• Emma Nichols

Covid-19 Coronavirus. Economic vs Medical. What is the real issue?



Paranoia has swept the UK (and the world) in the last few days and toilet rolls are hard to source – really!


I cannot find a facemask for love nor money… better use the toilet rolls for that.


And, as for hand gel. There isn't one that mitigates the threat of Covid-19.


The London Book Fair cancelled its event this week and local events near home for the foreseeable future have all been postponed. Other major venues are predicted to follow that trend. Flights and travel plans are seriously affected, countries are closing their borders (not that some needed an excuse for that) and the bottom has dropped out of the pension pots of billions of people.


But is this just one big conspiracy, or is the threat real?


Yesterday, the British government sat in session all day discussing the problem, and predicted the following worst-case scenario:


  • 80% of the UK’s 66 million population will contract Covid-19

  • 1% of those who contract Covid-19 will die.

  • 500,000 deaths in the UK


Whilst this number of predicted deaths is a big monetary value for most of us, as a proportion of the population 1% is a tiny number. But it’s easy to say the risk is low in the cold-hearted light of not having the virus, and not being in a high-risk category. I am sure the families and friends of those who tragically lose their lives in this bio-war will attest to, after the fact. The stats just don't cut it.

The risk is certainly not deemed high enough at this point for our government to take the proactive action other governments around the world have considered necessary. I am reassured at our heightened British immunity...not! I was half-expecting our leaders to instruct businesses to ensure employees worked from home. The smart businesses, who are able to, have already taken this initiative of course. Well done them. I fully expected the government to instruct schools to close for two weeks from today because they are unlikely to take this decision without government backing. Yes, it would be a pain in the ass to have two kids at home for that time, but I would rather we stop the spread before it's too late. It’s not fear-mongering – it’s applying common sense. Ah, but it's tricky! Yes, of course, it is. It's a bloody viral problem.


Isolation has proven to reduce the spread and number of deaths in those countries that have taken this measure. Not here, though eh! Well, Mr Boris, I promise you, if one of my children contracts (and dies from) this virus, I will sue you and your government for your inaction. I hope it doesn’t come to that and that your stats are correct. Because I've heard differently.


But


Some doctors are suggesting that millions of people will die in the UK from this virus. Who is right? Only time will tell. An interesting document on the facts is this one. It is lengthy, but if you are interested in finding out more it's HERE


I cannot help but wonder at the economics at play. The groups most affected by Covid-19 are older and those with an underlying health condition or where their immune system is already compromised. How many of those deaths will positively impact the government’s purse strings?


The pension pot, social housing… less to pay out, properties freed up to re-let.


YES, the London Book Fair and other events are right to cancel.

YES, businesses allowing their staff to work from home are wise and caring.

YES, the government doesn’t appear to give a shit about people.

YES, economics is important, and difficult to balance (and that is a fact).


But if self-isolation has been proven to help, then surely the short-term economic impact would be worth it?


With an ineffectual government, every one of us must make the choices that work for us. Some of this isn’t rocket science. Denying there is a problem though is flippant, and a risk to everyone.


Don’t be bullied into downplaying the consequences of this virus, and stand up for your right to life.


And… Most importantly, please be safe.


Love Emma x

p.s. Does anyone have any spare toilet roll, please?

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