Hello Lockdown My Old Friend

It seems that Ireland are once again returning to the most restrictive lockdown-esque measures in an attempt to curb the rise and rise of Covid ahead of the run into Christmas 2020.

It’s most likely a strategic attempt to save Christmas and make sure that we are all out spending our Covid savings on stuff we don’t need in 9 weeks time. I get a feeling that saving actual lives is running 2nd place to saving the economy right now and in a way I can understand that.

I agree with the need to enforce greater restrictions as in the past few weeks, I think people have stopped caring about this thing. Most people likely know very few (if any) other people who have caught it or been really sick from it so actual real Covid cases are a distant thing to them. Distance = lack of urgency = little or no change in behaviour, a bit like climate change.

People no longer fear this thing the way they did when it showed up in March. Back then we just had to turn on the tv to see what was happening in Italian hospitals and our behavior changed overnight. It’s different this time around.

It is much harder to get joe public to buy into behavioral change now as most intelligent people can see that the response vs risks/impact are not aligned.

As it stands today, we have 1,852 deaths from people dying “with” Covid. It’s less clear how many have died “from” Covid which is another lens but leaving that aside, we are at 1,852 fatalities, which of course is very sad and unfortunate.

According to the central statistics office in Ireland for 2019, diseases of the heart and arteries (circulatory) and malignant cancers make up nearly 60% of all cause mortality, equating to 18, 878 people dead. We hear next to nothing about preventative measures in the community to address better cardiovascular health or cancer risk reduction yet it is killing 6 out of every 10 people here. It blows my mind.

Interesting to see the respiratory related illnesses, influenza and pneumonia make up 1,031 cases. While Covid will certainly drive up the mortality rate for 2020, having such an unprecedented response and inflicting such economic damage arising from repeated lockdowns to a disease that currently affects a fraction of those touched by heart disease and cancers seems misaligned to me.

I fear the media are too involved here and are stoking the fires of public anxiety and panic in a bid to retain higher and higher viewing statistics. But maybe that’s just the cynic in me….

Cui bono?

Yours in health and happiness,

JP

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