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Opinion : Do we need a ‘slowdown’ rather than another ‘lockdown’?

| September 21, 2020

It looks as if the dreaded virus is making a comeback.

Indeed large parts of the country are currently subject to localised lockdown restrictions and headlines are appearing on national newspaper websites that read ‘UK at ‘critical point’ over Covid-19, top scientists to tell public‘ which appear to indicate a resurgence of the virus in society.

Now we hear that the ‘UK could face 50,000 cases of the virus a day by October without action‘. How did things get so out of control?

Yours truly is not an expert when it comes to worldwide pandemics or even pandemic planning but a resurgence of the virus is surely to be expected following the recent attempt to return to what was once normal life with workers returning to the office, schools re-opening, etc….

Of course it’s too late to eradicate the virus completely and sadly it has become part of society.

By now many companies are likely to be getting further and further into financial difficulty, it isn’t just the virus that is impacting the economy rather it’s the measures put in place to contain the virus to a manageable level that are causing problems too.

My good self fears another nationwide lockdown (even if it’s dressed up as a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown) could be on the cards but surely in the intervening months since the last lockdown ended the great and good could have come up with an alternative to another draconian nationwide lockdown?

Rather than a lockdown, why can’t alternative tactics be employed to slow the virus while allowing the economy to tick over again? Surely what the country needs is not a ‘lockdown’ but instead a controlled ‘slowdown’ where permanent measures are put in place that reduce person to person contact?

As an example of my thinking here are some ideas to ‘slowdown’ transmission of the virus :

  • Let some people travel to work in the office while others who work from home where possible on a permanent basis.
  • Force those who do have to travel to work to go by car rather than returning to the buses and trains.
  • Instead of allowing all restaurants and pubs to open let a proportion open on certain days/times and the rest at alternate times.
  • Extend the school day so it fits the working day and reduce the number of days a week schools open so the same amount can be taught but in a more compact way and over fewer days each week.
  • Allow older workers to retire earlier than normal retirement age and take state pension thus removing the older generations who are more susceptible to the effect of the virus from needing to go to work every day so they can stay at home and be safe.

My good self fears it may have been a mistake encouraging a rush to return to the former definition of normality with workers returning to offices, schools opening and restaurants and pubs welcoming customers again.

As a second lockdown beacons it amazes me that the powers that be haven’t ensured that everyone is ‘registered’ with a supermarket so the food supply can be controlled like during the Second World War. Indeed my good self also hopes there isn’t another rush on the shops resulting in empty shelves and shortages of toilet paper if a second lockdown in implemented.

My good self is flabbergasted that the great minds of the country haven’t worked out how to keep the virus under control while allowing the economy to re-open safely and continually albeit in a limited manner over the winter months and into next year.

What do you think?

My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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