Saturday, April 04, 2020

Two Weeks of Coronavirus Lock Down - So far

The end of the second week of the lock down brings with it the need to reflect.

The effects on young children being restrained from their normal play outside quite apart from the school closures;  the restrictions on travel whether by train bus or family car are all difficult to determine although the absence of examinations for older children and undergraduates, is open to serious question.

Especially given the construction of huge new NHS Nightingale hospitals in the UK, the question of whether to lift the  Covid -19 lock down now and allow people to return to work, arises. Sweden of course is the only country which has gone down this route so far and the jury is still out on whether they are being successful.

In the UK the lock down is expected to save lives mainly of people my own age or older. However the lives of many younger people may be dreadfully affected by the lock down and for many the loss of employment despite government assistance. Meanwhile the lives of doctors nurses and other medics are being put at risk. 

Furthermore though I am no medic, can it be said with any certainty that another phase of the Covid-19 illness will  not sweep the nation once the current issue has abated sufficiently to end the lock down?

The effects on children of their schools closing and huge lock down restrictions, might be with society for years. More suicides and divorces may follow not to mention further unemployment, as well as income tax increases for those fortunate enough to have work.

I am no moral theologian nor medical adviser, so making the decision thankfully does not fall to me but could it not be better to end the lock down now and look for what may be called "herd" immunity, which apparently will arise once some 70% of the population have had the virus and recovered? 

I am trying to recall biblical themes about this;"Inside the Vatican" reports:

...by the intercession of Abraham, Sodom can be saved if in it are found just 10 innocent. This is the power of prayer

Unfortunately that part of the biblical book of Genesis, provides no answer to the question asked above, as the issue of guilt or innocence is surely inapplicable to coronavirus. 

We are all in this together and people ,  whether  good or not so good, inflicted by Covid -19, are not being deliberately inflicted with the virus.

Lifting all the restrictions and opting again for herd immunity, might in the long run save more from being hurt, provide better support for young adults and children, limit unemployment and the huge wave of government expenditure that some one some day will have to pay for. Whether more will die if all restrictions are lifted may depend partly on the length of the period over which deaths are measured and upon the future decisions as to what deaths may be attributed to a longer lock down at this stage.

More people my age  might be affected if restrictions are ended now but currently more young are being badly affected and huge unemployment looms  because of the lock down, which is bound adversely to affect the lives of millions for years to come.

I think that lifting all restrictions now might be best but  profound moral guidance on the point may alter that view.

Keep safe.

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