Britain in Lockdown – Day 12

The government has warned that they may have to introduce stricter measures if people don’t adhere to the guidelines. In the words of Matt Hancock yesterday, “These are not requests. They are instructions.”

The graph curve is on its steep ascent now and the number of deaths reached 684 yesterday. Warm weather is predicted this weekend and there will a strong pull to the outdoors, the national parks, the beaches, and the city parks. Much of the progress made so far could be undone if people can’t show some restraint.

Easter is next weekend and if the weather is warm and welcoming then that will be an even bigger pull. The usual family gatherings, parties, barbeques, and church services of Easter cannot be go ahead but the restrictions are too much for many.

People are watching and waiting to see Sweden’s approach to the crisis has any advantages that were missed elsewhere.

The former Swedish state epidemiologist, Prof Emeritus Johan Giesecke, stated recently in an article for the daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet: “The lack of reliable knowledge explains why countries choose to do things differently: nobody knows what really works, and they choose measures either on the basis of shaky data or for political reasons.

“All models require that you enter numeric values for different parameters – values that we often miss and must estimate or guess.”

The PM, Boris Johnson, has been unwell with the virus so he has been absent from the daily briefings all week but he managed to provide a couple of recorded messages. Some people remarked on how tired he looked. Perhaps after a few more days he’ll have bounced back.

The long days of lockdown

The media is full of guides on how to spend time, divide days, learn a new skill, and all manner of helpful advice. Someone tweeted yesterday that if you don’t emerge from lockdown without at least one new skill then you lack any self discipline altogether. They may be right, but the overriding feeling is one of the world on pause. Staring into space and being still seems to be the natural reaction for a lot of the time we have to kill.

All over the world people are finding imaginative ways in which to use video meetings (although Zoom appears to have some security weaknesses so it’s been banned from some businesses). There are family gatherings, choirs, orchestras, and other forms of interaction.

The Queen is going to address the nation tomorrow at 8pm.