BORIS Johnson has a clear choice as he ponders his address to the nation tomorrow about the promised incoming second wave of coronavirus.
We either become a country whose medium term future is totally ruled by this virus, with regular authoritarian lockdowns, the complete decimation of many businesses and the end of international travel as we know it.
Or we avoid a hysterical reaction and put the onus on individual personal responsibility, trusting folk to make sensible decisions within clear parameters, just like the majority of us have for the past six months.
If the scare campaign conducted by Doctor Doomsday Chris Whitty and his equally gloomy sidekick Professor Patrick Vallance this morning offers any indication, it appears the Prime Minister is threatening to support an approach where the cure becomes far worse than the disease.
A hysteria-inducing chart shared by the advisers that is said to have “chilled Downing Street” showed 49,000 new cases of Covid a day in the UK if the virus is allowed to double every seven days.
But as Vallance himself then admitted, this worst case scenario designed to terrify us all again is “not a prediction, but a way of thinking”.
It doesn’t take into account the potential successes of new measures like local lockdowns and curfews.
Besides, the rule of six was only introduced seven days ago. How the hell do we know if it's working yet?
Let me be clear, I’m not for a single second trying to downplay the deadly impact of Covid, especially among those folk who are over 70 or have underlying health conditions.
But another national lockdown will have disastrous economic consequences and cut off the NHS for many suffering with other serious health ailments, including an explosion in mental illness.
A group of eminent scientists and academics point out in an open letter to the Prime Minister today that will include a potential death toll of 60,000 from delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment – far more than the number of people who have died from Covid.
There is a long way to go when it comes to fighting this virus.
I am a firm believer that we must learn to live with it in the same way the Swedes have, not allow everything good and important about our lives to be stripped away bit by bit.
The government should stop these kneejerk measures and avoid unnecessary scaremongering, given that many of our healthy friends and neighbours still remain too terrified to step foot outside their front door.
Otherwise getting through the forthcoming winter of Covid is going to be hell on earth.
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