In my previous post I made it clear that I was concerned about the UK government’s initial strategy for dealing with the pandemic. I am relieved that wiser counsel has prevailed, and that serious steps are being advised to limit person-to-person contact, and to increase testing.
The government’s senior scientific adviser has told the Select Committee that estimated additional deaths under the previous regime could be as high as 160,000, with which the NHS could not cope, and which I am certain the British public would have found unacceptable. I have seen higher figures quoted, but I see no point in repeating them here; goodness knows 160,000 is an appallingly high figure in any case.
He hopes that the new measures and advice will help to contain the number of additional deaths to around 20,000. That’s a lot, in terms of human suffering and loss, I know, but the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.
The social and financial consequences of the new measures will result in changes that none of us can foresee at the moment. In the short term, it’s catastrophic for whole swathes of our society, and life-changing for those who will lose their livelihoods. There will be far too many in that situation.