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How do we think about the UK lockdown debate? Show more Show less
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The coronavirus pandemic has led to unprecedented isolation measures throughout the world. One effect has been the creation of ideological blocs across traditional party lines, lobbying for different approaches to containing the virus. UK lockdown came into effect on March 23, shutting down non-essential business and movement outside the home, bar a single daily outing for exercise. Critics variously describe this decision as too late, too little, too much and overblown. So, who are these groups, what do they stand for, and why?

Test, trace, isolate, protect Show more Show less

The strategy of building capacity to test, trace, isolate and then protect an increasing part of the population has worked in other countries.
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More public health jobs would be created in the UK

The contact tracing strategy would be entirely reliant on public health workers and contact tracers. People can be easily and quickly trained to fill these positions. They would not only offer valuable advice to the public but also reduce the number of hospitalizations and help the economy rebound.
Coronavirus Economy Government Health Lockdown United Kingdom

The Argument

This strategy to help end lockdown would create many more well-paying jobs. Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California, recently recommended the state to train 10,000 new contact tracers.[1] The initiative is that within the first 24 hours if individuals fear being exposed to the disease or transmitting it, they contact public health workers. Such programs are being implemented in the UK as well, and could become the answer to defeating COVID-19. There is a huge drive to train more public health workers. In an underfunded and rigidly structured medical system, it is hard to train more doctors, nurses, and hospital workers in a shorter period of time. There is a growing fear of hospitals exceeding their capacity levels or running out of resources. But, individuals and entire communities won't have to be admitted if their risk of exposure and transmission are evaluated by public health workers. In the UK, public health workers or community workers can be trained within 3 months. The program includes a 40-hour didactic training and an 80-hour practicum.[2] The training period is relatively fast and they can be of tremendous help and service to the community especially during the pandemic. As the economy starts reopening, many more jobs will need to be created and public health jobs can drastically increase.

Counter arguments

Public health jobs put individuals and families at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19. As of May 22, forty-nine NHS staff have died due to the pandemic.[3] Nursing news estimates that at least 134 healthcare and social workers have passed away due to the disease.[4] All of these statistics show that public health workers are increasingly at risk of becoming sick. If they are asymptomatic or unaware of their exposure, they could even transmit it to their family members. It is very reasonable for people to take time off during these trying times. Governments should always explain the risks and sacrifices that public health workers need to make. Given this context, it is quite possible that many people won't join as healthcare workers.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/07/16/why-isnt-contact-tracing-protecting-california-from-covid-19-outbreaks/source.html
  2. https://ruralhealth.med.uky.edu/training-1.html
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/16/doctors-nurses-porters-volunteers-the-uk-health-workers-who-have-died-from-covid-19/source.html
  4. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/families-of-uk-health-workers-who-die-from-covid-19-will-get-payments-of-up-to-75000-2020-04-27/source.html
This page was last edited on Monday, 26 Oct 2020 at 14:47 UTC

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