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28 November 2021

Opinion from Adrian Leopard & Co

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Is it time to start thinking about reverse lockdown?
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Is it time to start thinking about reverse lockdown?

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Perhaps the new normal in the short term is the stay–at-home society

Has the British government lost its grip over the handling of covid-19 such that it has decided to allow a free-for-all and we just “hope for the best”?

As the days go by it becomes clear that many many people in our society are worried about the continuing incidence of coronavirus and the gradually increasing numbers of new cases. We know the government never said that we would have to wait until the virus had disappeared and indeed no one thinks it will ever disappear now but we have certainly been left to fend for ourselves now. The result of that is that many think that now restrictions have been lifted it has all gone away and the population is being lulled into a false sense of security.

By the same token an increasingly anxious section of the public is beginning to make more noise about the lack of safety. After all, the big issue is transmission of the disease and the truth is that the wearing of masks, social-distancing and well ventilated rooms are not a solution, they are merely measures which can assist in mitigating the likelihood of transmission. But the truth is if you are sitting next to someone who is infected at dinner, the chances of avoiding infection are going to be low. Your only form of defence at that point could be your own vaccinations, if you have had them, and we know that these are only partially effective against catching the disease.

What is the answer then? The lockdown, whilst effective eventually in reducing transmission and illness, wreaked havoc with the economy and brought many businesses to their knees, even causing insolvencies. Do we want to see that again? Well, obviously not if it can be avoided. Bringing the country to its economic knees is a bit like cutting your nose to spite your face, so better avoided.

So perhaps the answer is the reverse lockdown. If you do not need to go out, don’t! Stay at home; work from home if you can; avoid groups and meetings with more than a few attendees if you possibly can.

In other words, keep out of trouble’s way. It’s nice to go the pub but think about it, it is the hotbed of transmission. Everyone is huddled together in close proximity, often in stuffy rooms with little ventilation and loads of people. And of course people stay for a period of time – that is the purpose of the pub. And with people walking around the room, e.g. going to the bar, going to the toilet, popping off to talk to a friend you just spotted the other side of the room etc etc, the chances of spreading the disease just increase.

Hospitality has a big problem because its nature means that people have to mingle and socialise and yet this activity is the greatest facilitator of transmission of disease. It is certainly a paradox and the more you attempt to mitigate the potential for transmission, with masks and distancing etc, the more you damage the very activity you seek to promote. We also know that the less ventilation there is, the greater the chances of transmission and as the autumn now approaches with winter on its heels, people are going to spend more time indoors and with the doors and windows closed. So there will be less air circulation and places will be reliant on air conditioning systems for circulation.

We do not know how long this will all go on but vigilance is the name of the game. Get tested regularly; you can get free lateral flow tests and you should take two tests a week to check that you are not carrying the symptoms – you may feel perfectly well and yet be carrying the disease. You can order these tests by logging into the government website here:

https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

It takes just a few minutes.

If you must go out, do so but be careful!

Adrian Leopard 17-08-21

Photo Medakit Ltd

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