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How do we get out of lockdown?

A piece to think about and I welcome discussion…I will post comments here….

This is the week that we hope will be the peak in the daily number of infections. And if you have been following the chart below which I post daily you will see that the number of new cases bay by day has followed Italy’s remarkably closely. If it continues to do so, the peak in new cases will be reached this week. However, although this MIGHT be peak week, no-one knows what the number of new cases will be day to day in future. All experts agree that there will be a long term background number of new cases, but we can’t stay in lockdown forever, so, how do we move forward? How do we get the country back to work?

I have been reading a lot over the week articles in the papers discussing how long this lockdown will last, and when will we be able to resume normal life and it seems clear to me that:

  • At present there is no way of completely stopping a virus that is highly infections before symptoms show.
  • The purpose of the current Lockdown is to reduce the number of cases to a level that the NHS are able to handle.
  • Any possible vaccine is up to 12 – 18 months away even if they found one tomorrow.
  • The country cannot stay is “Stasis” for 12 – 18 months.
  • For “Herd Immunity” to work you need around 90% of the population to have had the virus.
  • The UK population is 66 Million and 90% is about 60 Million. By the end of next week probably 100,000 people in the UK will have had it and the UK Gov thinks probably a further 400,000 will also have had it but will not have shown up in the data. This means by the end of next week less than 1% of the population will have had the virus.
  • China with it’s COMPLETE lockdown still has 30 / 40 cases per day (mostly imported) and South Korea with it’s famed testing program has around 80 / 100 cases per day.

Looking forward..Assumptions and Predictions….

So looking forward, I think we might assume,

  1. Treatment is getting better all the time and better drugs will be found to combat the virus when people are infected.
  2. I have no doubt a vaccine will be eventually found. Just when?
  3. This virus which is now worldwide will be around for years to come.
  4. Travel between countries, and especially this year, and probably next year will be more difficult as you will probably have to prove that you don’t carry or have immunity. Air travel will not recover for some time. Who wants to sit in an aircraft all crowded in together?
  5. The cruise industry will also take some time to recover as it has been have proved that most people were infected by the food served to them.
  6. As better treatment is found, the death rate from Covid-19 will eventually fall in all ages.
  7. Testing will have to become a widespread and normal procedure for all in the coming months.
  8. Social Distancing and higher Cleanliness will have to become the normal, this will result in changes to working habits, practices and routines.
  9. Working from home and Deliveries to home will continue to boom.

My Own Opinion

In the short term, at most a month, somehow, a way must be found to allow the average person to go back to work. This may mean that travel for all will be limited in 2020. We might even be limited in the distance from home we can travel. We might find that only those who can prove that they have antibodies are allowed free access to roam.

Whatever, we cannot wait for herd immunity, as if 5000 per day is the rate that the NHS can handle, and even if that means another 5 are undiscovered, it would take 6/7 years to go through the population.

The UK like other counties cannot keep their population confined to their homes indefinably, as this would cause social unrest. Especially as the temperature warms up in the Summer.

The “Nightingale Hospitals” or similar will be with us for some time as eventually the NHS must re-open for business as normal.

Whatever, our way of life will be changed by COVID-19 for some years to come.

I welcome your own thoughts on the above.

Updated 06/04/2020