Clark – You make the assumption that I am in favour of ‘permitting SARS-CoV-2 infection to spread without social restrictions’ I am not even convinced of that myself, so I think you are stretching it a bit to assign such a position to me. Were you to contend that I seem to have ‘deep reservations about social restrictions’ I would willingly agree, for the reasons I have already set out. You then ask me to answer a series of ‘what if’ questions. And herein lies the difficulty, as we are all dealing with ‘what ifs’ to some extent. I could just as easily ask you ‘what if’ social restrictions result in any number of evils, from extreme and widespread poverty, huge increases in death rates and the destruction of human rights. These are at least fairly well documented as they have happened before. You will no doubt say ‘the science’ proves beyond doubt that terrible things will happen if strict controls are not enforced, but science is still only a series of ‘what ifs’, it is not infallible, it changes over time and is often subsequently proved incorrect. And it hasn’t even begun to look at some of the possible unforeseen effects, such as significant interference with the ‘normal’ circulation of viruses, essential to our survival.
I do consider other people’s deaths and final days, although I am honest enough to say that I think of them in terms of those I know personally and not in terms of a vague mass of souls whom I have never met. The final weeks of my next-door neighbour, who had been long ill and suffered with Alzheimer’s, were quite tragically marred when his little trips out to the garden centre and visits from his children and grandchildren were suddenly stopped by the first lockdown, leaving him wildly unhappy and confused. His health spiralled rapidly downwards and he died shortly after the lockdown was lifted. His wife is left not only with the sadness of bereavement but a desperate feeling of letting him down, despite it being quite beyond her control. His final days were not improved in the slightest by the measures supposedly in place to protect him. If I was as rude as you, I might ask accusingly ‘don’t you care about him or her?’ but it serves no purpose, it is not your fault.
You seem very concerned by a vision of huge numbers of people gasping for breath and bodies piled up. I personally do not share that vision, my fears lie elsewhere, for the future of my children and grandchild and for others that I know who are being badly knocked about in all this. But neither of us can accurately predict the future and nor can the scientists. Look more kindly on your fellow man, even if he doesn’t agree with you, it’s all you can really do to make the world a better place.
SA – Thank you for making some very important points, although I did not find Yeadon plausible because he was a scientist. Had he been a milkman I would still have found what he has to say of interest! It is a very very complex situation and not at all as clear cut as I think Clarke feels. I agree entirely that there is something disturbingly wrong with the way we all keep voting for ineffectual and power-hungry governments. To be fair, we don’t have much choice. I suppose every system is inherently flawed, as soon as someone stands up and says ‘Vote for ME’ we know that is not really the kind of individual we need. The only exception I can think of is Corbyn, but without the killer instinct he was lost. An unsolvable contradiction it seems.