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Home Page Opinion: Decreasing Cases, yet Increasing Lockdowns?

The imposition of flight suspensions coming into force today brings the UK into line with many other countries and in some quarters will be welcomed. We must of course, declare in interest as a major part of KJM Today’s coverage revolves around commercial aviation.

Image - Heathrow Airport Ltd

But while we understand the reason and logic behind flight bans, it raises other questions. First, and very obviously, the air transport industry is already on its knees and the longer restrictions are in place, the worse it will get – with all the job losses that will come as a result. Critics of the airline business are often uninformed, ill-informed and ignore the positive contribution to daily life made by airlines and airports. Many aspects of modern-day life, hitherto taken for granted, are – or have been – the result of air transport. We lose it to our incalculable disadvantage.

The next question is that surrounding the evolving variants of Covid-19. Viruses and their resultant diseases have always evolved. Why the apparent surprise that Covid-19 is doing so? Why also is the terminology being used so noticeable? Nobody is saying the virus ‘has and is evolving’. The description, pushed by governments and embraced enthusiastically by mainstream media, is that of ‘mutant viruses’. The word ‘mutant’ has more terrifying implications than putting it in a more restrained fashion, so comments from many members of the public over conspiracies and similar are understandable. Can we really blame people for questioning the politics of fear?

This leads then leads to the recurring question of lockdowns. Reports have emerged over the past few days of falling ‘R’ rates and decreasing cases. This is hailed by some that the UK’s third lockdown is working with even the view promoted that more lockdown is needed to eradicate the virus. Except…you cannot eradicate a virus by shutting people away. Of course it is ‘working’ (for want of a better word) while businesses collapse and people vegetate without the daily contact we, as humans, need. And it leads to the inevitable question – what happens when ‘cases’ start rising again when the current lockdown is eased? As they will – because the virus will still exist.

Lockdowns do not contain some magic ingredient that mysteriously makes a virus – no matter what shape or form it has or how evolved it is – vanish. No matter how many flight bans there are, no matter how crippled society becomes as a result of lockdowns, no matter how severe a lockdown is imposed, shutting down the world will not make the problem go away.

With no exit plan ever spoken of, are we really about to enter a dystopian lifestyle of never-ending restrictions and if so, what will be the real cost – of lost livelihoods, mass unemployment, uneducated children and socially-dysfunctional people?


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