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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 should stop the virus from spreading

The only way to stop the virus from spreading is to isolate everyone who has it or has been exposed to it. Currently, there are no vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. Unfortunately, many more people will be affected if effective measures are not implemented to quarantine infected individuals.

The Argument

Originating in a small live animal market in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus spread to 193 countries and infected over 14 million people. [1] The transmission of this virus was accelerated by air travel, cruise ships, immigration, and emigration. All of these modes have one thing in common: They involve infected people traveling and coming in contact with others. The test, trace, isolate, and protect strategy seeks to address this exact problem. Anyone who is suspicious of having the virus or is experiencing early symptoms is advised to self-quarantine and get tested. If they test positive, they are supposed to continue in self-quarantine and notify authorities about everyone they came in contact with. Then these close-contact people are advised to self-quarantine and if they do begin to experience symptoms, they are supposed to report them. The cycle continues and the goal is to figure out everyone who has COVID-19 or is at risk of getting the virus. By following this process, over a span of weeks or months, there would be no more new cases since people cannot transmit the virus to others. Coronavirus needs a human host cell to provide it with food and energy which activates it. If infected people are getting effective treatment and cannot spread it to anyone, then the virus will become deactivated. The only sure way to annihilate such a contagious disease is to isolate those who are infected and stop it from spreading.

Counter arguments

The test, trace, isolate, and protect program is entirely dependent on individuals choosing to self-quarantine themselves and reporting those they have come in contact with. After months of being in lockdown, people have naturally grown tired of not being able to meet their friends, visit beaches, parks, and return to their workplaces. There is a high possibility that even if they do start experiencing symptoms, they will refuse to heed the warning signs and go on lockdown. Even if they do choose to self-quarantine, they might not report their close contacts as they would be encroaching on someone else's freedom. This whole system is based on individual responsibility and choice which is not entirely reliable given the circumstances we live in.

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Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/global-covid-19/world-map.html

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 30 Jul 2020 at 19:14 UTC

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