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Economics vs public health. **MNHQ has altered title**

(106 Posts)
Mohster Mon 23-Mar-20 00:00:32

As you will see for a long time I have been advocating that the govt was putting economics before lives and their plan was to create a herd immunity by sacrificing lives on an acceptable casualties basis. This was totally apparent if you listen to the interview given to Channel 4 where it was suggested as an answer to a question put by the presenter that many would die whilst the govt tried to create herd immunity as being inevitable.

Now Dominic Cummings chief adviser has been caught out for following this strategy and quoted by papers and the Sunday Times in particular as wanting to let the elderly die to save the economy.

You don't need to take them word for it - just look a the govt plan - contain essentially consisted of the suggestion that we should wash our hands. The delay was effectively none existant and the schools were only closed as a result of parents taking their children out of shcool and the forcase that 250000 could die. In fact the govt was rushing thorugh legistlation in the following week to force parents to take their kids to school and it was only scrapped a thte last minute by the estimates publication.

That left mitigation, mitigation of damage to the economy. The PM and govt are as a result backtracking.

The suggestion is that Dominic Cummings had said let the old die whilst we get herd immunity but now seeing what is happening in Italy and likely the fact that the virus is now killing younger people, they are quickly backtracking having failed to contain or delay because they did nothing.

As a result of their false assurances and that we just have to wash our hands the public flocked to public areas and their plans have put us in a position that will result in many more dying. The govt of other countries are now publicly criticising the govt. All of this now means at last these people who are ignorant of the risk will likely make a lock-down more likely.

I personally think that they should face criminal charges if a corporate body was to make such decisions the CEO and directors would be imprisoned.

OP’s posts: |
Whiteswansong Mon 23-Mar-20 01:08:30

I agree our government has been grossly negligent in their handling of this. Not just in the past few weeks but in the on going disinvestment of the NHS meaning we don't have the staff, beds or equipment to cope now and in the continuing erosion of public services and emergency planning that might have prevented the worst of this. This crisis is hugely political and lays bare the illusions of neoliberalism that we are all self contained islands, responsible only for ourselves. We are all connected and should start acting as such. What happens to one happens to us all

Metoyoutoo Mon 23-Mar-20 05:38:35

I would reply what I think Of what you just wrote but I’d get banned. Keep your politics out of this please

Horehound Mon 23-Mar-20 05:40:52

It's not a quote. Read it again.

Mintjulia Mon 23-Mar-20 05:48:53

On the contrary, companies received clear government advice to get as many employees to work from home as possible, weeks ago. We were all told not to congregate but few took any notice.

Now people have done two days of the pubs restaurants and cinemas being shut and we’re congregating in our thousands in parks and on beaches. Despite clear advice to stay at home.

So save your nasty divisive politics for normal times.

SilverySurfer Mon 23-Mar-20 05:50:23

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Collidascope Mon 23-Mar-20 05:57:39

Agree that the government have handled this appallingly, OP. Constant u-turns and mixed messages after years of crippling the NHS. Our government is composed of lots of mediocre men who think they're far cleverer than they are.

VashtaNerada Mon 23-Mar-20 06:15:28

I think an even more important question is how resilient is our country for an event like this? Have we been investing in our NHS over the last few years? Did we stay in the EU with all those lovely EU grants that were supporting social care and charity initiatives? Did we elect a party who puts its most vulnerable citizens first?
No, no we did not.
It’s impossible to “keep politics out of this” when politics is everything around us. Politics is how we prepared for and are managing this current crisis.

nellodee Mon 23-Mar-20 06:31:51

People will not be persuaded of this. If our government US good at one thing it is creating sound bites. So they are “following the science” and doing “the right thing at the right time”.
In a year’s time, we will compare numbers with other countries and we will look shocking against many other countries. And then our government will come up with some more sound bites about British exceptionalism and everyone will believe those as well.

Mohster Mon 23-Mar-20 10:50:57

Yes, you are absolutely right there was advice on getting everybody working from home. The whole basis of saving the economy is reducing risk to it, this involves making sure people are working but in the lowest risk scenario. The govt knows it is better to work from home as then the workers are still working. It is those who cant work from home that the govt needed to keep at work to save the economy instead of telling them too to stay at home. Im not saying that the govt won't protect us all, im saying in the face of a total collapse of the economy they have weighed up the odds and decided that if people are locked down then they cant work and there is a proportion that will die no matter what and therefore better to just let them die now as then the 80% who just have mild symptoms can keep the country running.

You only have to look at the evidence - what did the government do in the contain part of the plan- list it - did they test everyone, did they trace everyone, how can you contain anyone during the 2 week incubation period where you're spreading it without having any symptoms without testing.

Delay- what did they do to delay it- did they lockdown as that has been to show as the best way to delay it - look at china, South Korea ( who are the best example to see what works- lowest no of people dead per million) Did they stop children going got school after they found that they were carriers and were spreading it. No, they saw that it would affect GDP by 3% so kept them open, they in fact were rushing through legislation to force children to go to school. It was the schools themselves that started saying the risk was too great and the backlash that made them backtrack quickly.

They backtracked on schools due to public and scientific pressure when the figures showed 250000 could die as a result.

They said they are following the science - how can science from the UK be different from the rest of the world. Scientists themselves signed a letter condemning their failures.

But the best evidence is their plan the document they issued is available online - it states their objective is to minimise the effects on society and the economy but leaves out saving lives.

The best evidence is their own words as is now being reported and in the channel 4 interview when they were asked that their plan would result in many deaths their response was that is inevitable. That they are going to die sooner or later as any lockdown would only delay their death and therefore they are going to die anyway so might as well get this to happen and save the economy by developing herd immunity.

The reason they are now backtracking is the enormity of the deaths in Italy and the fact that deaths in the UK are greater on a like for like basis and the evidence that younger people are now dying. They saw no risk to those who are the 80% and will be the herd of the immune, but now that that is at risk they have changed their minds, lost 3 weeks in doing so, spread it consequentially massively.

You have to recall that Italy also at the beginning did the same as the UK and this is one of the factors that has increased their death rate.

It could have been so different in the UK.

My final comment is that if you have confidence in what the govt says that all you have to do is wash your hands and sing the national anthem, then that is what you should do.

Yes your chances are slim in a situation where fire is spreading fast but should the govt be pushing us in the fire to protect themselves

OP’s posts: |
Reginabambina Mon 23-Mar-20 10:54:16

Well I mean when economies fail people do tend to die so I’m not really seeing your point here.

Charlie290402 Mon 23-Mar-20 21:05:52

On 3rd March ( twenty days ago ) Boris said that he will continue to shake hands with people despite the virus and that the public must make up their own minds about shaking hands. He told reporters “I was at a hospital the other night where I think there were Coronavirus patients and I was shaking hands with everybody, you will be pleased to know, and I continue to shake hands’. On 3rd March there was 79 deaths in Italy and 2,263 cases. There was 89,270 cases in China on 3rd March and 2,981 dead in China. He ignored WHO advice he ignored what every other country in Europe was doing. It’s very hard for him to appear credible now, it’s no wonder so many people are ignoring the new government advice and not conforming to the distancing measures 20 days ago he was smiling about shaking hands in a hospital 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

Mohster Wed 25-Mar-20 02:41:12

Good news is that a team of engineers at oxford have shown a ventilator that can be made quickly thousands per month. Sony is saying they can mass produce the circuit boards at 5000 per month and they are giving plans to other firms for free which may mean that hundreds or even thousands of firms all around the world may start churning out enough to actually make a difference sooner than later. See ordinary people make the right decisions and for the right reasons, saving life as well as in the wrong term saving the economy.

OP’s posts: |
Mohster Wed 25-Mar-20 02:56:42

England isn't the only country that is putting economy first. Donald Trump has given a speech stating he is looking to start to bring the lockdowns to an end in that he hopes to have the country reopened as early as Easter on April 12 saying U.S. shutdown would make it more difficult for the economy to rebound from a recession. This has been viewed as ill-advised by many experts BillGates (Microsoft) (the Billionaire that spends his time trying to make a difference) told TED, that “it’s very irresponsible for somebody to suggest that we can have the best of both worlds,” referring to mitigating the impact of the deadly pathogen on human lives and keeping the economy whirring.

Trump the guy that said there was only 15 people and 14 had recovered a few weeks ago, said this when there is now 9,433 cases766 deaths with 184 in the last 24 hrs and the backdrop of the New York governor pleading for tests and ventilators from the Federal resources. Bonkers... is the only word that describes it because Mumsnet would remove my text if I actually said what I feel.

But he says what he says because of self-interest with the election coming up and with no care for the suffering that is happening all around him or his contribution to that suffering. More people will die unnecessarily.

He should step aside and let somebody with a brain, that has some notion of empathy, care and compassion or even a sliver of human decency take his place. It was only a few weeks ago that he was the paranoid mess thinking he may have caught it now his test came back and he is back in his stride pedelling his crap.

OP’s posts: |
Mintjulia Wed 25-Mar-20 03:06:27

I listened to the Trump comment. He reminded me of the stupid town mayor in Jaws who kept wittering on about opening the beaches.
I feel terribly sorry for Americans at the moment. At least the mayor of New York seems like an intelligent and responsible man.

HeIenaDove Wed 25-Mar-20 03:27:48

I take it there will be equal condemnation of companies who flout the 2m rule OR will that just be reserved for individual members of the public.

The people over the weekend and the twonks that held that barbecue were idiotic but why are they the only ones being condemned yet when someone posts a thread about an employer breaking this rule it barely makes a dent on this board?!

HeIenaDove Wed 25-Mar-20 03:28:42

@VashtaNerada i totally agree.

PieceOfMaria Wed 25-Mar-20 03:32:46

I personally think that they should face criminal charges

Don’t be so utterly ridiculous.

Luckystar777 Wed 25-Mar-20 03:35:04

If it's an intentional cull, it's not a very good one, is it?

It's obvious they want to crash the economy though.

DetroitLake Wed 25-Mar-20 03:56:21

I think it will come in waves, like the Spanish flu, the second wave being more deadly. To have an inkling of what the future holds, I think the Spanish flu is the best model. The second wave was responsible for most of the deaths. We are in this for the Long haul.

Linning Wed 25-Mar-20 04:16:50

I am currently on lockdown in California, I very much hate Trump but here is the thing. Just like the UK, the US has done nothing too little too late. Not every state is in lockdown, I am currently in a city with supposedly one of the toughest lockdown as it's the epicenter of a lot of the outbreak but this is a joke, people still go outside, everything is closed but people are just walking around, going to the same outdoor places to ''excercise/catch air'', the current system in the US means that probably as many people will die from the choice of keeping the lockdown going on too long as people will die from not having a lockdown in place. Unlike Europe, people cannot afford not to work here, uninsured people or even people with minimal coverage or even people with coverage (the average monthly health insurance cost here is 500$ per month for an adult) need money to afford their care (if they have other conditions or develop the disease), to afford their meds or even to afford their insurance as it would be a terrible time to default on payments. They also still need to pay rents and other necessities, and people who are most likely to get ill due to living in overcrowded multigenerational households with no health insurance are more often than not poor people who need to work and the economy to stay alive to survive. By stopping the economy indefinitely to save older people, you would ultimately help people like them starve, become homeless or die of pre-existing conditions/illnesses. There is no real help for poor people here (especially under Trump) and having kids or elderly dependent/cancer, doesn't protect you or really give you access to much help.

The UK is not the same and is lucky, but ultimately it's not as simple as stopping the economy to save the old and it having zero consequences on other people.

If you stop the economy for too long, lots of businesses won't recover, banks will go broke too, recession would be bad (and for the UK who is now out of Europe I don't even want to know what it would look like in terms of NHS or even quality of life for people).

Is the solution acting like the virus doesn't exist and re-opening everything? No. But killing the economy is also not a life-long solution. Maybe doing a reverse quarantine, keeping vulnerable people quarantined china-like until we find a cure while letting the others build an immunity? (Some people would still die of course but most hopefully wouldn't, though?) Not sure if that's feasible or how it would work, but right now I would argue that any solution can be an ideal solution. The goal ultimately is to save the most lives now while trying not to kill the economy so when this is over people can have, at least a tolerable quality of life to get back to.

Most of my family members have pre-existing conditions, and lots are over 60+, I get that they are high risk and that they depend on people and government measures to protect them. I would argue though that governments have been trying to throw them under the bus to save the economy as there would be no worldwide lockdown if elderly people were seen as disposable. The worldwide economy will already be on its knees when this is over, even if the lockdown is only a couple of weeks long. We are literally stopping the economy and putting everybody's life on pause to save them. We can argue whether or not it's enough, but I wouldn't say it's an orchestrated way to let old people die under our noses. Historically, if you look at wars and times of crisis, you will see that it's almost always young people (mostly fit men) who are sent abroad or to the frontline to be butchered, it's rarely (if ever) the elderly. And right now it's also the same, government are having to chose between sacrificing the future (as they could have pretended to) of the younger and healthy folks for the survival of the elders and disabled. I don't think it's wrong but let's not pretend it's as easy as a moral choice of economy vs death of the elderly as it's much more rooted than that.

As for the UK prime minister and how he has dealt with Corona, the idea that anyone had any faith in the government dealing with anything of major importancy adequately or effectively after the shit-show that was Brexit and genuinely expected them to be honest and factual about the situation (not thinking you did OP), is as laughable as anybody reading Trumps tweets as factual news. It was always going to be a shit-show and I feel sorry for UK people and the NHS who was already on its knees and probably won't cope with the outcome of the lack of decisions and delay in actions of the government.

The whole thing is entirely depressing tbh.

DetroitLake Wed 25-Mar-20 04:23:47

It's not just sacrificing granny for the economy, young people and kids are getting very sick and dying. We have no idea of the long term effects on fertility in men or long term lung function.

Society is going to have to change. The pursuit of money will have to be put on hold.

PostNotInHaste Wed 25-Mar-20 04:34:53

I don’t necessarily disagree with you on a fair bit OP and I think there will be outrage when the shock of the situation wears off and if the number of dead is like Italy and differs a lot to other European countries.

However I think the legislation for keeping schools open was about keeping them open for key-workers and vulnerable children .

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 25-Mar-20 04:43:52

That was a very interesting and sad comment you made about the situation in the US. If I didn’t know differently, you could have been writing about people in India or any nation, where there is not protection for the public. It is unbelievable that in this day and age the largest economy in the world treats its citizens as badly as many of the poorest nations on earth.

I do totally agree with you op. I’m disgusted with this govt. Boris is a bumbling, incompetent buffoon, who has surrounded himself by mediocre men. Many of whom have narcissistic / sociopathic / psychopathic tendencies

LittleLittleLittle Wed 25-Mar-20 05:01:47

@HelenaDove that's because people genuinely don't know what to do.

I ask posters are they unionised. The vast majority aren't. I also tell them to contact their MP.

Yesterday during the government's evening press conference due to sufficient numbers of journalists - whose jobs are listed amongst key workers - being aware of this they asked about people being forced to work and the self-employed.

Due to pressure being put on Sport Direct stores to close, I will tell people to contact journalists as well.

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