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Spring in London with Covid-19: a personal view.
Med Leg J. 2020 Jul; 88(2):57-64.ML

Abstract

This is a personal view from London as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread here and the situation changes from day to day. As such it can only be a snapshot caught in time; it is not a diary of events. The Coronavirus Act 2020 gives Government enormous powers and was passed by Parliament in one day of debate immediately before it closed early for the Easter break. In March, the government imposed a "lockdown: the closure of all" but "essential" businesses and people other than essential workers must work from home but are allowed out for exercise and food shopping but must maintain 2 m apart, the "social distancing rule". The aim is to suppress the spread of the virus, reduce the death toll and "protect the National Health Service (NHS)" which needed time to empty wards and expand its intensive care unit (ICU) capability to deal with an expected influx of thousands of very sick patients. I discuss whether this strategy is working, how and why it has rapidly been altered to respond to criticism. Why was the Government so slow to seek the help of private laboratories to assist with testing? Why was the personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance altered only after criticism? I look at the impact of the lockdown on the UK economy, the changes to practice of medicine and speeding of scientific research. Cooperating with the lockdown has its price; is it harming the health and mental health of children, people living in households with potentially abusive partners or parents and those who are disabled or financially desperate? Is the cure worse than the disease? The Economy is being devastated by the lockdown and each day of lockdown it is worse. Is litigation being seeded even now by the pandemic? Notwithstanding unprecedented Government financial help many businesses are on the edge of collapse, people will lose their jobs and pensioners income. The winners include pharmacies, supermarkets, online food retailers, Amazon, online apps, providers of video games, services, streaming and scientific research laboratories, manufacturers of testing kits, ventilators, hand sanitisers, coffins, undertakers, etc. The British public is cooperating with lockdown but are we less productive at home? Parents with babies and children often child minders, school, grandparents or paid help which is not now available. Will current reliance on video-conferencing and video calls permanently change the way we work and will we need smaller city offices? Will we travel less? Will medical and legal practice and civil and criminal trials be generally carried out remotely? Will social distancing with self-isolation and job losses and business failures fuel depression? Is Covid-19 comparable to past epidemics like the Plague and Spanish flu?

Authors+Show Affiliations

London, UK.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32515258

Citation

Brahams, Diana. "Spring in London With Covid-19: a Personal View." The Medico-legal Journal, vol. 88, no. 2, 2020, pp. 57-64.
Brahams D. Spring in London with Covid-19: a personal view. Med Leg J. 2020;88(2):57-64.
Brahams, D. (2020). Spring in London with Covid-19: a personal view. The Medico-legal Journal, 88(2), 57-64. https://doi.org/10.1177/0025817220923692
Brahams D. Spring in London With Covid-19: a Personal View. Med Leg J. 2020;88(2):57-64. PubMed PMID: 32515258.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Spring in London with Covid-19: a personal view. A1 - Brahams,Diana, Y1 - 2020/06/09/ PY - 2020/6/10/pubmed PY - 2020/7/21/medline PY - 2020/6/10/entrez KW - Coronavirus Act 2020 KW - Covid-19 KW - ICU capability KW - London KW - NHS cancels routine surgery and therapies KW - PPE supply chain KW - death toll KW - debt burden KW - herd immunity KW - impact on public welfare KW - indefinite lockdown KW - is the cure worse than the disease KW - jobs and business suffer KW - medical and legal practices KW - not the Plague KW - online working KW - rapid spread KW - relaxation of research rules KW - remote education KW - slowing infection spread KW - social distancing KW - staying home KW - testing KW - trialling new therapies KW - up-skilling clinicians KW - vaccine SP - 57 EP - 64 JF - The Medico-legal journal JO - Med Leg J VL - 88 IS - 2 N2 - This is a personal view from London as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread here and the situation changes from day to day. As such it can only be a snapshot caught in time; it is not a diary of events. The Coronavirus Act 2020 gives Government enormous powers and was passed by Parliament in one day of debate immediately before it closed early for the Easter break. In March, the government imposed a "lockdown: the closure of all" but "essential" businesses and people other than essential workers must work from home but are allowed out for exercise and food shopping but must maintain 2 m apart, the "social distancing rule". The aim is to suppress the spread of the virus, reduce the death toll and "protect the National Health Service (NHS)" which needed time to empty wards and expand its intensive care unit (ICU) capability to deal with an expected influx of thousands of very sick patients. I discuss whether this strategy is working, how and why it has rapidly been altered to respond to criticism. Why was the Government so slow to seek the help of private laboratories to assist with testing? Why was the personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance altered only after criticism? I look at the impact of the lockdown on the UK economy, the changes to practice of medicine and speeding of scientific research. Cooperating with the lockdown has its price; is it harming the health and mental health of children, people living in households with potentially abusive partners or parents and those who are disabled or financially desperate? Is the cure worse than the disease? The Economy is being devastated by the lockdown and each day of lockdown it is worse. Is litigation being seeded even now by the pandemic? Notwithstanding unprecedented Government financial help many businesses are on the edge of collapse, people will lose their jobs and pensioners income. The winners include pharmacies, supermarkets, online food retailers, Amazon, online apps, providers of video games, services, streaming and scientific research laboratories, manufacturers of testing kits, ventilators, hand sanitisers, coffins, undertakers, etc. The British public is cooperating with lockdown but are we less productive at home? Parents with babies and children often child minders, school, grandparents or paid help which is not now available. Will current reliance on video-conferencing and video calls permanently change the way we work and will we need smaller city offices? Will we travel less? Will medical and legal practice and civil and criminal trials be generally carried out remotely? Will social distancing with self-isolation and job losses and business failures fuel depression? Is Covid-19 comparable to past epidemics like the Plague and Spanish flu? SN - 2042-1834 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32515258/Spring_in_London_with_Covid_19:_a_personal_view_ L2 - https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0025817220923692?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -