UK announces second lockdown as COVID-19 cases surge

UK announces second lockdown as COVID-19 cases surge. By Eileen Connelly.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced a new month-long lockdown for England as COVID-19 cases surge across the country. …

England’s chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty said the prevalence of COVID has been going up “extremely rapidly” over the last few weeks after having been “very flat” due to social distancing measures in the spring and summer. …

Johnson said there was no alternative. “We’ve got to be humble in the face of nature, and in this country, alas, as across much of Europe, the virus is spreading even faster than the worst-case scenario of our scientific advisers.” Deaths could reach several thousand a day if the nation doesn’t act, he said.

Beyond the loss of life, an exponential growth in the number of patients will overwhelm the country’s National Health Service. “The risk is that for the first time in our lives, the NHS will not be there for us and our families,” Johnson said.

Unlike the first national lockdown in March, schools, colleges and universities will be allowed to stay open. …

Johnson said residents will be required to stay home except for education, work that cannot be done at home, exercise or recreation outdoors, medical appointments, or to shop for essentials or care for others. Pubs and restaurants will have to close except for takeout and delivery. Supermarkets will stay open.

Not the facial expression you want to see in your leader

Britain tried to get by without a full lockdown, like Melbourne. But the British population couldn’t or wouldn’t do enough to curb the spread of the virus. The deaths and impairments are now getting too high, and hospitals will be overrun in a month.

Like Melbourne, Britain, France, and Germany waited too long to lockdown. The longer you wait while the virus spreads, the longer you have to spend in lockdown. It’s not hard to figure out, and now there are many examples from around the world.

If part of your house catches fire, don’t just stand there hoping it will put itself out. If you’re going to try to put it out eventually anyway, get started as soon as possible.

Once a covid breakout occurs, waiting until the harm becomes unbearable and then locking down only maximizes the health damage (by waiting for so much damage before acting) and maximizes the economic damage (by requiring a long lockdown). The worst possible strategy is to watch it catch hold and do nothing, and then lockdown.

Once your country has a covid outbreak, either wear the health consequences or lockdown. But if you are going to lockdown eventually anyway, do it early.

Hoping an outbreak just goes away is not a successful strategy. There’s ample poof of that around the world now.

(Special note to the USA: Got to close your borders for a lockdown to work.)

UPDATE: The data ‘forcing Boris into lockdown’: SAGE releases papers showing scientists sounded alarm two weeks ago, by Harry Howard.

The document, dated October 14, which was released online, said ‘we are breaching the number of infections and hospital admissions in the Reasonable Worst Case planning scenario’ before adding that the outlook for Covid-19’s future spread was ‘concerning’ if no action was taken. …

The SAGE papers from two weeks ago warned that modelling suggested that up to 74,000 people a day could be becoming infected in England alone, far beyond the worst case scenario.

There is a lag of around three weeks between infections and deaths. The scientists told ministers that without further restrictions, the death toll will keep rising exponentially, and hospitals will be overwhelmed.

So, they officially knew the obvious.

Apparently there was another warning that a severe lockdown was inevitable to the government on September 12.