A “National day of reflection” is to be held on the 23rd March to remember the 125,000 people in the UK, who have died with coronavirus during the out-break. It is strange that, when this episode is constantly being referred to as a war, we are thinking of remembrance before the battle is ended and when victory is not yet secured or even in sight. Still, anytime is a good time to reflect.
So let us reflect on the lives that we have not been able to save. Let us reflect on all the other lives we have lost over this year, the deaths to accidents, to cancer and heart disease, to murder and suicide. Let us reflect on the women who have died at the hands of men. Let us reflect on the lives we have cancelled before they were even born, who have no names that we can recite. Let us reflect on the lives lost to our dalliance with narcotics. Let us reflect on the suicides we have assisted and helped by designating these last journeys as essential.
Let us reflect on why we abandoned the DHSSPS’s (2011) common sense and proportionate plan to prepare for a pandemic in favour of an untried mass experiment with people’s lives. Let is reflect on why the lessons from Exercise Cygnus in 2016 were never learned.
Let us reflect on the fear we have propagated and the hope that we have extinguished
Let is reflect on the harms that we have triggered and inadvertently caused by our asinine restrictions, our incompetence and our bungling micro mismanagement:
- slowing of baby’s development without essential and natural human contact,
- incarcerating disabled children without formal education,
- stunting children’s learning with the loss of a year in a critical time in their lives,
- damaging the tender lives of fostered children, the babies taken from their mothers at birth and trapped without human contact other than a carer for months on end,
- aggravating mental health of the population in general, but the young, the single and the isolated in particular,
- denying essential medical treatment and early diagnosis of those with serious health conditions,
- depriving people of the dignity of work and the dark spectre of unemployment,
- de-motivating workers by paying them to stay at home and do nothing,
- robbing young people’s right to associate with their peers, make friends and find life partners,
- taking away the health-giving benefits of playing sport, singing together, joining bands, clubs, sharing in worship and all the natural social interactions that make life meaningful,
- spawning suspicion of our neighbour,
- undoing long established community spirit,
- starving the preciousness of face-to-face contact,
- condemning old people isolated and confused to die lonely deaths in care homes,
- destroying businesses and livelihoods with the prospect of a collapsed economy and a third world country status,
- pushing back on the advances made in the environment, with the wrecking of public transport systems and the dumping mountains of PPE in land fill sites,
- suppressing legitimate dissent and protest,
- surrendering our freedom.
Let us reflect and consider if all that was worth it.
There’s a common error in there. The cost benefit calculation surely would have on one side the potential loss of life if the virus had not been restrained, rather than the actual deaths.
I suppose that would be in the answer to my question “was it worth it?” We don’t know what the potential loss might have been. No one can say how many, if any, deaths were saved, at all, by the intervention. It can surely only be speculation?
Are you sure the virus was restrained? I think the view that it just ran its course, irrespective of what action was taken, is a credible one. My own view is that the intervention may have slowed its progress but it made up for lost time and I suspect it will do the same again until it finally runs out of steam.
There’s no evidence lockdowns have a significant effect in reducing deaths, as comparative data shows quite clearly, of those US states and countries which did lock down and those which did not, or barely did. There’s a lot of research showing this to be the case.
The most likely reason is that unless literally everyone is forced to stay at home, then there will be transmission and therefore illness and deaths to the same extent as if we hadn’t locked down. Lockdown restrictions are not directly related to the number of deaths.
So locking down gives us the worst of both worlds: serious negative consequences for jobs, businesses, government debt, physical and mental health, liberty, etc., while not reducing deaths. Or only doing so to a marginal degree, with the number saved outweighed by those who it’s known will die from the coming recession, and now very long NHS waiting lists.
Thanks, Mr Mackenzie, for this post.
Hmm, I think that is false. See https://www.nihr.ac.uk/news/large-scale-lockdowns-in-europe-saved-millions-of-lives/25046