Releasing some of the locks

May 3, 2020 • Reading time 2 minutes

All of our analysis on the impact of Covid-19 on the NHS is shared here. For further information please contact George on 07980804956 or [email protected]


Published 4 May 2020

One of the questions that get asked again-and-again is when we will be able to go back to the way things were in February before the pandemic hit the UK. The answer is either when everyone’s been vaccinated, or when there is a perfect drug to treat Covid-19. There’s the possibility that we do not want to go back, but that is too philosophical for a Monday. 

Current treatments are nowhere near good enough and the normal time for developing a vaccine is often ten years. The process of developing a vaccine can only be so quick as it needs to be both safe and effective – this year’s flu vaccine was only 45% effective (contrast this to the 60% requirement for herd immunity). 

Once developed, billions of doses need manufacturing and distributing – the ability to do this with a few million plastic gowns suggests this will be challenging on many levels.

So some form of social distancing will persist for a long time – possibly years – although the time of the blunt, but effective, lockdown is presumably almost over. This will extend the current economic pain of the pandemic. Recessions have a human cost as well as decreasing the tax revenues that pay for the NHS. So it is not a case of health vs wealth, but the health and wealth of the nation. 

Speculation on what might be announced on Sunday aside, we have set out our thoughts on protections, processes and policies to help restart some economic activity:

I would like to know how much you think the disruption of social distancing might continue to affect economic activity (i.e. work). Please let me know in this short survey:


Edge Health are a specialist UK healthcare analytics consultancy that use data and insights to improve the delivery of health and care services, so that better outcomes can be delivered more efficiently.