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Covid

The great lockdown delusion

A police officer scolding Britons during lockdown. Mike Hewitt/Getty

Three years on, says Allister Heath in The Daily Telegraph, there’s enough evidence to state, “unequivocally”, that lockdowns were a “catastrophic error”. Yet politicians still refuse to admit the choice to shut down society is “directly responsible” for the mess Britain is now in. Take Matt Hancock, who, “with a straight face”, told the Covid inquiry we need to prepare for “wider, earlier, and more stringent lockdowns” during future pandemics. “The delusion is staggering.” It was Hancock’s “beloved” lockdowns that led workers to believe they could work from home – or not at all – while receiving huge furlough handouts. Not only did this encourage the “extreme money-printing” responsible for our current sky-high inflation and mortgage rates; it created a “dependency culture” ensuring the public now “demands a bailout” whenever anything goes wrong.

Public service workers have come to believe “providing a service is optional” – hence the endless strikes crippling the economy. Shutting down the non-Covid health service resulted in years-long waiting lists for routine operations and a “ticking cancer time bomb”. Lockdowns were equally disastrous for children, not only on their academic abilities, but in the surge in mental health issues as kids were isolated from their peers. There’s no doubt about it: officials “panicked and overreacted” to a pathogen that would have only killed 1% of people – the more cool-headed, “liberal Swedish or Floridian approach” should have prevailed. The real horror is that our politicians refuse to acknowledge this, so when the next pandemic comes, they’ll insist on making the same mistakes “all over again”.