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Does lockdown create more problems than it solves?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by littlejackhorner, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner Senior commenter

    There seems to be some disagreement amongst politicians, scientists and economists about the best way forward. I accept that this is a very infectious and for some serious disease. However, I am beginning to wonder whether the consequences of all of the restrictions are far more serious than the impact of Covid. The damage to our economy is immense and if we have further lockdowns it will be even worse. Many people are going to lose their jobs and possibly homes which will have significant impact on health for these families. We need a functioning economy to pay for the NHS, schools, police etc and support for those who need it. With continuous lockdowns the things we take for granted could become unsustainable.
    We hope for a vaccine but what do we do if we can't find one that works? Do we live the rest of our lives in rounds of lockdowns and easing of restrictions? How on earth can any economy function under this regime?
    I do believe this government has made mistakes in handling the crisis but most other countries seem to be experiencing the same problems we are.
    I also think we can't use New Zealand as an example. They have basically cut themselves off from the rest of the world and at some point they will have to ease things and the virus will make its way into the community.
    I understand that it is a scary time. I am scared myself but am beginning to be more fearful about the economy than the virus. I'm interested to hear others views.
    Nellyfuf2 and smoothnewt like this.
  2. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    There is very little disagreement among scientists about the best way forward.

    They advocate suppression of the virus to very low levels, effective testing and tracing, and tight control of borders. This allows a speedier return to business as normal than other approaches.

    Not suppressing the virus means you end up where we are now - in a bad place. If we do less than last time, then cases will rise again, people will become ill, hospitals will fill and people will die. There will be numerous additional effects as the NHS becomes stretched and other treatments suffer as a result. The economy will tank again as business have to close and people, quite sensibly, restrict their movement and interactions.

    Maybe we have learnt the lessons from the last six months, but I seriously doubt it. If you are concerned about either health or wealth, then lobby your MP for the approach described above.
    anotherauntsally and phlogiston like this.
  3. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    Seeing those poor first-year students being guarded by security and police was the tippimg point for me. It's hard to express a n opinion like yours without being accused of heartlessness, stupidity or worse.
    LondonCanary likes this.
  4. nervousned

    nervousned Lead commenter

    If the virus is allowed to spread then the economy will be damaged anyway. Sweden's economic damage was similar to the other Scandinavian countries that locked down stronger.

    What is damaging the economy is a slapdash approach to measures and a track and trace system that is inadequate. Whether we lockdown as a result or not, the economy will be damaged through changing consumer behaviour and lost economic output due to outbreaks.

    How is Italy doing so much better than us, considering how badly they were hit initially?
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Our Government has lost the art of political debate. Most of the "debates" we hear about seem to be from entrenched battle positions with little chance of an MP thinking, reflecting or changing their minds.
    Until a vaccine is developed, it seems that "circuit breaking" lockdowns may be the best way to restrict the spread of the virus. We also need to find different ways of working. I sympathise with the fresher who asked why she was in Glasgow when she could have done all the studying at home.
    I don't know the answer. We can't let the economy fail, but there is no point in an economy that spreads disease.
  6. modelmaker

    modelmaker Star commenter

  7. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner Senior commenter

    I'm not suggesting that no measures should be in place to keep virus rates reasonably low and I'm sorry if my post suggested that. The problem with extreme suppression is that as soon as things ease the virus spreads again and we cannot afford to have continuous periods of lockdown when levels get too high.
    I'm also not trying to point to any particular way forward, simply that the focus has to be on both health and economy as they are so interlinked.
    I feel very sorry for the students. It's a horrendous start to what should be an exciting time for them. I have no idea what should be done. Should university be cancelled due to Covid? We could have to live with this virus for many years. How on earth are we to do that ensuring we can still afford to have the benefits and services we take for granted?
    smoothnewt and nizebaby like this.
  8. lunarita

    lunarita Lead commenter

    In terms of education, the quality of what I was able to offer my students was better, by far, during lockdown than it is now.
    I sympathise with those students who find themselves far from home and studying online anyway.
    nervousned and Scintillant like this.
  9. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Lead commenter

    No, lock down does not cause more problems than it solves.

    This virus is an unknown

    We cannot predict what it might or might not do in the future, every single transmission opens up further unknowns.

    We have to cut transmissions as far as is possible.

    Otherwise, the damage to the population in terms of disability and deaths is potentially unlimited.
    Catgirl1964 and Scintillant like this.
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    No, that's incorrect. The virus will be at very low levels, meaning that some restrictions can be lifted safely.

    Then we need to properly suppress the virus. If we do not, then we are doomed to repeat failure. We cannot let the virus move through the population as that will result in a worse and more costly situation, with added chaos and deaths.
  11. elder_cat

    elder_cat Lead commenter

    IMO this sums up the core problem. We still think we can live 'normally' or as close to what we used to call 'normal' as we can get. Unfortunately, doing that requires a safe, effective, vaccine. Something we don't have, although everyone seems to think it's only a matter of time before we get one.

    If we do then that's the problem sorted. But if we don't, then we have some serious soul searching to do, in terms of what we are prepared to accept as 'normal', and all the changes that necessitates in our lifestyle, pleasant or otherwise.
    littlejackhorner likes this.
  12. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner Senior commenter

    Sadly you may well be right if a vaccine doesn't happen then we have to accept a way of living with far higher taxes and far less of the things we take for granted.
    Let's hope that the vaccine trials are successful.
  13. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner Senior commenter

    It is great to hear different opinions on my original post. Probably only time will tell what the best way forward should have been. Also best way forward may well need to be different for individual countries.
    I do think debate on this issue is really important and I was heartened to read about the 1922 committee trying to ensure commons debates on future changes. Any future restrictions or otherwise need full scrutiny, rather than just being decided by a small group of cabinet ministers.
    smoothnewt likes this.
  14. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    I still don't know what lockdown actually means or if it means different things to different people.
    christubbs likes this.
  15. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    If infections can be reduced to very low levels and there is excellent track and trace then small outbreaks can be fought more easily.
  16. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Well, it's pretty clear so far. You sound like you don't want to accept it.

    They wish to be able to vote on proposed restrictions. In effect that means vote them down. That will result in exactly what you don't want to see. The issue has been debated by experts for a very long time. And they have reached a conclusion. It has been explained in the htread.
  17. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Agree with OP.
    I will not be so scared of dying (which is inevitable) that I am too scared to live.
    Wash hands. Wear masks. Shield if you want/need to.
    Otherwise use common sense and get on with life.
    This is not living.
    lizgaskell, Nellyfuf2 and oldmoney like this.
  18. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Lead commenter

    many different generations have gone through periods of "not living" in order to protect society for the future.

    Now its our turn
  19. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    A selfish and unscientific approach. It will result in an overrun NHS, many deaths, a further damaged economy, and increased chaos.

    You are not being asked to do much that is onerous to help your fellow citizens, and to support our health workers, who died in disproportionate numbers in the the spring. And don't forget us teachers who are working in full schools with no PPE at all.

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    We can't have lockdown without consequences. Hopefully, it will lead to a reduction in the spread of the virus, obviously.

    But there are other consequences - economic for the nation as a whole of course. And also on a personal level, many individuals will suffer from any combination of financial insecurity, poverty, isolation, homelessness, mental health problems, educational deprivation and the downgrading and delays to treatment of existing serious health conditions.

    There is no easy way.
    BelleDuJour and littlejackhorner like this.

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