The Lockdown That Is Not

The “End of Freedom” bellows The Daily Telegraph, and yet personal responsibility is the real limit here not what Boris Johnson says.

Allowed out to get essentials like food and medicine (infrequently as possible) and out once a day for exercise seems at odds with work for non key sectors. Working premises not closed employees can go to work while keeping two metres apart from others. Despite being called a national emergency the onus is still on people to act responsibly rather than state coercion.

The moral hazard is clear: when people do not take the threat to themselves seriously it will be of even little consequence the impact of their behaviour on others they care little for. That should concern us all, as we see people on crowded tubes still, and people told to go into work by employers despite not being key workers. The virus will still have plenty of opportunity to spread quickly along commuter routes key workers, including health care workers, depend on.

As mentioned in the previous post, as a caregiver I am self isolating with my asthmatic brother with severe learning difficulties and 72 year old mother. The hair cuts are still nice and short we had the foresight to get weeks ago. However the online grocery deliveries are now gone till mid April, last one comes tomorrow. Through a shut door going to ask if they can note we cannot go shopping, in case there is a priority service down the line. There is talk of the army delivering parcels for people in our situation.

Social isolating is about keeping the two people I love most in the world safe as I can as I look after them. I appreciate others cannot be with their loved ones now. In our own ways we will do what we can to keep our households and families safe.

It is all very well bemoaning people stockpiling essentials, but fears of a lockdown and difficulty getting essentials as people go sick (supply chain and doing the weekly shop) as the virus spreads are rational fears which make the situation worse. Limiting what people could purchase came far too late at supermarkets.

Online you can see plenty of TED talks and other lectures going back ten years warning a pandemic would happen. The need at the local authority level to know what to do, let alone at central government. Nothing compares to when a pandemic hits whatever the planning, and armchair experts having listened to some internet lectures can ask questions and scrutinise those making the decisions but perhaps are not best qualified to take over from them.

Keep your seat and do not add to the panic like saying the Clinical Frailty Scale means young people with learning difficulties will not get critical care treatment. The guidance says it is not validated for them, and is applicable to those aged over 65. I did my best to post that to people concerned on Twitter when the scaremongering was done. Social media will have the ill informed sharing their worries, concerns as much as their incompetence and unwillingness to research before speaking out.

The honest answer is if you watched the film “Contagion”, read the news about SARS, swine flu and bird flu, and did not speak out demanding of your local authority and MP what are you doing to be prepared for a pandemic, then as citizens we have a culpability too in all this. We were told to be worried by experts, and prepare, ages ago.

The only thing we can do now is take the advice given seriously. I do recommend the World Health Organisation not just relying on the UK government advice.

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