Yo-yoing in and out of lockdown has harmed health and livelihoods. In 2021, we need to do something different
- Susan Michie is on the Sage subcommittee advising on behavioural science
As the UK has yo-yoed in and out of multiple lockdowns, restrictions have harmed people’s livelihoods, businesses, mental and physical health, and their quality of life. In the first and second lockdowns, these restrictions proved insufficient to permanently drive down the prevalence of Covid-19. This time, we have been promised that all adults will have received their first vaccine dose by July – but its level of effectiveness, coupled with the potential emergence of new strains of the virus, means the vaccine rollout will not be a complete solution to the pandemic.
Roadmaps for easing restrictions across the devolved nations – with England’s due to be published on Monday – should be focused on avoiding the mistakes of the past 12 months. The UK must learn from what has worked in other countries that are now successfully returning to everyday life, such as Australia, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and Finland. They locked down early and hard, driving down transmission until it reached a level that could be managed by an effective system of test, trace and supported isolation.
Read the original article at The Guardian