End of Perpetual Lockdown? UK Will Transition to Treating Covid Like Flu ‘At Some Point’

A police van patrols as people relax in Hyde Park in central London on April 2, 2021 as life continues following an easing of the coronavirus restrictions to allow people from more than one household to meet outdoors. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty …
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The UK Government’s most senior medic has said the country will, “at some point”, start treating annual winter-time waves of coronavirus like it does the flu, pointing to a potential end to the persistent state of lockdown that has existed for over 12 months.

Speaking during a webinar for the Royal Society of Medicine seen by Breitbart London, Professor Chris Whitty — the government’s chief medical officer and the man running the UK’s coronavirus response — said that while coronavirus was not going to go away, there was only so much government intervention society could take. At some point, Whitty said, people would just accept a certain annual death toll from the virus, like they do with flu.

Even in particularly bad flu years, the chief medical officer said, the general population hardly noticed what was going on and the excess deaths didn’t make the newspapers. Although he emphasised his view that flu and Coronavirus shouldn’t be compared as diseases, nevertheless they would be treated the same by the public in the future — “at some point”. Whitty said:

… what you get with, say seasonal flu… when the seasons favour it you start to get cases. Every year, somewhere between 7-9,000 of our fellow citizens die of flu, most of them elderly. Some of them very young, and some in high risk groups like pregnant women.

Then every few years we get a bad flue year, when 20-25,000 die of it, and it really dominates a lot of the hospitals, we get significant problems. The last time we had that was about three years ago in the UK. No-one noticed it, it wasn’t reported on in the newspapers, but actually flu deaths over doubled in a year…

So it is clear that we are going to have to manage it, at some point, rather like we manage flu.

There would be a tradeoff in the future, Whitty said, because society would not continue to hold the medical profession in very high regard in future years if enforced lockdown went on and on. While it was natural to want “zero fatalities”, that had to be balanced against other important factors, like the economy and society.

Prof Whitty said he hoped medical countermeasures like vaccines and “I suspect, in due course, drugs” would do the ‘heavy lifting of keeping covid down. This would mean, he said that: “we can minimise mortality whilst not maximising the economic and social impacts on our fellow citizens.”

The apparent green shoots of Professor Whitty’s comments aside, the United Kingdom is still on a course of rolling out of the severe on-off coronavirus lockdown of the past year into a seemingly permanent state of affairs with established ID cards linked to coronavirus status in order to gain access to public places.

While mandatory identity cards were seen off in the early 21st century as being ‘un-British’, they are now on the verge of being introduced again as the government cites public health as the reason to make paper-carrying a requirement for the first time since the second world war. In an extremely rare example of the UK’s party of opposition meaningfully and constructively holding the government to account, Labour has said it is against the cards, noting that they are against “British instinct”.

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