Eliminate the virus > Close the borders > Reopen Britain | John Murphy

Buzzfeed News has released the government’s regulations for people to return to work. It doesn’t resemble Big Brother so much as ‘The Circle’ a reality TV show where contestants are isolated from each other and can only communicate via text.

Please go read the list of regulations for yourself. Individually, they are sensible but together they create a joyless Britain.

You should bear in mind when reading through the list that the governments plan is for you to live like this until a vaccine comes along. Without socialising or entertainment for potentially two years.

There are three main problems with the regulations. The first is that they won’t protect people anyway. The proposals call for the most at risk people to be furloughed. That’s great but what about the people that live with them? You are not protected from your virus if your wife is not protected from the virus. I hope the government isn’t planning to ask husbands and wives to live apart in their own homes.

These at risk people only include people the NHS has specifically written too, people who have serious medical conditions. It doesn’t include the millions of people who are at risk just because of their age, sex, race, because they smoke or don’t smoke or for a variety of other reasons. We still don’t even know who this much bigger group is. Are obese people significantly more at risk? Does being a smoker put you more at risk as Public Health England currently thinks or is smoking protective as the latest evidence suggests? We know that men are far more at risk but from what age? Boris is only 55 and he was near death.

The second problem is that people won’t follow them. Any Health and Safety person knows the weakest safety protections are those which require people to follow rules. Most work place accidents are because of human error or wilful disobedience. These regulations are almost impossible for a functional human being to follow. I have already witnessed the 2m rule become the 1m rule become the non existent rule within a matter of weeks.

The third issue is that they are mean. Humans need social contact. These rules deprive us of that. They deprive us of chit-chatting with our colleagues, drinking with our friends and visiting our elderly relatives. They are just mean. Asking us to follow them is asking us to choose between what it means to be human and being alive itself, because if we don’t follow them people will die.

There is a better option.

Eliminate the virus; Close the borders; Reopen Britain.

Other countries are showing us the way on this. Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore. They are successfully using lock-downs to suppress the virus to such an extent that they can use testing, tracing and isolating to eliminate it entirely. Yes, this does require strict controls at the border. Quarantining people coming in, testing and isolating lorry drivers. It will not be fun for those that need or want to travel off or onto our island. But the rest of us will be free to live our lives.

Less than 10% of Brits have had the virus so we have seen only 10% of the potential death toll this virus could bring. This is serious and it’s right that those of us that have to work follow social distancing rules as much as possible and the rest of us should stay locked down. But it is untenable for social distancing and isolating people to become the norm. Neither can we accept the massive death toll that this virus seeks. Hopefully there are effective treatments on the horizon but until then the best option is to eliminate the virus, close the borders and reopen Britain.


Photo by diamondwarrior on Flickr. 

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