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As long as the NHS isn't privatised. Profit-driven motives should have no place in healthcare.
Which country's policy is closest to what New Judge wishes we'd done?
//Which country's policy is closest to what New Judge wishes we'd done?//

Sweden.
No surprises there: Sweden's laissez-faire attitude to health, however, has seen them suffer proportionately worse than all but Spain, Italy, Belgium and the UK. From a healthcare perspective it's a rotten model.

Moreover, although Sweden is likely to be less severely hit economically than the UK, it's likely to be more severely affected than its nearest neighbours -- who also have fared better in dealing with Covid-19. Although these things aren't clear yet, and as seen below there's a mixed picture.

But, frankly, the fact that the health outcomes have been proportionately so much worse in Sweden than almost anywhere else in the world seems more important a consideration. And, as I say, compared to their nearest neighbours, their approach has been a disaster.

https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2020/06/01/na060120-sweden-will-covid-19-economics-be-different

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-16/one-economy-stands-out-as-crisis-reveals-striking-differences

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/sweden-didnt-impose-a-lockdown-its-economy-is-just-as-bad-as-its-neighbors-who-did-2020-06-25
Thanks, New Judge. I didn't ask just to knock it down. Most countries are struggling with big hits to their economies, or high numbers of deaths, or both (like England or the USA).

The Swedish approach looked good for a while but less so now, and there's still a way to go. Also, the average Swede is very different to the average Brit - more liberal and living in a much less densely populated country, for a start. I'd suggest with no evidence, except anecdotal (having visited Sweden and known and worked with a few Swedes in my time), that the average Swede would better understand the responsibilities they were being given with the right of freedom to choose, and they wouldn't indulge in the sorts of irresponsible behaviour we've seen here with the slight relaxation of lockdown we've had already. Actually I think the evidence is in how they have behaved over the last few months compared to how we have behaved over the last few weeks. I think trying their approach here, with our higher population density and more irresponsible people, would have been utterly disastrous.
//Sweden's laissez-faire attitude to health, however, has seen them suffer proportionately worse than all but Spain, Italy, Belgium and the UK.//

So if Sweden has a laissez-faire attitude to health and they have suffered less than the UK, why is the UK’s approach deemed more appropriate?

Where Sweden’s outcomes have been less favourable they have only been so thusfar. This is a long game and unfortunately one which will see many casualties, whatever approach is taken. The UK will almost certainly see cases and deaths rise again as the lockdown is progressively eased. The economy has already been crippled and if any attempt is made to constrict it again some sectors will never recover. The idea of switching the lockdown on and off (as is happening in Leicester) is madness. Businesses cannot cope with no-notice closures.

It seems the country’s strategy now is to impose restrictions which must last to a greater or lesser degree until a vaccine is found and the virus is eliminated. I’m by no means well read on the topic but as far as I know there has only been one virus that has been eliminated globally by a vaccine. That was smallpox and it took 200 years from the vaccine’s discovery to the world being rid of the disease.

Time will tell whether Sweden’s approach was right or not (when the state of their casualties (including non-Covid deaths), economy and social health are all weighed up). But England’s approach isn’t and Scotland’s is even less suitable (though how much of that is political jockeying one can only guess). The world has a long way to go before the number of deaths reaches that of the 1968 ‘Flue pandemic. No lockdown was imposed for that and it’s just as well because it lasted in earnest for more than 18 months and descendants of that virus are still around now.
22.05 ," you can fool some of the people some all of the time" Hang on in there N/J. There's no Fool like a radicalised Fool.
//There's no Fool like a radicalised Fool.//

You keep on mentioning it so I have to ask: do you know what being radicalised means? If so, who do you believe is radicalised among your felloe AB-ers and why?
// So if Sweden has a laissez-faire attitude to health and they have suffered less than the UK, why is the UK’s approach deemed more appropriate? //

Not sure I'd say "more appropriate", so much as "differently wrong". Sweden, which is a country with a lower population density and is far less of a transport hub, was far less vulnerable than the UK -- or Spain and Italy for that matter -- and to have outcomes that are comparable to the, thus far, worst-affected nations is a clear sign of failure.

It is, incidentally, misleading to suggest that the 1968 flu is still "a long way off". The estimated toll from that pandemic over a course of about 18 months was 1-4 million, which is very different from an official "live" toll. Right now, the tracker for official total Covid-19 deaths is a shade over 500,000, but this is almost certainly already an underestimate, either because official statistics necessarily lag the true picture or because some countries are straight-up lying about their figures.

It's also notable that, in the US, Covid-19 has already overtaken the highest estimate of tolls in the '68 season, with many more deaths still to come and many more already having been missed. Assuming the current trajectory lasts for another few months then it would be safe to say that even the official total for Covid-19 would outstrip the lower estimate of the 1968 season. It's simply worse by most sensible measures than any pandemic since the Spanish Flu, with the exception of AIDS.

It's important, too, to remember that in the 1918 flu season, social distancing measures were adopted, and were actually relatively successful -- and then people clamoured to break these restrictions, and the disease flared up again, and many more millions died. I'm not convinced by any argument that allowing a disease to run rampant and kill people is a price worth paying for the benefit of "the economy" -- or, at least, if this *is* true, then we seriously need to rethink how the economy works, if human lives are regarded as, in essence, expendable, or an acceptable loss.

More to follow in separate posts, I thought it was better to break things up.
//I’m by no means well read on the topic but as far as I know there has only been one virus that has been eliminated globally by a vaccine. That was smallpox and it took 200 years from the vaccine’s discovery to the world being rid of the disease. //

This is partly true -- there is actually a second eliminated disease, rinderpest, but that gets less attention as it only affected cattle -- and there is a long and complicated history about the vaccine that I'm not sure I can do justice to here. Two points, however, are worth mentioning:

1. The programme to eradicate the disease in earnest only began in the 1950s/1960s, so it's actually closer to 20 years than 200;
2. The programme would have taken quite a lot less time had there not been so much resistance from multiple sources. Dicey, for example, in his book on the Constitution of the UK, spends ages arguing about why Proportional Representation and Referendums are rotten systems because they would/could allow "the anti-vaccinators" a route to imposing their will. I was going to say that we live in more enlightened times now, but, of course, the MMR controversy shows that to be a lie -- but, still, it is likely that take-up for a Covid-19 vaccine in many countries would be high enough to make it relatively effective.

https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/history-anti-vaccination-movements (How ironic that the town of Leicester was causing health problems even then...)

I'm sure I've forgotten my own point -- I suppose, if anything, it is that we've never really taken the community aspects of healthcare seriously enough. I'd suggest that the latest pandemic is as good a time as any to recognise that, literally, fatal flaw in society's attitudes.
Finally, I've no idea what gulliver's on about. We may fundamentally disagree on just about everything related to this, but debates would be boring if we agreed on everything.

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