Covid risks are not new
Covid risks have been around since early 2020 or earlier if you count cases occurring abroad. People have been managing them in various ways.
- Social distancing.
- Avoiding crowds
and more recently – masks.
And the government and the NHS have been managing them too through legislation and advice.
- closing certain venues and events.
- restrictions on international travel.
and increasingly – vaccination and potentially – vaccine passports .
I have commented before about ‘Freedom Day’.
Covid risks have reduced
The above measures have at last had some effect. Vaccination is probably the most effective, and since ‘Freedom Day’ the government has been relying primarily on the ongoing vaccination programme. Some say this is putting all their eggs in one basket as the risks – and the virus – have not gone away.
Most other countries, even those which now have higher vaccination rates than the UK – have retained a number of risk-reduction measures and claim that is why they have lower infection rates than the UK.
What are the Covid risks?
Covid affects different people differently. It may cause:
- No apparent symptoms – but you can infect others/
- Mild flu-like illness.
- More serious illness requiring hospitalisation.
- Long-term damage to your respiratory system and/or to your heart.
What about the risks to our freedoms?
I agree with many people that the authorities have often applied the rules of lockdown too vigorously as well as inconsistently. However, others object to almost any restrictions. Is that reasonable? The Road Traffic Acts restrict our freedom to drive as fast as we like and require us to observe lots of rules. Would it be ‘Freedom Day’ if they were repealed? Are we not freer to use the roads because most people comply with the rules than we would be if there were no rules?
What about common sense?
The prime minister says we should be guided by our common sense and wear masks and keep social distancing where we see it as appropriate. The trouble with that is that we don’t all have the same common sense (it’s not common to everyone) and at risk by my foolishness can put you at risk. In the same way, if we relied on common sense rather than the Road Traffic Acts, your careful driving would not protect you fully against my recklessness.
What about the economy?
The experience of other countries shows that stricter controls do not damage the economy more than fewer controls. This could be because deaths and sickness from Covid damage the economy too. Some measures, such as masks, sanitisation and better ventilation would not affect the economy at all. Social distancing would affect some sectors more than others. I have written before about working from home and I recognise that it is not possible for some, is impractical for others and and option to be considered for others. Some businesses have found productivity increasing when they allowed working from home. The reduction in traffic, congestion and pollution would be another set of benefits.
What can you do about the Covid risk?
If the government leaves things as they are, I appeal to everyone to manage the risks by implementing such measures as they can especially in crowded places. Let’s consider each other and not add to the risks.