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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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We need to support the test, trace, and isolation infrastructure

For test, trace, and isolate to be successful, it requires the cooperation of all populations. Younger generations have been flouting lockdown rules and guidance, putting others at increased risk.
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The Argument

While some people are getting a little stir crazy with all the testing and isolation, it’s these measures that are essential for keeping people safe. There are ways to enjoy being with friends and family without putting them at risk. Being inside might not be everyone’s idea of a perfect day, but a bit of creativity can bring some fun into the household. Cases are rising because of a lack of responsibility the younger generation is taking towards the pandemic.[1] With the belief that they’re young with healthy immune systems means they’re taking more risks by going out to gatherings and parties. Covid-19 is not the seasonal flu, but rather, an unprecedented global event to face this generation. The uncontrolled spread poses a risk to nearly all populations. Children and older generations are all at risk of the virus, and most of the generation taking these risks have a loved one at risk of severe disease. Just one person can spread the virus to dozens of people, under certain circumstances. It may be mild for a young adult, but it could prove deadly for their family.[2] There’s not just a lack of care with not following these guidelines, but a willful ignorance of them. This disregard actively puts loved ones at risk and allows the virus to spread unchecked. If people take care to follow these steps, the number of cases and the degree of threat will decrease, allowing people to begin to return to their familiar ways of life. More consideration among the youth will help avoid further disruption.

Counter arguments

The UK's testing system and process are significantly overwhelmed with the spread of COVID-19.[3] Methods of testing and with the lack of tests mean the areas that need it the most are lacking sufficient resources. Many are forced to isolate to protect their friends and family, even if they don't have the virus. Isolation is only helpful to the situation if the people who have contracted the virus or are at risk of contracting it protect themselves and others. For those who don't have it or are at low risk, lockdown can be harmful to their jobs and livelihoods. At its core, the problem with this system is the lack of means to allow it to function at scale and the general process. There's a lack of testing supplies and a lack of speed for the results, which negatively impacts the entire population. Even if younger generations stayed more cautious, the current testing system is insufficient to reduce the spread. While it's crucial to isolate from others, the entire system needs an overhaul before it can work efficiently and make a larger impact with decreasing the amount of COVID cases. Scapegoating younger generations is misguided when the government is not meeting its obligations to protect.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Following the proper steps will allow for people to return to their usual lifestyle much faster.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] This system is not able to work at scale and will be ineffective as a result.

References

  1. https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/health/coronavirus-maps-and-cases/
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-52442754
  3. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2237475-covid-19-news-testing-shortages-reported-in-englands-virus-hotspots/
This page was last edited on Friday, 18 Sep 2020 at 22:15 UTC

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