With countries taking all sorts of strategies on tackling the novel Coronavirus, one thing has been consistent across the board, quite radical distancing policies.
No country contained the outbreak better than South-Korea. Limiting there spread to just under 10,000 total cases, they managed to contain it to the Daegu region, with help from their contingency plan and red-tape deregulation’s in the wake of their terrible SARS outbreak, which hit the nation hard.
With debates over, total lockdowns, herd immunity strategies and social distancing policies running rife, there are those that believe that these somewhat draconian measures are worse than the virus itself.
Generally, you will have been (and most probably will continue to) torn to pieces for not being in favour of hard nanny-statist lockdowns. However, as the gravitas of the situation begins to unravel, you can really begin to argue – is it really all worth it?
The economic crunch
The world has been hit horrifically as the global economy grinds to a screeching halt. Focusing on the UK in particular, we’ve seen shocking economic statistics emerge over the passing months.
We have seen unprecedented spikes of over 1 million people, over the course of two weeks, trying to claim universal credit; up some 500% on usual enquiries over that time frame. There’s also some baffling statistics showing that anywhere up to 1-in-4 people will be furloughed as a result of the crunch.
Airlines, transport companies and small businesses have been absolute devastated by the lockdown measures. All of this comes around the same time Rishi Sunak unveiled his plans to inject £350 Billion into an emergency stimulus to keep things running.
But is it enough? Not only do we have to contend with the far-left making nanny-state governments and ‘giving away free stuff’ policies permanent, but we also have to deal with the effects on the people.
You would be crucified if you were to every mention ‘returning to work’. ‘People are dying – and all you care about is money’ they would say – ‘ it’s capitalism run amok!’. But, the state of the economy and jobs availability has a huge impact on people’s lives.
Studies showed that the financial crisis of ‘08 could have contributed to the deaths of 500,000 cancer patients due to cuts. We’ve seen statically how fiscally-restrictive austerity measures affected countries like Greece, Italy and even the UK with increasing suicide rates and stagnating life expectancies all happening because of fiscal measures that we’ve deliberately plunged ourselves into.
Models project that the novel Coronavirus would contribute to the killings of around 20,000 UK, citizens. However we don’t know the devastating cost of being plunged into fiscal austerity, and there are good statistics to say a recession of this magnitude could eclipse the fatalities from Covid-19.
Loneliness and isolation
Total lockdowns separate people and cause misery. Humans are social creatures that require interaction as a fundamental need. The lockdown measures are set to last a minimum of a month for those not at risk, and 13 weeks for those at risk.
Let’s not beat around the bush, both figures are a ridiculous amount of time to be locked up in your own home.
As well as bringing up an interesting discussion on the mental health status of our incarcerated citizens and rethinking state punishments, it will also be extremely detrimental to our population.
The UK has a top heavy population with many folks deemed old or elderly; 18% of the total population to be exact. Considering that the impacts of stress, isolation and loneliness can harm the physical body, causing up to a 30% jump in mortality rate, is subjecting 11.8 million people to this fate really worth it? How many will wither from sheer isolation and depression?
Collapse of the very institution that saved us
Having critiqued the NHS as a system before, there’s not a doubt in anybody’s mind that those working on the frontline are doing an outstanding job.
However because of its nature of government funding and lack of self sufficiency, it may collapse in on itself as the crashed economy may very well mean we cannot offshore the debt in a transaction.
Tony Blair illustrated the point that the country cannot keep taking on endless debt to pay for the healthcare service if the debt isn’t sellable, thus putting millions of jobs of frontline staff and Coronavirus heroes in jeopardy.
It is all well and good to critique our efforts to contain the virus in hindsight; it’s another thing to make bold decisions whilst things are happening. It can be argued the entire globe has reacted in response to flawed models and unreliable data sets. In order to make future decisions promptly, one of our main focuses, along side testing, should be getting data and researching. More information will not only subdue the volatile economy and settle the Dow Jones, but it will allow us to form a plan rather than a play-by-ear strategy.
Were we wrong to lockdown and crash the economy? Not at the time; we didn’t have strong models or data. At the time, it was better to overreact than do not enough. But now we’re getting ever closer to cracking the Covid-code, our next questions should be, when can we alleviate quarantine regulations, when can we get back to work? and how are we going to fix our broken nation on the other side.