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This blind following of 'The Rules' is going to backfire when lockdown ends

(218 Posts)
OtterPotter Tue 14-Apr-20 09:28:17

I have been really concerned at the attitudes I've seen on here and in RL of people's blind following of 'The Rules'.

The mentality I have seen here including outrage at people dancing in a park, or refusing to go for a picnic with their own children in a secluded spot because it's "AGAINST THE RULES!" demonstrates a complete inability to risk assess and interpret the guidelines.

What worries me is that same mentality will prevail when lockdown is lifted, and those same people will blindly follow the new rules and fail to appreciate that the risk is still real.

The day lockdown is lifted, the risk to yourself of catching it, and the risk of you spreading it to others remains exactly the same. The only thing that will have changed is that the government will have decided that the peak has passed, and the pressure on the NHS is lower - so they can allow YOU to risk catching it now. It can still kill you, it can still kill your family.

I'm deeply concerned that I'm going to have to have this battle with my rule obsessed family to try and convince them that they are still very much in danger.

OP’s posts: |
OuterMongolia Tue 14-Apr-20 09:32:10

So what's your solution OP? We can't stay in lockdown forever. Yes, after the rules are relaxed people will continue to catch it and continue to die from it. I don't see how we can prevent that?

Ninkanink Tue 14-Apr-20 09:34:02

Life has to go on. Yes, many more of us will catch it; that was always going to happen.

MySonIsAlsoNamedBort Tue 14-Apr-20 09:35:46

I understand what you're saying OP and I agree.

Porpoises Tue 14-Apr-20 09:38:31

I agree. We need the authorities to explain to us what are the main routes of infection, so we can make informed choices after lock down.

Unfortunately a lot of this is still being studied.

Menopauseandteensdontmix100 Tue 14-Apr-20 09:40:25

I blindly followed the rules OP initially due to health vulnerability but not bring super vulnerable.
But after 10 days and with a parent in hospital with Covid and having a stinking bad head most days i modified it to go for a walk every day (for health exercise/fresh air). I am fortunate to have a garden and have lots of nice walks on my doorstep where i am very careful to keep more than 2M away from anyone that i cant help avoid passing at narrower points.
However, i am still vulnerable and i am dreading the future and going back to work from my usual base instead of (WFH) if i have to go back in the future as i wouldn't be able to practice social distancing and it was never the cleanest environment with cleaners doing less and less over the years.
How about us wearing masks OP?

Inkpaperstars Tue 14-Apr-20 09:43:20

Depends if they are following rules because they are concerned about the virus in a way that also motivates critical thinking, or if they misunderstand the purpose of the rules and think the rules are all that is needed to protect them.

I think in many cases it's not a lack of critical thinking. It's recognising that just because one person or household having a little picnic seems low risk, once we start to allow all sorts of exceptions it is a slippery slope to a place where many infractions are significant in risk.

Most people I know who are trying hard to comply with the rules are very aware indeed that the govt guidance doesn't necessarily reflect risk, and they were locking down before being advised to. So I am sure they will be the same if rules are lessened.

But you may be right that there is a section of rule followers, and even some very slight rule benders, who think differently. I have come across some people on here who say things like, oh if you could catch it off shopping items we would have been told to clean them, or who think that because we are allowed to exercise 2m from others that must be completely safe. I agree they don't grasp the compromises and wider societal perspective in the govt approach. They actually believe the govt is advising based on total individual risk.

The day lockdown is lifted, the risk to yourself of catching it, and the risk of you spreading it to others remains exactly the same. The only thing that will have changed is that the government will have decided that the peak has passed, and the pressure on the NHS is lower - so they can allow YOU to risk catching it now. It can still kill you, it can still kill your family.

Very well put, you are absolutely right and this was the case just before lockdown too which is why many over 70s locked down earlier.

OtterPotter Tue 14-Apr-20 09:48:12

So what's your solution OP? We can't stay in lockdown forever. Yes, after the rules are relaxed people will continue to catch it and continue to die from it. I don't see how we can prevent that?

We can't - that's my point. But I'm worried that some people will think that the lifting of lockdown will mean that the virus has suddenly disappeared. I'm worried for my family - I have a lot of "You can't do that because the RULES say so" type people in my family. At the moment, their following of the rules is of course keeping the more vulnerable members of the family safe. But Im concerned that their attitude will switch to "Of course we can do that now, the RULES say we can" which will immediately put them at risk.

We need the authorities to explain to us what are the main routes of infection, so we can make informed choices after lock down

Exactly this - people need to get better at understanding and assessing the risks. It is woefully absent at the moment, with people criticising others for doing things that are minimal risk because it's against the 'rules' with no apparent understanding that people are making those choices from an informed risk-assessed viewpoint.

Someone said on another thread "The regulations have been set with the lowest common denominator in mind, the majority of us ought to be able to apply a little common sense." I completely agree.

OP’s posts: |
Lookingforwardtomyeastereggs Tue 14-Apr-20 09:50:20

I totally agree op.

A large proportion of the public seem to be unable to risk assess and think for themselves.

The same people who were saying a few weeks ago that "it's just the flu", are some of the same people now screaming about "the rules".

I can fully imagine in sometime in the near future people crying out that it was all an overreaction.

I do worry that when it's deemed safe to go out people won't take simple precautions.

hammeringinmyhead Tue 14-Apr-20 09:50:57

I understand your point. When the rules are "You can now go out to a café or pub" there will be people who do so daily because they say it wouldn't be allowed if it wasn't safe. I personally am looking forward to being able to visit friends and family (who are not vulnerable) but I'm a bit nervous about anything beyond that.

Ninkanink Tue 14-Apr-20 09:52:54

Yes sadly the lemming-brained people will, as they already do, make it very difficult for everyone else. They won’t be helped by new guidance and advice because they don’t have the function to grasp the thinking behind it. So the rest of us will just have to continue taking stronger precautions.

LastTrainEast Tue 14-Apr-20 09:52:58

OtterPotter If they were blindly following it then they will blindly follow the new rules, but many of those 'obsessed' were just doing their best to handle the idiots who kept trying to find loopholes and people who kept encouraging them.

Common sense would have been enough if sense were common. I just explained to someone that 'no we were not saying you could catch from sitting on grass. We were saying that if you all insist on a picnic then you will spread it through other picnickers'

OtterPotter Tue 14-Apr-20 09:53:41

* I agree they don't grasp the compromises and wider societal perspective in the govt approach. They actually believe the govt is advising based on total individual risk*

Yes exactly. I've heard people say "Oh well my friend has been designated an official carer for her mother, so it's safe for her to go in and visit her". As if that designation somehow grants her immunity from the virus. No - your friend has been designated an official carer because it is recognized that some people need carers, and it is accepted that unfortunately those people have no choice but to be put at risk.

It's bizarre. And it worries me. I think we'll see a second peak once lockdown is lifted. We simply cannot be safe until a vaccine is developed, or better antivirals etc are developed. Until then, we must assess the risk individually and make our own choices as to whether we think quality of life is worth taking the risks.

OP’s posts: |
Ninkanink Tue 14-Apr-20 09:56:05

Of course we’ll see a second peak. That’s always been part of the strategy.

Ninkanink Tue 14-Apr-20 09:57:15

And let’s remember too, that there’s absolutely no guarantee that a vaccine will be developed.

OtterPotter Tue 14-Apr-20 09:57:55

I personally am looking forward to being able to visit friends and family (who are not vulnerable) but I'm a bit nervous about anything beyond that

Me too - and I'm willing to take the risk of catching it myself once I think our local hospital has capacity to treat me if i need it. But I'm not willing to risk passing it on to my elderly family. I just hope that other members of my family can see that too.

OP’s posts: |
WinnieTheW0rm Tue 14-Apr-20 09:57:59

I think those who 'interpret' the rules pose a greater threat.

As we do not yet know what the lifting of restrictions will look like, this is all crystal ball gazing. But I think the idea that it will go from the current set of restrictions to no restrictions is among the least likely.

So I suspect those who act in the common good and comply (rather than selectively ignore when it suits themselves 'interpret') will continue to do so and how well we get through the weeks/months after first peak will be in nonsmall measure because of their continuing community spirit.

OtterPotter Tue 14-Apr-20 09:59:19

Of course we’ll see a second peak. That’s always been part of the strategy And yet I think a lot of people think once lockdown is lifted, it will be over.

I think we'll see a series of rolling lockdowns to manage the flow. And I don't think this is being communicated adequately to people, there will be a lot of discontent once they realise this.

OP’s posts: |
Ninkanink Tue 14-Apr-20 10:06:01

No, those who ‘interpret’ are able to look at the perimeters and calculate risk within them, meaning that we are able to decide for ourselves the safest way to proceed. This keeps us safer, and will continue to do so, than those who have to be spoon fed rules and then apply them rigidly without any understanding of the principles behind them. Sadly, many more of them will get it. I and my DH and our daughters will be as safe as we can be, because we’ll continue being just as careful as we are being now.

The government is between a rock and a hard place - they really can’t afford to panic everyone, and they can’t leave it to everyone to just have common sense.

Barbie222 Tue 14-Apr-20 10:10:59

I think most people just risk assess for themselves, they don't think about how their innocent picnic or sausage roll on a park bench impacts on everyone else. So following the spirit of the guidelines, rather than the bare minimum to keep your family happy, does have an impact. If you're the only person standing up at a concert, you feel very clever about your good view, but as soon as everyone else stands up as well, you might as well not have bothered.

Ninkanink Tue 14-Apr-20 10:14:29

That’s not effective risk assessment, and also doesn’t take into account the wider underlying principles, so again, those are lemming-brained people who will make it worse for the rest of us. Following the spirit of the guidelines (they’re not rules, nor law!) is about much more than doing the ‘bare minimum’ but again, a lot of people won’t understand that. Which is why they froth about RULES and LAWS and freak out when people don’t abide by their ridiculous misinterpretations of advice.

HelloItsmeAgain1 Tue 14-Apr-20 10:21:47

I think people smart enough to follow them properly will keep being safe.
It's those who can't even do lockdown properly and who make their own rules that concern me! Mid-exercise picnics and easter egg hunts will be nothing in comparison.

Bluntness100 Tue 14-Apr-20 10:24:55

Op people won’t think it’s disappeared, they will be scared like you and it is more likely it will be the opposite of following the “rules”, people will be scared to leave their homes, scared to put their kids back in school, scared to go back to work.

The issue the country is facing is not people will suddenly think the risk has passed, they will be like you, scared their lives are in danger and scared to go out.

MoggyP Tue 14-Apr-20 10:25:16

Personal interpretation, by non-experts, of givermental regulations backed by law is not the rational or community spirited response.

But there are always some people who just won't be told - which is why it looks like 'spoon feeding'. It's an attempt to make it simple enough that even the really obtuse get it, and so that people spdesist from making up justifications to breach the current restriction.

Mercifully, in RL, people are complying, and there is no reason to think they will c are to comply with incremental changes.

Because most people aren't so dense that they are still having difficulty with what flattens the peak the best.

HelloItsmeAgain1 Tue 14-Apr-20 10:26:20

I don't know @bluntness100 people have been quite silly so far. I have friends counting down to the end of lockdown, despite being vulnerable.

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