8667 forum posts
It's what the virus does next that's important, not individual desires.
In the UK at the moment, things are looking good. Deaths, infections and the R number are all down, the number of infections surprisingly so, hurrah.
But Covid is exceptionally nasty. It spreads easily, a proportion of victims become seriously ill, (intensive care, fatalities, and serious long-term after effects), and it changes rapidly. Like Influenza, Covid looks to become a permanent health risk, probably requiring us to be jabbed anew every year.
That the virus is changing so rapidly around the world concerns me most. Good news in the UK isn't true around the world, or entirely wonderful here either. New variants of Covid detected in India, UK, Brasil, USA, South Africa and elsewhere. As many counties lack the ability to do mass testing or to detect new variants, it is likely there is more unpleasantness to come.
Vaccines target a particular feature and become ineffective when the virus changes. All current Vaccines were about 80% effective when first introduced, but most are only 40 or 50% effective against newer variants, fortunately still rare. And some of these variants are more dangerous to youngsters than what's gone before. There is real fear the Virus will mutate into a version immune to all current vaccines, whilst remaining a serious health risk, or even getting worse. If that happens the world in back to square one, except of course humanity is tooled up to make new vaccines. There are still unknowns.
Keen to restart the economy, UK government made a number of serious mistakes last year by lifting restrictions too soon. In the absence of an effective alternative it's important to keep people apart, wear masks and apply other physical precautions. The virus is spread by people. That's why UK government is proceeding with caution. They will be mindful of what's happening in the USA and Brasil, both countries bottom of the class, and how their poor-performance might relate to unwise Leadership decisions.
What goes on abroad impacts local policy. Failure to manage a pandemic in Ruritania and Shangri-La bites in Nether Cerne. Populations and governments can't afford to let everyone do just as they please. Expect travel restrictions and red-lists for some time to come.
Personal freedoms apart, the consequences also limit lifestyle choices. The NHS has built up a backlog of nearly 5 million treatments, the virus has cost about 300,000 jobs and reduced the UK economy by about 20%, while the government borrowed £355,000,000,000, which has to be paid back. All this effects personal freedom too, but I think wearing a mask and paying more tax is a small price to pay compared with losing your job, even if it does cramp my style. It's not over until the fat lady sings.
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 18/04/2021 12:12:22
|Martin Kyte||18/04/2021 14:46:42|
2751 forum posts
Maybe we should consider what a zero response would look like. Around January we had around 60,000 new cases per day. Lets assume a doubling every week (probably a conservative figure) in an unchecked epidemic. 4 weeks get's you to just shy of a million with hospital resourses totally swamped and built in death rates (assuming treatment) running at 10,000 per day but without treatment much higher than this. 2 weeks later would see 2 million cases per day. The likelyhood of food supply collapse, stoppage of essential services, power outage, no medical supplies and riot will have probably been passed by this time. (If you were a shopworker for example would you go to work at this stage even assuming you were well). Looting will be a fact of life as people scamble for shrinking resourses, police services will be unable to contain unrest, and we shall probably have seen some sort of martial law declared as a state of emergency. Ultimately the breakdown of anything resembling a peacefull society will get swept away. Ultimately as the infection burns itself out those dead of the illness will perhapse only be in single figure percentages but even 4 percent of the country of 50 million comes in at 2 million dead, and they there is the fallout from the chaos.
So far we have contained the infections to a degree that allowed all essential services to keep going, civil society to remain stable and much of industry and business to carry on functioning. Generally life has been peaceable albeit without the freedoms we normally enjoy.
What I would ask people who think like Ady is what do they suggest should have been done to avoid the possibilities of the above scenario instead of what has been done.?
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