for example.

Likewise outside my house when washing the cars, towards the beginning of the lockdown it was rare for a car to pass. Now one would be getting one or two per minute, which is about normal for daytime. That’s quite an increase when put like that.
 

underbank

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The big issue to ending this is childcare and schooling. Until you can get children back into nurseries and school it is difficult to tell parents they can all go back at work, especially as grandparents may still be in 12 week lock down.

Nothing will have changed by the end of the 12 week lockdown, so it'll inevitable be extended.
 

Belperpete

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Sweden certainly does have benefit of a less dense population, and from experience one more likely to be compliant.
Agreed. As someone who has lived and worked in Sweden, it is false to think that our generally anti-authoritarian population would behave in the same way as the generally compliant, Germanic behaviour of the Swedes. You only have to look at the graphs of transport usage in the UK to see that although numbers undoubtedly fell dramatically when the government issued its guidance, there were still significant numbers travelling until the mandatory lockdown was put in place. Or just look back at all the posters on this forum quoting tracts from the regulations as justification for why they didn't have to follow the guidance.
 

bramling

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Nothing will have changed by the end of the 12 week lockdown, so it'll inevitable be extended.

I do think this is absolutely central. Release lockdown when too many people don’t have gainful occupation and it will cause total mayhem. The ideal way to release it is for people to gently slide back into work and school. Unfortunately that is seeming to prove very much easier said than done.
 

bramling

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Agreed. As someone who has lived and worked in Sweden, it is false to think that our generally anti-authoritarian population would behave in the same way as the generally compliant, Germanic behaviour of the Swedes. You only have to look at the graphs of transport usage in the UK to see that although numbers undoubtedly fell dramatically when the government issued its guidance, there were still significant numbers travelling until the mandatory lockdown was put in place. Or just look back at all the posters on this forum quoting tracts from the regulations as justification for why they didn't have to follow the guidance.

Agreed. I’d also tentatively add to that possibly more respect for older people. Here it sadly wasn’t uncommon to hear people expressing the view “stuff it, who cares as long as it’s *only* old people dying”.
 

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Agreed. I’d also tentatively add to that possibly more respect for older people. Here it sadly wasn’t uncommon to hear people expressing the view “stuff it, who cares as long as it’s *only* old people dying”.
You mean here, as on these forums?
 

Bantamzen

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I do think the UK is sailing into some very unsettling territory. The daily death rate is too high and although there is a steady decline in cases, the problem is that the virus is running rampent across care homes.

Realistically, the UK needs to hold back until the death rate falls to considerable daily number. For example, getting the daily death rate below 100 a day for at least a fortnight before relaxing certain things. However, judging how the figures are showing - we could be waiting until July or August to get these daily figures right down. I do reckon that sadly, the death rate will pass 40,000 at some stage in coming weeks.

The problem is the economy DOES need to be protected. The hospitality industry (pubs & restaurants) will be completely shattered beyond repair and businesses working around health & fitness (gyms, health spa's) may never reopen.

As I've said mental health is now becoming an ever growing problem with people experiencing problems such as social isolation and alcohol dependancy has increased due to people spending alot of confinement drinking heavily. These types of issues will become just as much an epidemic as the virus itself.

I am finding that more people I speak to are now of the opinion - 'I would much rather carry on with life normally and run the risk of getting the virus than being left with no income or quality of life'. It does potentially feel that this attitude is a selfish one but more & more people are starting to get impatient about so much hardship being inflicted by a virus that is just like get flu symptoms for most people.

CJ

In an ideal world we would just sit back and wait for the infection & death rates to fall to a minimum. Sadly the world is not ideal, and as you point out we have no choice but to protect the economy, because it is central to protecting the essential services like the NHS as well as being essential for our collective wellbeing. The recent BBC report on how people are literally running out of money in Southern Italy should serve as a start warning to all those expecting and/or wanting a long lockdown. Speech is free, food, energy & housing most certainly is not.

What I am seeing within my own social networks & media feeds is a real polarisation into those that think a long lockdown is essential, and those that think its time to start moving again whilst getting the help to those that need it. Interestingly most of the people I know that support a long lockdown are also people that can either work from home, or who don't need to work, whereas those wanting to get things started are those that are now really starting to feel the strain. I count myself very much in the latter category, whilst I can work from home and do, my wife is self-employed and has self-furloughed for the last 7 weeks without any income. This is starting to bite, and although the government have promised help for self employed workers that is still very much a month and more away. And of course even if we do get some return on that, it doesn't compensate any loss of future business as a result of an economic downturn. This is the stark reality facing many businesses, some have already called it a day. The recent forecast of a 14% downturn in the economy was for me way more worrying than the virus.

More worrying still is how this polarisation is starting to cause arguments and divisions. There is definitely an element from some lockdown activists of righteousness and some are taking it upon themselves to "enforce" the lockdown message by shaming anyone they think is a lockdown cynic or breaching their interpretation of it. For example a couple of weeks ago I posted some pictures I had taken along the walk my wife and I did. One or two "friends" went straight into attack mode, calling us irresponsible for heading out into the countryside and putting the lives of nurses at risk. All this was despite the fact that the walk was along the river which is literally a 5 minute walk from our house, and that in the entire time we passed (at a distance) just 2 other couples. I seriously worry about the atmosphere when things do start to relax, are we going to see even more anger & angst as a nation tears itself apart because the government tried to shame us all into hiding in our homes?

I honestly fear for the future.
 

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You mean here, as on these forums?

I meant in the country in general, although I certainly wouldn’t rule out the sentiment having appeared in this forum occasionally as well (although to be fair it has generally tended to be justified as part of a bigger picture).
 

js1000

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How do you then stop the under-40s spreading it to those who are more susceptible?

Such an approach *should* be quite possible, however pre-lockdown I distinctly remember seeing various reports on the news where younger people were interviewed and the basic gist was “who cares, why should I modify my behaviour to protect old people?”

Boris tried a voluntary lockdown, and we saw on our TV screens the result of that.
But contact between the under 40s and over 40s will be near to none existent for a period of 3 months let's say. As I say in my original post, those in the 18-40 age range who live alome or someone in the same age cohort should be allowed to physically go to work and socialise with others in their age cohort.

The reality is millions of working age will not have a job after the lockdown/furlough scheme. Everyone seems completely and utterly blinkered as to the economic damage this will unleash. It's all about protecting a few thousand vulnerable people - not the socio-economic well-being of the other 65 million people.

It's madness. We need the GDP and unemployment figures ASAP. Then the tenet of the debate will thankfully change from one fuelled by media scaremongering (i.e. death) to one of balanced pragmatism (i.e. mitigating economic destitution).

Meantime in six months time in Sweden they'll be laughing.
 

bramling

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But contact between the under 40s and over 40s will be near to none existent for a period of 3 months let's say. As I say in my original post, those in the 18-40 age range who live alome or someone in the same age cohort should be allowed to physically go to work and socialise with others in their age cohort.

The reality is millions of working age will not have a job after the lockdown/furlough scheme. Everyone seems completely and utterly blinkered as to the economic damage this will unleash. It's all about protecting a few thousand vulnerable people - not the socio-economic well-being of the other 65 million people.

It's madness. We need the GDP and unemployment figures ASAP. Then the tenet of the debate will thankfully change from one fuelled by media scaremongering (i.e. death) to one of balanced pragmatism (i.e. mitigating economic destitution).

Meantime in six months time in Sweden they'll be laughing.

I just don’t think under 40 / over 40 split could work. It simply wouldn’t work in my household and wouldn’t work in my workplace, and if that’s any way typical (and I’ve no reason to believe it isn’t) then that pretty much puts the dampener on it straight away.

I agree the economic damage is going to be catastrophic, and I think the BOE is being extremely optimistic suggesting there would be a quick bounce back. I can’t see how there could be, not least because of the amount of debt currently being built up. I bet a fair few credit cards were maxed out just on the panic buying.
 
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