There are so many interesting comments in this thread that it would be exhausting and duplicative to reply to each and every one. So for what’s it worth I’ve replied generically
Living is an exercise in probability
One FB member says he will need to “tolerate the second wave and get it all over and done with once and for all”. I’m not sure how cov can be defeated by tolerance. Maybe “get it all over and done with” is meant to suggest herd immunity which, let’s face it, means survival of the fittest.
Could it be that is the long term thinking of the government, which is to tackling the link of obesity = diabetes2 = low-immunity? Hard to imagine British government having a vision that extends beyond the next election or indeed into next week.
The implication of such a vision would be to shine a green light on herd immunity. Hopefully the downside of herd immunity won’t place too much pressure on the funeral industry. Good luck with getting the public to come to terms with risk, with the inescapable fact that staying alive means coming to terms with the necessity of judging probability in deciding what to do. Doing nothing is not an option. Even chickens cross the road without much motivation. For me it’s a revelation to discover how timid are the British public.
What is the alternative? One FB member said “If everyone stayed at home for six weeks apart from getting food and dealing with medical things, there would be no second wave as the virus would've died out, with the caveat that the airports should've been completed closed too and port activity heavily restricted”. I love the caveat! How about the caveat of one person happening to catch the virus and unknowingly breathe on another? Here we are again, in Virus Groundhog Day.
Has anyone played with the figures when R>1? Imagine a pinball machine where you are racking up the score as one infected ball hits an island, which expresses its score not just by lighting up but also emitting several infected balls. Each of these infected balls carry on playing dodgems into and around islands, releasing more infectible balls, more than compensating for those balls that rolled downhill and vanished from the board. That’s bad enough if it’s just one ball. Do you really think as long as there is just one pinball hanging around to play dodgems, that putting most of the first wave balls into lockdown is going to wipe out phase 2 mischief-making balls that didn’t lock down? And when several of these mischief-making pinballs are from BAME islands, which are known to discharge at twice the infection rate, it’s time to make sure your will is up to date.
Sweden’s more relaxed or less-paranoid approach, taking probability in their stride, suggests they are willing to settle for herd immunity. Probably they are healthier. As for elderly “loved ones”, maybe Swedes adopt a matter-of-fact philosophical attitude to agedness and mortality, which either makes them rational, cold and heartless or makes us British soppy and sentimental. Sweden now has a rate of infection similar to the UK but it was a much easier ride, less fretful and far less damaging to their society and economy. Time will tell whether Sweden’s infection rate will become seriously higher than the UK’s, whereupon Britain can enjoy a sense of schadenfreude.