he wants to make sure this lockdown is the last

 

he wants to make sure this lockdown is the last

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now facing an “acute” dilemma, On the one hand, he wants to make sure this lockdown is the last, and fears a public backlash if he “relaxes too soon and has to reapply the brakes”. On the other, he faces growing pressure from within his own party to lift restrictions rapidly. This week, 63 of his backbenchers signed a letter from the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs, demanding that all lockdown curbs end by 1 May. Their calls will only grow louder as the vaccine roll-out continues apace.

They have a point, In a few weeks, the vaccine will have had time to take effect in the most vulnerable groups in society, who account for 88% of Covid fatalities, at which point deaths should fall sharply. And on current form, “it is plausible that every adult in the UK could be vaccinated by mid-May”. As the risk of death or serious illness from Covid decreases, so too does the justification for restrictions. “The world did not shut down because of the threat of mild to moderate Covid disease.” Yet much uncertainty remains,The vast majority of those inoculated have only had a first dose, which doesn’t confer full protection, while variants still carry unknown risks.

The PM’s team is at pains to strike a cautious tone over the easing of restrictions, But parliamentary arithmetic matters, and Johnson – who has a majority of 80 – will face pressure from a growing number of his MPs if his proposed route to normality is “too drawn-out” for their liking. Whether the public agrees with them is another matter, Many of us appear more cautious about the pandemic than ever, even as the tools available to fight it become “ever more powerful”. We needn’t be. The evidence suggests that most of the vaccines available confer some level of protection, even against mutant strains, while those that don’t are quickly being adapted. “We are entering a world in which Covid-19 is just another nasty bug circulating in the population, periodically combatted by vaccine variations. The faster we learn to accept this reality, the better.”

Comments