Britain in Lockdown – Day 21

Boris is out of hospital and convalescing at Chequers. Yesterday the death toll passed the 10,000 mark. As bad as it is there are those who think it will get far worse, but the predictions by the University of Washington in Seattle of 66,000 deaths in the UK by August have been dismissed as scare mongering and they have since revised their estimates.

Britain is following a simila trajectory as that of Spain, Italy, and France. Spain and Italy’s daily death toll are now declinding. We don’t know if the toll has peaked yet but it must surely be close if not passed. The NHS does now have the capacity to cope for the number of patients that need critical care, though there are the shortages of PPE. So 20,000 in total seems a more realistic total.

Spain is allowing non-essential works back to work, Sweden is tightening its rules after realising their more relaxed approach wasn’t strict enough, Denmark is getting ready to reopen its schools, and Austria is also beginning to ease its lockdown. So the signs are positive is some respects even though people continue to die in their thousands across Europe.

We’ve been blessed with warm weather and blue skies for days, and that has encouraged people to ignore the lockdown instructions, but today we awake to grey skies and much cooler temperatures (seasonal norm) so at least many will be deterred from gathering in parks to sunbathe, picnic, or swig from cans of cider.

Optimists and Pessimists

The analysis and reflection of the UK population’s reaction to this pandemic has been ongoing since the day it started. People are considering the lessons the experience is delivering and what like will be like when it’s all over. Will we simply return to ‘normal’ life or will there be some changes? If so, how many, how profound, and in what areas of personal and economic life?

One person seeing this pandemic as an opportunity is Dr Rupert Read, spokesman for Extinction Rebellion:

As we contemplate the havoc being wrought by coronavirus, most of us see mainly sickness, death and economic ruin. Dr Rupert Read, spokesman for the climate protest group Extinction Rebellion — plus sometime Green party candidate, and associate professor of philosophy at the University of East Anglia — has rather a different view. In this pandemic, he writes, ‘there is a huge opportunity for XR… It is essential that we do not let this crisis go to waste.’

Read’s thoughts are set out in a paper entitled ‘Some strategic scenario-scoping of the coronavirus-XR nexus.’ The paper is not meant to be widely read. ‘NB, this is a confidential document for internal XR use, NOT for publication!’ he writes at the head.

It’s worth reading the above then watching this video for additional insights into ER.