But the strict containment measures now familiar around the planet—population lockdowns, prohibition of mass gatherings, and travel bans—were notable only by their absences. Johnson’s government has diverged with the rest of the world and decided to take a much less draconian approach, and his scientific advisers have admitted the strategy could see as much as 60 percent of the population catch the coronavirus.
In point of fact, Britain is effectively encouraging a potentially deadly virus to spread to the majority of the people who live here. Remember, the U.K. is one of the only European countries which is still allowed to send flights to the United States under President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
The logic goes like this: if a large section of the population is exposed to the coronavirus now, it will likely help people develop a level of immunity, and then Britain will be in the best possible position to defend itself from a much worse outbreak of the virus in the future. The strategy reportedly has been shaped by the history of the deadly Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, which saw a second, much larger spike in deaths months after the first outbreak…
Sixty percent of the British population is just under 40 million people. Even if Britain experiences a low mortality rate from the virus, that would lead to an expected 300,000 deaths.