Ending all COVID-19 restrictions is a reckless decision by the UK government at this critical time, says Professor Christoph Loch.
By Christoph Loch
The track record of decisions of the UK government in the COVID-19 context has resulted in the highest death rate from COVID-19 in all of Europe. But the current decision to simply let all restrictions go away after 19 July tops all the bad decisions so far.
Dropping all distance rules and allowing people to breathe on one another in public transport and to crowd into mass events is nothing less than reckless.
Yes, the link between infections and hospitalisation has been weakened, but we have been clearly told by the experts that letting the virus run rampant among our youths is irresponsible because we do not know enough about possible long-term effects of COVID-19 on them, and letting only once-vaccinated and therefore partially protected young people get infected represents a breeding lab for mutations that develop resistance against our vaccinations.
Allowing 100,000 cases per day (or more, if we compare past predictions with actual outcomes) could, even at flu-like death rates, cause hundreds of people to die every day and again put unbearable stress on the National Health Service, which is still exhausted from the last crisis.
It would have been entirely possible to loosen rules a bit – such as reduce the two metre distance to one metre+, allow people to go to work rather than work from home, increase the size of permitted gatherings a bit.
Yet the government decided that it had to show a symbol of “strength” – and with such “strength” it is playing with our lives, with the health of our children, and with our ability to achieve an economic and jobs recovery in the autumn.
People who do this clearly have not been held accountable. This government is getting away with treating important decisions just like PR slogans, where you can count on people forgetting what you did so you can pretend next week that you never did it. Someone should stand up and stop this irresponsible behaviour – and if that doesn’t happen, politicians should pay the price at the ballot box.
This blog post reflects the private opinions of Christoph Loch rather than the view of Cambridge Judge Business School or the University of Cambridge.