Comment: the Covid 19 shutdown for business was a pointless over reaction creating a needless recession – what was the point?

Comment: the Covid 19 shutdown for business was a pointless over reaction creating a needless recession – what was the point?

A worldwide hysteria over the Covid-19 pandemic has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and even more businesses. Sweden did not shut down businesses as the UK did and has a lower death rate per million than us, Spain and Italy who all imposed crippling restrictions on civic and economic life. So what was the point?

I’ve said from the beginning there has been a collective panic in Government circles over the pandemic across the globe. Yes the NHS was not overwhelmed but the care homes of this country were decimated so the Government can take no credit but have questions to answer over tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths amongst the elderly. And for those who feel they were expendable the elderly have paid their taxes and worked hard all their lives and deserve as much care as a prime minister in an intensive care unit.

Health time bomb

The lock down has created domestic violence, suicides, murders and a mental health pandemic – plus thousands of people have missed their cancer scans, heart ops, dental appointments – let alone a generation of children missing six months of education. It simply wasn’t needed. Sweden’s Public Health Authority decided common sense and the civic duty of social distancing would be enough. It was not a carry on as before policy as bars only served out doors and there were queues of shoppers spaced 1m apart. It meant their economy largely avoided the economic collapse the UK has experienced. If we had taken that route we would have had virtually the same number of deaths as we have experienced with the lock down – except we now have many more problems on top of Covid-19.

Opportunity missed

There was and is only one solution (until a jab has been created) and that is to live with it. Covid-19 will return at some stage – just like flu. By unlocking much of the economy this week the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has effectively admitted the lock down didn’t work -and he should have gone a lot further. It was an opportunity missed because as adults we can all make out own risk assessments – especially in business. In The Times this single sentence sums up the ludicrous situation we find ourselves in as restrictions are lifted: ‘Britons will be able to go on holiday within a fortnight as the government prepares to allow trips in the UK and travel to up to ten approved countries. People from two households will be able to meet indoors as long as they maintain social distancing.‘

We have to live with Covid-19

There are just as many deaths now as there were in March when the draconian rules were introduced. Following the Dominic Cummings Barnard Castle affair much of the British public gave up on the restrictions anyway and the police in most instances admitted they were impossible to impose.

The result is the Government will have forked out £337bn to fund the crisis (according to their own leaked report), April’s monthly GDP was down 20% compared to 1% down at the height of the Credit Crunch in 2008, there are at least 600,000 permanent job losses (and probably far more eventually), 51,000 businesses went bust in March alone and then there’s the cost of the countless numbers of renters and home owners who will lose their homes once the Government’s support schemes ends. It was not worth it.

Ian Carrotte

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