The news is now telling us there’s a likelihood of another covid “lockdown”. France has just gone full-on prison camp, and other countries are tightening measures.
Last time we gave them the benefit of the doubt: lockdown might just serve a purpose. But that’s conditional on there being an exit path: without it, lockdown is real pain for illusory gain. Six or seven months ago it seemed somewhat implausible, but evidently the government’s advisors thought otherwise and who was I to argue? At least, beyond reservations expressed in that post, notably:
… if the lockdown proves worse than useless in the longer term – perhaps because return to normality proves impossible without the Herd Immunity of most of the population catching it. But if that happens we’re in good company, with much of the world likely to be in similar trouble.
Now we have experience: “lockdown” failed for lack of an exit strategy. Sweden got it closest to right (at least among European countries) when they introduced more relaxed guidelines that had the effect of lockdown in reducing case numbers but with less damaging side-effects.
Macron appears to have gone mad, repeating an already-failed experiment. Will our own powers-that-be behave more sensibly in this matter? If they lockdown now it’s far worse than in the spring, when we were at least free to go round the supermarket without wearing a germ-incubator. And when indeed it became for some weeks a particularly pleasant experience, with staff and shoppers sharing a “blitz spirit” of cheerful bonhomie.
A question that I’ve wondered about a few times, and raised elsewhere but not on this blog. I’m no historian, but I’ve heard said that Native American populations were devastated by the Common Cold when the arrival of European settlers introduced it. Is this not an interesting historical parallel (bearing in mind that the Common Cold is a generic description for a wide range of lurgies, some of them coronaviruses), and why is noone discussing it? A possible inference is that what makes covid worse than a regular cold is precisely its novelty to our populations.