5. Lockdown is not sustainable

Unless we are to live this way forever, lockdown will have to be eased. Then what? Pandora’s box is open. No one thinks this virus will be eradicated. It will be present within the population and will spread in its own way. To understand the overall effects of a virus we cannot just look at now or the next few weeks. The impact of this pathogen will be measured, like flu, over years. Some years will be worse than others. There is no guarantee or even probability that this lockdown will have made any impact on the overall numbers of deaths in say five years time. Lives ‘saved’ now may well be claimed later. Our own immune systems have been honed by hundreds of millions of years of evolution to cope with viral threats. They are the only way we survive in a world full of viral pathogens, many of which we have all already had without ever knowing. Countries that are now pleased to have a low incidence of the virus will have to face it later unless they are to enter a North Korea-like state of isolation. Even then the virus may enter on the wind, or domestic cats, or some other way we haven’t yet thought of. No country has ever improved the health of its population by making itself poorer. Lockdown is impairing our ability to live with the effects of this virus, while not changing the long game.