Express & Star comment: Look before you leap
Look before you leap. Those are sensible words, yet they go unheeded by the vast majority of people as lockdown starts to ease.
We have endured the most cataclysmic change in our lives since the end of the Second World War. It is understandable that we might want to fill our parks and beaches, shake hands with friends, hug relatives.
Yet we appear to be forgetting the things we have learned. The virus is among us, the death rate is approximately four times higher now than when lockdown was introduced. Our track and trace policy is still finding its feet. There are also a large number of asymptomatic people in our community; the people who have the virus and spread it, without showing symptoms.
Against that backdrop, people are flooding to Ikea and this week they may be buying Big Macs at McDonalds. Other shops will soon open and people will rush out to freshen up wardrobes that have become stale during lockdown. Schools are gradually easing back and our roads are busier as people return to work.
Many lockdown measures are being ignored wholescale now that easing has started.
Perhaps there is is something about the British psyche that makes us return to old habits en mass. Too often, there is no restraint or consideration where there should be. Instead, there is an apparent willingness to mix in large groups or to meet up with friends in homes against the rules. The danger is clear, that we will end up doing more damage to our economy long term by having to enforce another lockdown in the event of a second wave.
The Government is not just ruled by the science, but also by politics. Easing lockdown, introducing track and trace early and moving people back to work boosts the economy while changing the narrative.
Yet Britain is still the worst placed nation in Europe and there are many who believe these measures are coming too quickly and that people are not staying apart.
If mistakes are made, the price in the long run could be more lives lost.