A recent letter that was drawn up by three researchers and signed by scientists arguing that our best option for this pandemic is herd immunity.
The idea is to allow those low risk in society to get infected building up a resistance naturally to the virus.
This proposal has many scientist disagreeing calling it a culling of the sick and disabled.
So who is correct?
Let’s look at the virus in the UK and determine what the outcomes may be. This all began with these three researchers “Sunetra Gupta, of Oxford University, Jay Bhattacharya, of Stanford University, and Martin Kulldorff, of Harvard University” wrote what is called the Great Barrington declaration.
They argue that the virus is already spreading through the population and continued lockdown has too great an effect on mental health. Causing more deaths through hospitals concentrating too much on COVID rather than cancer etc.
They express the highest rate of death is underprivileged in society. The whole idea is that those that are low-risk live life as normal. Those that are rated as vulnerable should self-isolated until society has developed a higher immunity.
This proposal by these researchers sounds reasonable but unfeasible with more scrutiny.
There are many problems with this idea considering that 50% of the population in the UK has underlying health conditions and possibly vulnerable. Anyone with heart disease such as high blood pressure. People with obesity which is a huge problem in society anyway.
The other problem we already know about is if you get the virus not all recover quickly. We know that there is a possible long-term effect of the virus on young adults. Many people that contracted COVID months ago have shown reduced lung capacity.
It is still unclear the figures of the long term health problems before opening everyone up to the virus. It would criminal to go ahead with this without some reliable data on this alone.
Keeping the elderly locked away in a care home would need higher-paid staff. At present nearly all care workers in these homes are on minimum wage and undertrained.
It would need a considerable effort by the NHS to step in and run these care homes. They just do not have the manpower and it would take months to set up.
Lockdown not working?
The idea of a lockdown works in two ways. The first is that you can contain the virus and eradicate it. This worked in places like South Korea and New Zealand. The problem is that the UK like New Zealand is an island nation but was unwilling to control infection through its borders.
If the UK back in February had of closed all borders to non-essential travel and did stringent track and trace then it may have had a chance. Then like South Korea after getting the number of those infected really low keep tacking for minor outbreaks and quarantine.
We failed, the UK never closed its borders fully, and therefore even if the number may have gotten really low would not have helped. We would have continued to get infected through our borders
Now we are left with the second option which is to slow the virus down by some lockdown measures. Now unlike South Korea a very patriotic nation the culture of the UK is vastly different. The government’s thinking that the majority of people will abide by the lockdown measure was irresponsible.
The underprivileged and most vulnerable in society have not listened and helped spread the virus. Mixed messaging from the government and an economical need has undermined the lockdowns.
However, building up herd immunity slowly is morally the right thing to do. Yes, it is possible that in the end, the economical toll may kill more later. That is not though a definite outcome and maybe proved inaccurate.
Yet, I can not stand by and watch those that built the UK to what it has become die for the rest of us.
The majority of the elderly have fought wars, paid taxes, obeyed the law to create a democratic nation with a good possibility of a decent lifestyle. Free healthcare, schools, colleges, and free university in some areas.
To throw them under the bus so that the rest of us may all get our lives back to normal is wrong. Their lives were never normal with the second world war, miners strikes, mass unemployment, and many more hardships.
These lockdowns have not been run effectively as they could have we know that. Our Prime minister is not what we term a “wartime” leader by any measure. We will suffer economically and it will take its toll. We can also say that everyone in society is important to us and especially those that paved the way.
The economic toll does not need to fall on the underprivileged in our society after this. It’s up to us to elect leaders and hold them responsible if they do not make the rich pay for once.