Rabbit in the Headlights
According to data released by the Office for National Statistics the total number of excess deaths in the UK was over 53,000 in early May. Covid-19 was responsible for 37,187 (75%) of those excess deaths. For families who have lost a loved one, this is a terrible time, but we need to put the figures into context.
By way of comparison, according to the World Health Organisation a total of 1,500,000 people died from tuberculosis in 2018. An estimated 10,000,000 people fell ill with the condition worldwide. The disease affects men, women and children of all ages. However, because over 95% of cases and deaths are in developing countries, here in the UK one rarely hears about it.
Despite those extraordinary figures, the world economy does not shut down, airlines are not grounded, people continue to get on with their lives.
Professor Karol Sikora, a former advisor to the World Health Organisation, is quoted in todays Telegraph as saying he thinks the stay at home message has been too effective. He says “everybody is just too scared to move”. He believes the Government's message should be “go out and live your life”, that risk is “inevitable” and cannot be eliminated. To further quote the good Professor;
I look at Boris Johnson and he looks like a rabbit in headlights.
What this country needs is strong leadership and a clear message; at the moment we are getting neither. The Government needs to be honest with the country, to explain the risks and how how we might deal with them, but also the need for us to leave our homes and live. It is a bridge we will have to cross at some time, so why not now, before the economy is utterly shattered?
19th May 2020