Opportunity for comment

I usually allow comments on almost all posts on this blog and usually allow them to stay up even if I strongly agree with them.

I didn't think that was appropriate on the last three posts because of their nature, although I did seriously consider trying to allow only signed comments rather than blocking all comments.

The reason for this is perhaps best captured by what the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard, tweeted about the questions at last night's No 10 press conference:

He tweeted that "This press conference is unbearable. The 100,000 death figure is appalling, of course. But the parade of questions seeking to apportion personal blame to the PM and those working with him is a truly foul spectacle."

If you've got something constructive to say about how we can learn from these terrible events, of have any other constructive point to make, please feel free to post it in the comments  below.

If you want to use a hundred thousand deaths to score a cheap point, please go away and grow up.

No government anywhere in the world has handled this perfectly. As a crowded island which is very exposed to international contact with a large elderly population which has a significant proportion of the population with weight problems and other pre-existing health conditions of the kind which we now know to be particular risk factors, the UK has been particularly vulnerable and I think we need to make sure our planning for any future pandemics must reflect this. 

We should also recognise that those countries which did their pandemic planning based on models for diseases similar to SARS have done better than those whose pandemic planning used Flu as a template and plan on the future to be able to cope with arrange of diseases including those similar to each and similar to neither.

Did it have to be this way? 

No, it could have been worse.

We will never know for certain what would have happened, had different policies been followed, but I suspect that if the government had acted on the advice of those who oppose all lockdowns, we might very well have had a quarter of a million extra premature deaths by now, or even more, instead of a hundred thousand. 

On the other hand, had the government followed the advice of those on the opposite pole of the argument who, as Christopher Snowdon put it in the article I linked to on 17th January, "would have had us in lockdown all year if they'd had the chance"  we might possibly have reduced the number of COVID-19 deaths but would have an even more badly devastated economy and even worse damage to the health and wellbeing from the effects of that and from the harm done by the lockdowns themselves. 

There are are just no easy answers.


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