Friday 15 January 2021

Time for Boris to publish a roadmap out of lockdown and restrictions

 We are now half way through January. We've been in lockdown for ten days. The weather has been miserable, we are cut of from friends and family. I ssupport these restrictions and believe we are where we are because the government has repeatedly been too slow off the mark. But now we have a way out. Two million people have been vaccinated and the rates of infection (in London) are starting to fall. We are not out of the woods as the number of people being hospitalised is still rising and the number of daily deaths is appalling. Given that we've been in this situation for almost a year and all of the finest brains in the nation are focussed on the crisis, it is time we saw some proper leadership from Boris.

What we need is a clear plan to leave this cycle of lockdowns, restrictions and pain behind us. I am not asking for  a timetable. It would be foolish in the extreme to publish this at the moment, but there is every reason to publish a roadmap. I believe that this will encourage people to comply and to get vaccinated.

There are several questions I have. The first is whether we need restrictions once everyone who is vulnerable has been vaccinated (or has had the chance to be vaccinated as some will simply refuse). Given that the mortality rate for covid is 1-2% and 99% of these are people who can be identified as vulnerable, with 2 million people vaccinated, we must be nearing the point where we can say they are safe. Getting the most vulnerable vaccinated is a key milestone. Boris needs to say exactly what his criteria for achieiving this is.

It is also clear that the biggest risk now is further mutations, especially ones that make the virus vaccine resistant. Boris needs to say what the rate of infection in the community has to be where we can see a loosening of restrictions. 

The third aspect is hospitals. These are currently overloaded, we need Boris to say what constitutes the NHS not being overstretched is defined as. As far as I can see, when the vulnerable are vaccinated, the rate has dropped and hospitals are not overstretched, then there is no reason to be in lockdown. Normal life can start to resume, albiet with sensible precautions.

Whether my criteria are correct or incorrect, Boris should know what the criteria are. He should give us the roadmap and tell us that the more strictly we adhere to the current lockdown, the sooner he criteria will be met. This would encourage us all to do what we  should be doing. If we could see the light at the end of the tunnel, I believe we would act like adults and do what we need to do. 

It is time for Boris to do what he should of done all along. Work out how we move on from this mess and tell us his plan.

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