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National lockdown – but is it working?

This seems to be the question on everyone's mind, and with the daily number of cases and deaths increasing every day it is easy to think it's not. What's important to understand is the lag effect...

Elizabeth Lucy

By Elizabeth Lucy

Twelve days into our UK wide lockdown and as a country we seem to be settling into this new and strange way of life. Even popping to the shop for milk and digestive biscuits (essentials of course) has become a risky business needing planning and a fair amount of forethought.

But is it working? This seems to be the question on everyone’s mind, and with the daily number of cases and deaths increasing every day it is easy to think it is not working. What is important to understand is the lag effect. What we see in healthcare settings is the outcome of what we did 2/3 weeks earlier.

At the moment we are only 12 days into our national lockdown and as such we will likely see an increase in cases for another short while yet. However the impact of the lockdown will become apparent and have an effect on what is happening in our hospitals, ultimately it will save lives. 

There was a recent study published by epidemiological modellers at University College London who estimate that across 11 European countries who have implemented lockdown measures, including the UK, up to 120,000 lives have been saved already. Interrupting the transmission of the virus by staying home and keeping our distance is saving lives and protecting our frontline workers. 
 
So stick with it, enjoy your time at home, make the most of this chance to spend time with loved ones and do all the little things we wanted to do but never had the time.
 
I know some of us a busier than ever, homeschooling by day and catching up on work by night, but that is all contributing to the effort to save lives and keep our staff safe. We can’t all volunteer for hands-on community support, but we can still contribute powerfully by taking on our challenges on the home front and finding strategies and creative solutions to get the things done and maybe even enjoy it! 
 
As always, be safe and be well. See you next time. 
 
Elizabeth is a qualified epidemiologist and Public Health specialist. 

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