It works like this…
If they ratchet up the repressive measures too far too fast, they will get too many people too strongly opposed.
If they don’t ratchet them up much, then
1) they will feel like “pussies” (must keep the stormtroopers on their toes), and
2) they will have failed themselves by not getting towards their goal as fast as they could have (no point in “losing money”).
Please don’t believe they aren’t that cynical. They ARE that cynical.
Also the practice of on-off on-off, “circuit breaker lockdown”, followed by “OK, everyone go to Ibiza and the pubs”, followed by “Oh dear, too fast a relaxation, better have another lockdown”, etc., it is absolutely CLASSIC Skinnerian conditioning. See “variable reward” and “variable ratio” etc. – concepts that are taught to those who run advertising campaigns and “social media” companies and websites.