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).
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: https://www.edgehealth.co.uk/post/evolving-lockdown.
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: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/lockeddown1/