What is the Exit Strategy?

4 April 2020. Updated 26 April 2020.

Further Reading

This is how to end lockdown and bring the economy back to life‘ by Gerard Lyons, The Telegraph, April 4th 2020

We cannot stay in this coronavirus lockdown limbo until a vaccine is found‘ by Nick Boles, The Sunday Times, April 5th 2020

Allow young people out of lockdown early to get country moving, say business experts’ by Sarah Knapton, The Telegraph, April 7th 2020

When and how will Germany’s lockdown measures end?‘ by Rachel Loxton, The Local, April 7th 2020

We cannot leave our coronavirus exit strategy to the experts‘ by Andrew Lilico, The Telegraph, April 9th 2020

Has Boris’s guru found the key to getting economy out of lockdown! Economist Gerard Lyons to hand Ministers plan to get shops open in weeks‘ by Helen Cahill, Mail on Sunday, April 11th 2020

NHS phone app holds key to lifting UK’s coronavirus lockdown‘ by Tim Shipman and Nick Rufford, Sunday Times, April 12th 2020

The case for ending the football coronavirus ban‘ by David Paton, The Spectator, April 12th 2020

The lockdown is NOT a way of beating this virus‘ by Doctor Malcolm Kendrick, drmalcolmkendrick.org, April 12th 2020

Spain loosens coronavirus lockdown, death toll passes 17,000 but pace slows‘ by Jose Elías Rodríguez, Nathan Allen, Reuters, April 13th 2020

Could coronavirus crisis be over in 2 weeks?‘ by Shimon Cohen, Arutz Sheva 7, April 13th 2020

The Government has done well so far, now we need a plan to get Britain back in business‘ by Brooks Newmark, CapX, April 15th 2020

Researchers suggest alternating lockdowns to exit corona‘, Israel 21 C, April 13th 2020

The truth about the Government’s exit strategy is that there isn’t one‘ by Fraser Nelson, The Telegraph, April 16th 2020

Controlled infection to exit COVID-19 lockdown: a first utilitarian analysis‘, Chris Hope, Cambridge Judge Business School, April 16th 2020

Boris Johnson’s former economic adviser tells PM to go for growth‘ by Tim Wallace and Tom Rees, The Telegraph, April 21st 2020

A sensible COVID-19 exit strategy for the UK‘ by Nicholas Lewis, nicholaslewis.org, April 24th 2020

Two weeks’ quarantine if travelling to UK under plans for “second phase” of coronavirus response’ by Edward Malnick, The Telegraph, April 25th 2020

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Caswell Bligh
Caswell Bligh
1 month ago

I think it is too easy for anyone with a tendency towards critical thinking to assume that the exit strategy is an impossible conundrum – I know I fall into the loop every time I think about it. The lockdown changed ‘the experiment’ and we will never know what would have happened without it. Whatever we personally think, when trying to predict what will happen we are forced to adopt what we imagine to be the government’s mindset, and we know that the government listens to ‘experts’. The ‘experts’ are basically empiricists (not rationalists) who are blundering about, fitting their models to dodgy stats without questioning the data (which would be the ultimate sin of ‘epistemic trespass’), and then telling the government what to do.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/15/uk-government-coronavirus-science-who-advice

Short of a vaccine we know that their logic for the lockdown is that it doesn’t change the number of eventual deaths, but merely staggers them. If the lockdown is fully released, they think, we’d be back to square one. The public seems to favour the lockdown; therefore the public must be happy – even having experienced it – to wait a further 17 months in this state; and the government seems incapable of independent action, being ‘led’ by ‘science’ and public opinion, therefore we should be prepared to stay in lockdown for years, potentially.

But this may be very misleading. Most of the public are not thinking anything like this, because they’re not clued in to the subtleties of what’s going on. They imagine merely that the lockdown is there ‘to save lives’. They are simply waiting for the mythical ‘peak’ to pass, as shown by the dodgy stats. They are stoically prepared to endure another three weeks, say, after the peak, but after that they’ll need to see change and a short path to normality. If the authorities and their friends in the media want to impose their lockdown for longer, they’ll need to fake the stats and postpone the apparent ‘peak’. Explanations about second waves and so on won’t cut it. The public did their duty and ‘flattened the curve’. I think it would be impossible to ask them to keep doing it.

Surely the government is not as stupid or indecisive as it, frankly, looks. It is going to have to tell the ‘experts’ where to go. At the moment, it looks as though the media are all lined up behind the lockdown, but this may be an illusion. The Guardian and BBC are obviously exploiting the crisis politically and would love it to carry on until a full socialist state is in place, but the other press may be becoming as sick of all this as everyone else. I can’t believe that the British public will stand this for much longer once the ‘peak’ that was promised in April is passed.

Lorenzo Basso
Lorenzo Basso
12 days ago
Reply to  Caswell Bligh

This is an eminently sensible take on things, and it’s rather distressing almost two months later to see that almost nothing has changed and the prevailing public appetite for the lockdown seems stronger than ever. The peak is long past, the curve is flattened, and we’re still talking about more than six weeks until a lot of businesses can reopen. I do wonder what would satisfy the majority of the public that we could return to normalcy…

Caswell Bligh
Caswell Bligh
1 month ago

From the Guardian this morning:

“If No 10 is saying that it will be “guided by scientific and expert advice”, it is worth stressing that Ferguson *is* the scientific and expert advice … And this morning Ferguson said: It’s not going to be going back to normal. We will have to maintain some form of social distancing, a significant level of social distancing, probably indefinitely until we have a vaccine available.”

I may be cynical, but it should be noted that people like Ferguson now have strong personal and professional interest in keeping the measures in place regardless of ‘the science’. If the measures are lifted and there is no “significant rebound”, their credibility will be shot. As long as social distancing remains in place, they can always claim the lack of rebound is due to it, and not that their models were in the realms of fantasy and that they gave them too much credence.

It would be ironic if the government has got itself into the position of trashing the country and its economy just to save one academic’s professional reputation.

Clarence Beeks
Clarence Beeks
1 month ago
Reply to  Caswell Bligh

For virus experts or scientists this is their day/year in the sun. It justifies everything they’ve done throughout their careers and now they are in demand they won’t give up the attention lightly.

It’s like a football pundit when asked for pre-match score prediction – will they forecast a 0-0 or an exciting game? If they wants to be asked back they won’t go for the 0-0, even if that’s what they believe.

As the saying goes – the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Caswell Bligh

Some people seem to be Teflon coated. I would have thought Ferguson’s credibility would have been shot after Foot and Mouth (FMD) in 2001 with the slaughter of six million cows and sheep with a cost to the economy of about 8 bilion quid. So Ferguson seems most adept at wrecking the economy. Is that why he’s still advising the government?

InformednotAfraid
InformednotAfraid
25 days ago
Reply to  Caswell Bligh

Speaking of people with financial incentives – https://youtu.be/zu2Ftcv6u3w

Fauci is in bed with Bill Gates – the same Bill Gates who keeps telling us our life is not returning to normal unless we take his vaccine. Both have a God complex and want to be seen as the saviours of the world. Gates is a control freak who’s also obsessed with population control/climate change. The BBC is also receiving funding from Bill Gates: https://unitynewsnetwork.co.uk/revealed-bbc-charity-receives-millions-in-funding-from-gates-foundation/
Oh yes – and so is a certain CMO we know as Mr Whitty: https://youtu.be/P5jMhX43WXw
which explains the media hysteria and be why we’re being imprisoned in our own homes.

Caswell Bligh
Caswell Bligh
1 month ago

And further to my comment above, I didn’t even mention the staggering idea that one academic is literally telling the elected government what to do – and saying so publicly. And that they are proud to admit that they are being ‘led’ by his ‘advice’ i.e. doing what he tells them. It’s actually incredible.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Caswell Bligh

You’re either deluded or intentionally trying to lie about the truth. There is a team of experts from different fields having COBR meetings. It’s not just a single epidemiologist. The problem is that each expert in this team thinks they’re right. However, narrow expertise (definition of an expert) is different from someone who has the wisdom to put diverse expertise together into a cohesive public policy. This last skill is much harder to do right. Almost everyone has tunnel vision and thinks their opinion solves a complex world issue. The same is true for homelessness or addiction, people think you just need to do X or Y and these problems will be fixed. This is the same as any armchair expert, like people who shout useless advice at footballers and football managers on television. Unless someone has been a professional footballer or football manager at that level, their shouts of alleged wisdom are ego trips and not anything related to true wisdom and understanding. Most comments on websites, YouTube or social media are like idiots shouting at the television. The phrase “it’s far more complicated than that” could be applied almost everywhere on the internet, and indeed even my comment is a huge simplification, but I am aware of that, I just don’t have space to delve into this issue ad infinitum. I just know we need an expert who can piece together other expert opinions together into a cohesive strategy. Note, nobody understands the true path out of this mess.

Steven Moseley
Steven Moseley
1 month ago
Steven Moseley
Steven Moseley
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven Moseley

Why we should authorize immediately Dr Raoult’s HCQ+AZT treatment (Or any other treatment with a decent chance to work for the same token)
https://anti-fragilista.com/f/why-we-should-authorize-immediately-dr-raoult%E2%80%99s-hcqazt-treatment

Sanjeev Sabhlok
1 month ago

Superb effort. I’ve written six articles with a clear exit strategy – herd immunity. Linked here: http://swarnabharat.in/pandemic. Our party stands for liberty and rejects totalitarian lockdowns.

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
1 month ago

I am fortunate enough to often be published in the Letters section of the Daily Telegraph. Sadly, my recent missives around lockdown have fallen upon stony ground. Here is one from a couple of days ago which I wanted to share.
Sir, the Government’s current blunt-edged sword approach to the lockdown seems extraordinary, one size clearly does not fit all.
We are told today that all of 90% of deaths related to Covid-19 were of people with pre-existing conditions. We are also told that the virus is more likely to affect the elderly, those with high BMI and some members of the BAME community. Are we not therefore able to apply a smart, profiled approach to this seemingly open-ended lockdown?
There is no cure, no inoculation, precious little testing and whilst the entire country is locked down, no establishment of herd immunity.
Clearly, those of the most vulnerable profile should remain in lockdown for the time being, but cannot the vast majority, taking sensible precautions, get on with life in the meantime? We will after all need an economy at the end of this.
Yours
Belle

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