Anti-lockdown movement backs return to normal life

Anti-lockdown movement calls for return to normal life

Anti-lockdown movement backs return to normal life

Calls are growing for governments to overturn their coronavirus strategies and allow life for the majority to return to normal.

Scientists are among those calling for protection to be focused on the vulnerable, while young and healthy people get on with their lives.

This comes as new measures to tackle a rise in Covid-19 cases look set to be announced in the coming days.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has said today the government was “currently considering what steps to take” and the BBC is reporting pubs and restaurants could be closed in the worst-affected areas of England. There could also be a ban on overnight stays away from home in these areas.

A final decision on the time period or extent of potential closures has not yet been made however and a formal announcement is not likely to come until Monday, said the BBC, but any potential tightening of the rules is already meeting opposition.

Lord Ashcroft, former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, Tweeted: “It’s becoming clearer that Covid-19 will be around through 2021 and maybe beyond… we must learn to live with it by shielding the elderly and the vulnerable and let everyone else get on with their lives taking responsibility for their own safety…”

While earlier this week an international group of scientists called for a herd immunity approach to the pandemic by allowing people who are less vulnerable to the effects of the disease to return to normal life.

The proposal, drawn up by three researchers but signed by many more, argued for letting the virus spread in low-risk groups in the hope of achieving “herd immunity”.

The authors of the declaration – Sunetra Gupta, of Oxford University, Jay Bhattacharya, of Stanford University, and Martin Kulldorff, of Harvard University – argued that Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions were having “devastating effects” on public health by disrupting routine care and harming mental health, with the underprivileged bearing the greatest burden.

While many governments are trying to suppress the virus until new treatments and vaccines are found, the trio wrote that older people and others at risk should be shielded while those in the least danger should “immediately be allowed to resume life as normal”.

The negative impact of lockdowns listed included lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – which the declaration claimed would lead to greater excess mortality in years to come, hitting working class people and young people the most.

But some critics said the plan amounted to a culling of sick and disabled people.

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