Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is a potential end game to the UK’s Coronavirus lockdown, but to do this we need to understand how the UK Governments lockdown is working, what effect it has had and importantly if any weaknesses or inherent risks exist within the current system of lockdown. To do this, let’s look at it in a different way! (Time to get creative!).
If we think of the current UK COVID-19 lockdown as a gigantic hydroelectric dam, and look at Coronavirus (also known as COVID 19) as the water the dam both holds back, and lets through to power its turbines.
A Hydroelectric dam works by blocking the flow of a body of water, flooding the area behind it while only letting enough water through to power the turbines in the dam. Before this metaphorical dam was in place the average daily spread of Coronavirus was around 20-25% new cases a day, while in the 2 and a bit weeks since the Lockdown has been in place, the average amount of new cases we see daily has dropped to around 9-10% more cases on average every day.
Using this metaphor and knowing that the lockdown-dam has drastically slowed the spread of the virus, we now have to look at where the continued daily rise of 9% new cases. Let’s think of the daily new cases, as the water that is allowed through the dam, to keep the turbines flowing.
What Government has done with their lockdown, was to control the flow of cases coming through their COVID-19 dam down to a point where it will never be too much for the NHS.
The NHS is one of the UK’s largest employer and also the employer who has the most direct contact with Coronavirus, as it workforce contains the doctors, nurses and everyone else who works in the hospitals at the ‘front line’ of the pandemic. As well as the many (awesome) NHS staff, we have over (awesome) 150000 posties, and millions of other )equally awesome) keyworkers who are still active in society, keeping everything running.
At this moment, it is still heavily reported that the NHS, care workers and those who are in contact with the virus simply are not receiving the correct PPE to protect them, an issue horrifically illustrated by the death of Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, who went viral on social media a few weeks ago when raising the same issue with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It was at this point where it becomes apparent, that Government has painted itself into a corner
Now, Lets talk about the weakness of Boris’s lockdown plan…
If Boris Johnson and his Government were to end the UK’s lockdown now, while NHS workers are still not getting the right PPE, keyworkers not being advised to use PPE or cover-up and no real advice for citizens to cover-up while out in public exists, and the lockdown was to be ended, the result would be a torrent of new cases, which will bring a lot more death, easily exceeding the current depressing record of 938 (reported) deaths in a 24 hour period. In this scenario, there would be literally nothing stopping the spread of Coronavirus from exponentially growing out of control other than attempts at social distancing and hand-washing!
If the lockdown were to end right now, on the 10th of April 2020, there would be literally nothing to hold back the spread of Coronavirus, and the torrent of cases would be too much and the dam would be rendered obsolete. (Which is a nightmare scenario for the NHS).
So, we have to ask when exactly should the lockdown end? What exactly can Government do to safely end the UK’s Lockdown?
If the UK Government want to stop the spread of Coronavirus, and eliminate it from the UK’s islands, not only will have to keep the metaphorical lockdown-dam in place, but they also have to stop the trickle of new cases which stems from those people still active, keeping society running and essentially, providing healthcare for us all.
If the UK Government want to get the UK to a point where it can safely end the lockdown, in reality all they need to do is to follow the WHO’s guidelines, we need to make sure that ALL our healthcare and caseworkers are provided with the correct PPE, and plenty of it. (worry about costs later, once we have protected as many people as we can).
We also need to make sure that ALL keyworkers, which include the thousands of posties and supermarket staff, manual workers, SIA’s and more who all, much like the NHS workers, are in potential direct contact with COVID-19. Again, businesses should not be sparing any expense on this as if they have any respect their workers, they should be protecting their health.
If we really want to do everything we can to stop Coronavirus, us, the public need to go the extra step and take ownership of this. I believe, that people in the UK should adopt the advice Americas CDC (Centers for disease control and prevention), and start to use cloth coverings of some sort to protect ourselves while out in public, leaving the medical-grade masks for those who need them in the healthcare profession.
The lack of mass testing and contact tracing is also a big problem in the UK’s fight against Coronavirus, as without the testing and tracing, we have no idea of who is carrying the virus, who is spreading the virus, and who should be taken out of society to keep us all safe! The only way we can get rid of coronavirus is to find the cases and isolate them from the rest of the nation. (I am not wasting time talking about the ‘antibody’ tests as they are retroactive and cannot be used to stop the virus from spreading).
In closing, Boris Johnson, UK Government and the Department of Health have well and truly painted themselves into a corner in their dealing with COVID-19. By slowing down the spread of Coronavirus cases to the (large) trickle we see now, but not doing enough to supply the proper PPE to everyone who needs it, and by not rolling out any real mass testing and contact tracing programs
If the UK’s lockdown is ended now then we will see a torrent of new cases and thousands more COVID-19 deaths, while currently, the only alternative that seems viable while British society is being told to widely ignore PPE by Government and no mass-testing is being done, is to keep us locked up for an indeterminate amount of time, while the Governments disturbing ‘herd immunity’ plan slowly plays out, which has been forecast by Governments experts to lead to over 200000 deaths*!
(*Byline Times Nafeez Ahmed reported yesterday on a leaked home office conference call recording, which spoke about the Governments ‘herd immunity’ plan, to allow Coronavirus to slowly creep its way through society, leading to over 200k deaths – Click here to read the article! )
Every day we are locked up, is another day we have the time to investigate and learn why we are being kept in house arrest and just how many mistakes, missteps, and deliberate risk those who are paid to protect us from.
What is clear, is that until Boris Johnson takes action on PPE, face coverings and testing, Government has created one of the largest catch 22 situations history has ever seen! Do they keep people under the current house arrest or do they let people, and the virus, back out?