The ‘no politics’ agreement goes out the window. Boris fails to consult Nicola on new slogan. Here’s ours: Dae as yer telt. Stay in the hoose. Save lives, including yer ain.
The government’s initial strategy, therefore, was herd immunity and harvesting. Operational implementation follows a strategy, not the other way round. Only belatedly did the government’s strategy morph into one that sought to protect the elderly and reverse the harvesting, through widespread testing and contact tracing. But by then it was too late. Operations could not catch up.
Some people say it’s through technology that we will save ourselves, but perhaps in lockdown we are glimpsing that we need something more.
It was the same for the people on the fringes of society who came in during the winter and fell asleep, undisturbed, in the banquettes near the fire; the tramps and the people not quite well in the head, as my aunt would have said.
By any calculation, reaching that 75 per cent without a vaccine would take years. My worst case number crunching arrives at a figure of more than 30 years. Even the sunnier statistical estimates suggest that, without a vaccine, we could have 14 years of this “on/off economy”.