Today I seek your views on how much economic sacrifice we should make to try to slow or delay the transmission of this disease.
It is clearly lethal for a minority who get the bad version of it, but no worse than flu or bad colds for many others. The Global death rate so far from it is 0.015% of the world population, and it seems to account for under 3% of deaths. Cardiovascular problems remain the prime killer. CV 19 is on track to kill a few more than road traffic accidents but ranks well below cancer and other lung infections.
It is good news that in its second wave in the Americas and Europe the death rate is much reduced. Treatments are better and maybe more younger people are getting it with much less risk of death.Some of the advisers think it is just a lag and deaths will rise as they did in the spring. That would every worrying.
So how much economic pain should we suffer to delay the spread of the disease? Is there a realistic exit through a vaccine to make the cost of delay a price worth paying, or will there just be another flare up as soon as we relax controls again?
I think the government needs to do more to save livelihoods and needs to remove those controls that have limited utility in defeating the virus but do considerable damage to jobs and business. Can we do more to help people most at risk protect themselves from it? Can we have isolation hospitals and high standards of infection control in all care homes and other health settings?