We urgently need to track down the 44% who don’t agree that the lockdown should have started sooner and isolate them from the sane people. Perhaps they could be used for testing new Covid-19 vaccines. It seems a shame to use animals when there is a ready supply of non-sentient creatures with human-like metabolisms. At least there would be no concerns about brain damage. The brains of those who suppose action wasn’t belated and inadequate could be put in a blender without any noticeable reduction in cognitive capacity. If intelligence was a virus these folk would have natural immunity.
It’s plainly obvious that the response was too little too late! It was a political response to a medical emergency. Which is on a par with calling Sky customer services when you’re having a stroke. Asking politicians to deal with a health crisis makes no more sense than asking the BBC to deal with a complaint. When a potentially massive public health crisis looms you want the first question to be how do we deal with this? Not how do I come out of this looking good or, failing that, at least avoid taking the blame? You want the first thought to be about what is logistically possible. Not what is politically acceptable. You want the main concern to be the headcount in the mortuary. Not the headlines in the tabloids.
No question about the timing or magnitude of the response Covid-19 makes any sense because there is only one sensible answer. The response had to be instant and total. If minimising the impact on the population was the priority, rather than the impact on political careers and party fortunes, then the appropriate response was the response that was always going to be the response that was politically unacceptable. The effectiveness of the response might be gauged from the amount of outrage it provoked.
Immediate and total quarantine is the only way to prevent a pandemic. Every direct contact between two people is an opportunity for the virus to be communicated. An unknowable number of indirect contacts also present an unquantifiable risk. Complete isolation of every infectable individual for a period of perhaps four weeks offers a good chance of stopping the disease becoming pandemic. You don’t have to be an epidemiologist to recognise this. You don’t have to be any kind of scientist. All that’s needed is a functioning intellect.
I can already hear people snorting derisively as they dismiss the foregoing on the grounds that this kind of mass isolation is impossible to achieve. Which totally misses the point. When dealing with something of this nature it is folly to start by asking how little you can get away with doing now with a view to escalating as circumstances demand. The challenge is to get as close as possible to that situation of total quarantine as quickly as possible. This implies a calculation which, like any calculation, is formulated differently depending on who is making the calculation.
Politicians will make a political calculation. Scientists will make a scientific calculation. Economists will make an economic calculation. The public, as a mob, will make a calculation based on inadequate information, dumb prejudice, utter selfishness and TV schedules. That same public, as a mob, then elects the politicians.
Are you beginning to see the problem? The 44% of adults who don’t agree the lockdown should have started sooner nonetheless get to vote.
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