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Is it time to learn to live with the virus?

Is it time to live with the virus?  

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  1. 1. Is it time to live with the virus?



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Just now, leicsmac said:

I'm not sure how asking and/or expecting folks to take measures against this virus that might be detrimental to everyone - those asking/doing and those doing - can be seen acting in self-interest.

 

Busybodyish, domineering and unwanted in the eyes of many, but not selfish - as those people have, most often, as much to lose from this spiralling on as anyone else does.

It’s the use of the word selfish which as crept into most discussions lately I have a problem with. If I was 21 again and was being called selfish for wanting to be out socialising, and more, I would think the criticism harsh. Over 99% of the population below the age of 50 are at very little risk to this virus yet they face months of making massive sacrifices. 

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7 minutes ago, MonmoreStef said:

It’s the use of the word selfish which as crept into most discussions lately I have a problem with. If I was 21 again and was being called selfish for wanting to be out socialising, and more, I would think the criticism harsh. Over 99% of the population below the age of 50 are at very little risk to this virus yet they face months of making massive sacrifices. 

I do feel sorry for the youngsters, unable to enjoy the best years of their lives before the responsibilities of life creep in. Holidays, nights out, clubs and festivals all spoilt by the current situation.

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8 minutes ago, MonmoreStef said:

It’s the use of the word selfish which as crept into most discussions lately I have a problem with. If I was 21 again and was being called selfish for wanting to be out socialising, and more, I would think the criticism harsh. Over 99% of the population below the age of 50 are at very little risk to this virus yet they face months of making massive sacrifices. 

They do indeed face making such sacrifices - they and a lot of other people besides. The idea being, rightly or wrongly (depending on one's point of view) to protect the medical infrastructure of the UK by making it harder to be a vector of the virus and thus protect lives for long enough for a vaccine to get out there.

 

People who don't want to do this and thus are more likely to be vectors are (because the virus won't affect them nearly so badly as other people they might transmit it to) acting in their own self-interest by prioritising their own needs ahead of that of other people. That's practically the dictionary definition of "selfish" - I don't think there's any way that isn't the case, given what we know about how the thing is transmitted and who it affects. It's harsh, but I think it is technically a justified label, as unfair as it might sound.

 

Of course, self-interest isn't always bad - but I'm not really seeing the utility of it in this particular matter.

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6 minutes ago, leicsmac said:

They do indeed face making such sacrifices - they and a lot of other people besides. The idea being, rightly or wrongly (depending on one's point of view) to protect the medical infrastructure of the UK by making it harder to be a vector of the virus and thus protect lives for long enough for a vaccine to get out there.

 

People who don't want to do this and thus are more likely to be vectors are (because the virus won't affect them nearly so badly as other people they might transmit it to) acting in their own self-interest by prioritising their own needs ahead of that of other people. That's practically the dictionary definition of "selfish" - I don't think there's any way that isn't the case, given what we know about how the thing is transmitted and who it affects. It's harsh, but I think it is technically a justified label, as unfair as it might sound.

 

Of course, self-interest isn't always bad - but I'm not really seeing the utility of it in this particular matter.

So technically using the definition of selfish, those hidden away at home scared of the virus and wanting those not scared to follow the strict rules are also being equally selfish. 

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26 minutes ago, Alf Bentley said:

....and then you have the gall to present this as a human rights argument!

Well, being told that I have to effectively live under house arrest indefinitely, possibly for years, or accept an imminent risk of death/disability, so as to allow others to get on with their lives isn't my idea of human rights.

It's my idea of "I'm alright, Jack, sod you!" selfishness.

 

See I think that's somewhat unfair Alf. I'm not saying it's easy for older/vulnerable/at risk folk to be sat around shielding with uncertainty, and as I've said I'm not sure that strategy survives contact with reality, but I do resent people being called selfish for advocating a strategy more favourable to them whilst effectively doing the same for yourself. 

 

My economic and social situation is dire as a result of the pandemic and a bit of misfortune. The future doesn't feel particularly promising for me. The jobs market is brutal atm where even stepping down a level or two doesn't make it any easier to secure a job because others are stepping down even further. I'll be honest, if I'm still in the situation I'm in atm in 6 months time, my current apathy towards remaining on the planet could quite easily turn to an active desire to no longer being here. There's many many people in the same situation who have a low personal health risk but carry a heavier burden in other aspects. 

 

So as @MonmoreStef says, if you're in a situation where you can reasonably comfortably live in a world where the risk to your health is minimised then advocating for that could be construed as "I'm alright, Jack, sod you".

 

However, as I intimated to before, it's a lesson in time inconsistency and our poor handling of intertemporal choice. 

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17 minutes ago, MonmoreStef said:

So technically using the definition of selfish, those hidden away at home scared of the virus and wanting those not scared to follow the strict rules are also being equally selfish. 

Close, but not quite, I think - at least their thoughts on the matter would be with the health and general wellbeing of some other people in mind rather than pure self-interest - though obviously not all.

 

9 minutes ago, Kopfkino said:

 

See I think that's somewhat unfair Alf. I'm not saying it's easy for older/vulnerable/at risk folk to be sat around shielding with uncertainty, and as I've said I'm not sure that strategy survives contact with reality, but I do resent people being called selfish for advocating a strategy more favourable to them whilst effectively doing the same for yourself. 

 

My economic and social situation is dire as a result of the pandemic and a bit of misfortune. The future doesn't feel particularly promising for me. The jobs market is brutal atm where even stepping down a level or two doesn't make it any easier to secure a job because others are stepping down even further. I'll be honest, if I'm still in the situation I'm in atm in 6 months time, my current apathy towards remaining on the planet could quite easily turn to an active desire to no longer being here. There's many many people in the same situation who have a low personal health risk but carry a heavier burden in other aspects. 

 

So as @MonmoreStef says, if you're in a situation where you can reasonably comfortably live in a world where the risk to your health is minimised then advocating for that could be construed as "I'm alright, Jack, sod you".

 

However, as I intimated to before, it's a lesson in time inconsistency and our poor handling of intertemporal choice. 

So many problems with the world tend to be down to this, don't they? Humans need to get better at that. Quickly, too.

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49 minutes ago, MonmoreStef said:

The use of the word selfish seems to be all the rage lately. People wanting to get back to normal and take risks are labeled selfish for wanting to live their lives.  Could it not be the other way around?  Those scared of the virus for whatever reasons and expecting everyone to follow their examples and accept restrictions can also be viewed as selfish.  They are the minority yet expect the majority to worry about their situations and make sacrifices for them. 

 

We all want to get back to normal - or as close to normal as is possible, pending a possible vaccine in the New Year. We'll be closer to normal if we accept a few restrictions (short of a full lockdown) to prevent Covid running riot in the coming months.

 

You talk of those taking risks as if they're only taking risks for themselves, but they're not. They're increasing the risks for everyone, particularly the vulnerable. Someone driving blindfolded at 150 MPH through a desert would only be taking a risk for himself. Someone doing that down the M1 would be impacting others.

 

That's why @FoxesDeb's question is a valid one (and my supplementary) - and nobody, including you, has attempted to answer it properly: if you allow the majority to return to normal, precisely how do you protect the vulnerable - and for how long?

I'm talking particularly about the people Deb and I mentioned, whose daily lives inevitably bring them into contact with non-vulnerable people who are out working, studying, at school or whatever.

 

The fact that nobody on your side of the argument is answering that question reinforces my perception of selfishness. This talk of "protecting the vulnerable" hasn't been thought through and isn't really a concern for many espousing the "back to normal" argument. It's just a smokescreen so they can pretend they're being caring, when they really seem to be interested only in their own lives.

 

Of course, it's not selfish of them to care about their own lives. I agree that the restrictions should be as limited as possible, even though some risk will remain. There should be better support for those working in sectors badly affected like hospitality, music/arts, transport, aviation etc. It's right that the stupid idea of encouraging people back to the office has been reversed - those who can work from home should.  Like @Mark 'expert' Lawrenson, I sympathise with younger people whose social lives are more impacted by restrictions. When I was in my 20s, I pretty much lived to go out and haven't forgotten that. Although I'm in my 50s now and go out less (so am not as badly impacted by pub/gig limitations etc.), I do still go out normally and miss doing so.

 

But it sounds promising that a vaccine might arrive by the spring, so the restrictions and self-denial might only last a few months - surely a price worth bearing to potentially save a lot of lives (and risk of long-Covid health damage to younger people)?

Even if the vaccine does not arrive, keeping infection rates low could allow an effective test-and-trace system to be established.....a lot harder to get that operational if infection rates are massively out of control.

 

Yes, there's an element of selfishness in those, like me, who are more vulnerable supporting a continuation of temporary restrictions. It is more likely to affect us - by killing us or causing major medical problems. It's not a case of being "scared", though. It's a rational risk assessment - in the same way that I'm sure you wouldn't be "scared" of driving blindfold down the M1 at 150MPH, but wouldn't do it because it's too high-risk. As a rational risk assessment, in the summer I spent a week walking the Devon coast - but I wouldn't go to a busy pub or football match just now. The risk assessment would be different for others, so I'm not expecting everyone to follow my example - just to consider others as well as themselves (as I hopefully do myself - I wouldn't benefit personally from taxpayers' money being spent to stop nightclubs going bankrupt, but it should happen).

 

On the minority v. the majority, that applies to a lot of situations. The majority of healthy people of working age pay taxes to pay for education, healthcare for the sick and care for the elderly. They make that "sacrifice" because they see themselves as part of something bigger - society - and recognise that they or their families might need or benefit from those services at some point in their lives. The majority not worrying about the minority can take you to some unpleasant places. In the meantime, I'm in the majority who are not in education and haven't got cancer, so why don't we help the majority by not funding education and stopping all that expensive cancer care? :ph34r:

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10 hours ago, dsr-burnley said:

If everyone else carried on as normal, it would make no difference to the vulnerable.  There's no merit in saying that Mr Vulnerable is forced to stop at home so let's make Mr. Healthy stop at home too  because it's fairer.

 

If the healthy catch the disease then herd immunity may come sooner.  That's what we're aiming for, after all, whether by vaccination or otherwise.  If we all stay inside and hide, and the magic vaccine doesn't come, then this thing will never end.  Our lives will become permanently stop-at-home-till-you-die-of-something-else.  

 

The government wants to suspend rule by parliament and to suspend normal civil liberties even to the extent of banning visiting your mother.  If the government wants to do this, they need a damn fine set of evidence.  Not a "we don't know what to do so we'll do something anyway".

 

The government may have this evidence.  Not the farrago that Whitty and Vallance invented last monday, but actual hard evidence, statistical, medical, economic, everything.  Tell the public what is going on, what is expected to happen, why the government is doing what it is, and above all what are they hoping to achieve.  

I am One of the vulnerable...I actually agree & sympathise with the ideas behind the post.

"Normal" while being prudent. Returning to normal in steps  & Not throw the brick through the window...

Be prepared to hold somethings back.  Not go Off half-cock & panic because of some infections...

Try to become more aware of containment needs and not throw around panic descisions...

 

I believe Schools & Education should be prioritised, but again Not go in immediate  lockdown mode because of a couple of hits..

The same at work...still have precautionary methods & systems in place...

Home-office only covers the minority of Jobs, economy & society needs ,Stop Selling,Reporting  it has a game-changer...its got boring because it doesn't encapture or project society's Real needs...

 

Shops..small or large..Why not try and Enforce facemasks...There are ways instead of kerfuffling about...Employing Security firms is Cheater than Losing months

of income..is one...Footfall Councils controllers,warning then forcing Close of shops and fines on public Health & Safety grounds,or Any other excuse

 

In These pendemic times govt,councils,police,Health authorities, and the public help  to get the consumer economy going must be the Top priority in their thoughts,then costs become obvious.  Shops Opening Brings in more revenue to those organisations,because the public confidence of no Aggrivation while out shopping, honest Shop owners Feel protected......

Better still, start up a mafiosa with a Protection racket against the stupid ignorant ASBOS, and make Money on the side...:ph34r:

 

 

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If I have immune deficient disease in later life, I wouldn't expect the world to stop just for me. Equally, I'd expect those close to me to have common sense about being  around me if they were potentially sick. It would also be my responsibility to ensure I wasn't taking unnecessary risks.

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1 hour ago, Alf Bentley said:

A second question for people espousing a "protect the vulnerable, everyone else back to normal" stance.....

 

Even assuming it were possible (it's not), how long would vulnerable people have to be "protected" for?

 

We all hope that a vaccine will be viable, but there are no guarantees. The best estimates I can see are that perhaps 6% of the UK population has had Covid.

If so, herd immunity would require at least 10 times more people to catch it than have already had it.

 

If they all somehow caught it quickly, there'd be chaos in employment, society & the NHS. So, I presume you're talking about several years to achieve this?

You're proposing that all vulnerable people, many of working age with lives, jobs & parenting responsibilities, should accept house arrest for an indefinite period that might last years.....

 

....and then you have the gall to present this as a human rights argument!

Well, being told that I have to effectively live under house arrest indefinitely, possibly for years, or accept an imminent risk of death/disability, so as to allow others to get on with their lives isn't my idea of human rights.

It's my idea of "I'm alright, Jack, sod you!" selfishness.

At present the proposal is that the vulnerable should be protected until there is a vaccine.  So complaints that vulnerable people will have to wait until there is a vaccine under this suggested alternative, are a bit odd IMO - this system would make things no worse.

 

What this system would be trying to do would be to make things better.  This system is trying to do exactly what a vaccine would be trying to do - create herd immunity.  It might - I say might - do it faster.  Evidence from Sweden is promising and evidence from Brazil is not damning.

 

I don't see that loads of people with coronavirus all at the same time would cause chaos in employment.  Most non-vulnerable people don't even know they have got it. Leyton Orient had more than half their staff down with it and had turned up to play a football match and had to be told they were "ill".  It has next to no apparent effects on most of the healthy.

 

6 months ago we went into lockdown and were told that in 6 months' time we should be getting back to normal.  6 months have passed.  And we are being told that in 6 months from now, we should be getting back to normal.  That's the definition of "indefinite".  To call people selfish for putting forward proposals that don't meet your idea of what should be done, is not helpful IMO.  Universal lockdown is not the best of all possible worlds and other systems should be considered.

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39 minutes ago, Kopfkino said:

 

See I think that's somewhat unfair Alf. I'm not saying it's easy for older/vulnerable/at risk folk to be sat around shielding with uncertainty, and as I've said I'm not sure that strategy survives contact with reality, but I do resent people being called selfish for advocating a strategy more favourable to them whilst effectively doing the same for yourself. 

 

My economic and social situation is dire as a result of the pandemic and a bit of misfortune. The future doesn't feel particularly promising for me. The jobs market is brutal atm where even stepping down a level or two doesn't make it any easier to secure a job because others are stepping down even further. I'll be honest, if I'm still in the situation I'm in atm in 6 months time, my current apathy towards remaining on the planet could quite easily turn to an active desire to no longer being here. There's many many people in the same situation who have a low personal health risk but carry a heavier burden in other aspects. 

 

So as @MonmoreStef says, if you're in a situation where you can reasonably comfortably live in a world where the risk to your health is minimised then advocating for that could be construed as "I'm alright, Jack, sod you".

 

However, as I intimated to before, it's a lesson in time inconsistency and our poor handling of intertemporal choice. 

 

I take your point, Kopf, and have sort of answered that in my reply to MonmoreStef......though you're probably right that using the word "selfish" might just alienate people. But it feels personal, hence the strong language.

People are advocating a course of action that will either endanger my life or force me into long-term house arrest so as to resume their lives.....yet they won't even explain how this "protection" would work in practice and how long it would last.

 

I now have my daughter living with me again - in a terraced house. She's at sixth-form college. How am I supposed to avoid risk if the non-vulnerable resume normality, allowing Covid to run rampant?

 

Yes, there's a selfish element to that - the desire not to face a serious risk of death/serious disability and not to face indefinite house arrest. But I do also want action to support those adversely affected by the economic impact - more support for potentially viable businesses & their employees in sectors struggling due to Covid, retraining opportunities and protection against eviction for those left in a dire situation etc.

 

I'm sorry to hear about the stresses you're facing. You're obviously someone with a lot to offer and gain in life, so I hope that things improve for you before too long. I'm not overlooking the impact of economic devastation or personal isolation on people's health.

On a personal level, extended isolation is also something that I want to avoid - not only the risk of getting Covid. Before going away in the summer, I felt that I was struggling psychologically - and feared an uncontrolled return to my history of alcohol abuse (alcohol abuse has doubled due to lockdown, apparently). That's partly why I want to hear from those advocating "protect the vulnerable & return to normal" re. how it would work and how long the vulnerable would have to remain in isolation. I have the advantage of working from home but absolutely would NOT be "alright, Jack, sod you" on a psychological level if compelled to self-isolate for months due to rampant Covid.

 

But I also don't see how allowing Covid to run riot will help the economy. If hospitalisation & death rates rocket, are all the non-vulnerable really going to carry on going to work, buying stuff and going out as before? Some maybe, but even a lot of non-vulnerable would be concerned at the risk then.

 

Also, if we ever get an operational test-and-trace system, it will be a damn sight more use if Covid infections are at a manageable level, not running rampant.

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“The vulnerable” is such a broad spectrum of people, most I presume see the vulnerable as elderly or those who through no fault of their own have been diagnosed with health issues, my problem as I have mentioned in another post is those in the vulnerable category who are there due to their own lifestyle choices, the level of obesity and it’s link with diabetes places them at risk. Do they need protecting? Are they willing to change their lifestyle and become healthier? I doubt it.

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9 minutes ago, whoareyaaa said:

there whole aim through this virus is to track everyone on the planet, why do you think they want everyone to have the 'vaccine'

 

read this before replying.

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2020/03/military-funded-biosensor-could-be-future-pandemic-detection/163497/

Best double up on the tin foil hats

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12 hours ago, dsr-burnley said:

If everyone else carried on as normal, it would make no difference to the vulnerable.  There's no merit in saying that Mr Vulnerable is forced to stop at home so let's make Mr. Healthy stop at home too  because it's fairer.

 

If the healthy catch the disease then herd immunity may come sooner.  That's what we're aiming for, after all, whether by vaccination or otherwise.  If we all stay inside and hide, and the magic vaccine doesn't come, then this thing will never end.  Our lives will become permanently stop-at-home-till-you-die-of-something-else.  

 

 

15 minutes ago, dsr-burnley said:

At present the proposal is that the vulnerable should be protected until there is a vaccine.  So complaints that vulnerable people will have to wait until there is a vaccine under this suggested alternative, are a bit odd IMO - this system would make things no worse.

 

What this system would be trying to do would be to make things better.  This system is trying to do exactly what a vaccine would be trying to do - create herd immunity.  It might - I say might - do it faster.  Evidence from Sweden is promising and evidence from Brazil is not damning.

 

I don't see that loads of people with coronavirus all at the same time would cause chaos in employment.  Most non-vulnerable people don't even know they have got it. Leyton Orient had more than half their staff down with it and had turned up to play a football match and had to be told they were "ill".  It has next to no apparent effects on most of the healthy.

 

6 months ago we went into lockdown and were told that in 6 months' time we should be getting back to normal.  6 months have passed.  And we are being told that in 6 months from now, we should be getting back to normal.  That's the definition of "indefinite".  To call people selfish for putting forward proposals that don't meet your idea of what should be done, is not helpful IMO.  Universal lockdown is not the best of all possible worlds and other systems should be considered.

 

I've said enough for now but.....

 

You're changing your argument to suit your ends. In your earlier post you raised the risk of there being no vaccine and "then this thing will never end". Now you're saying that vulnerable people will only have to wait until there's a vaccine.

 

You're also distorting what I said. I did not complain about waiting until there's a vaccine. I asked how long the vulnerable would have to be protected for - particularly if the vaccine does NOT materialise. You are basically advocating a herd immunity approach, during which the vulnerable should self-isolate. So, how long would herd immunity take without a vaccine? How long would the vulnerable have to self-isolate while Covid raged, increasing from perhaps 6% having had it to 70% or whatever herd immunity requires?

 

Also, again, how about answering Deb's original question?

How would such protection of the vulnerable work in practice? It might just about work in care homes, I suppose, if all the staff lived in and never went home and none of the residents ever had any visitors.....for however many years herd immunity took. But what a personal/psychological cost that would impose! And what about younger people who are vulnerable? Parents with kids at school/uni? People whose partners have to go out to work - perhaps in healthcare? Vulnerable young people sharing houses? You say that it "would make no difference to the vulnerable" if Covid ran riot among the non-vulnerable.......how about the vulnerable people I've just mentioned?

 

There are also people starting to realise that long-Covid can also have a major impact on the "non-vulnerable". Someone on here recently mentioned how it had given their 35-year-old mate a serious heart condition.

Here's someone else (40-ish?) writing about the impact on her sister, who's a similar age, I presume: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/26/i-used-to-be-ms-covid-casual-but-with-a-sick-sister-thats-changed

 

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8 minutes ago, Mark 'expert' Lawrenson said:

“The vulnerable” is such a broad spectrum of people, most I presume see the vulnerable as elderly or those who through no fault of their own have been diagnosed with health issues, my problem as I have mentioned in another post is those in the vulnerable category who are there due to their own lifestyle choices, the level of obesity and it’s link with diabetes places them at risk. Do they need protecting? Are they willing to change their lifestyle and become healthier? I doubt it.

Again you have to know the circumstances...One cant presume obese people,overweight people, Diabetes 2 sufferers,is all down to their own poor life style.

Arthrites,rheuma, heart,Lung ,cancer,chronic pain conditions before or during the time of putting on weight,& getting diabetes.

Blind presumptions that seem obvious to the media,even Pretentious colums in Medical journals, blind One Alley GPs, does Nobody favours...

Some People after heavy or simple operations have contracted diabetes.II.through no fault of their own.

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42 minutes ago, Mark 'expert' Lawrenson said:

“The vulnerable” is such a broad spectrum of people, most I presume see the vulnerable as elderly or those who through no fault of their own have been diagnosed with health issues, my problem as I have mentioned in another post is those in the vulnerable category who are there due to their own lifestyle choices, the level of obesity and it’s link with diabetes places them at risk. Do they need protecting? Are they willing to change their lifestyle and become healthier? I doubt it.

They 100% need protecting to choose who does and doesn't deserve to be protected based on their lifestyle choices is pretty disgusting.

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18 minutes ago, fuchsntf said:

Again you have to know the circumstances...One cant presume obese people,overweight people, Diabetes 2 sufferers,is all down to their own poor life style.

Arthrites,rheuma, heart,Lung ,cancer,chronic pain conditions before or during the time of putting on weight,& getting diabetes.

Blind presumptions that seem obvious to the media,even Pretentious colums in Medical journals, blind One Alley GPs, does Nobody favours...

Some People after heavy or simple operations have contracted diabetes.II.through no fault of their own.

I agree which is why I put the through no fault of their own in my post.

I am specifically talking of the people whom make the lifestyle choice and suffer with obesity due to the life they choose. 

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Just now, Mark 'expert' Lawrenson said:

 

People have to be responsible for their own actions and choices they make.

In an ideal world, yes, but some people lack the capacity to make what we know as sensible choices. If we are saying we need to protect the vulnerable, I would expect that to include all of them, not excluding people judged for making poor choices. It's the same as treating people for diseases brought on by poor lifestyle choices, we don't refuse to treat smokers for lung cancer, nor alcoholics for liver damage, nor the idiot who stepped out in front of a car because they weren't looking properly, and nor should we imo. A civilised society looks after all within it surely?

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8 minutes ago, Mark 'expert' Lawrenson said:

 

People have to be responsible for their own actions and choices they make.

Like people,Not taking "obvious" precautions go Off on jaunts,getting Covid, then spreading Covid...

I would guess (no stats) there are potentially more of those types,than the unhealthy-pirates...!!!

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9 minutes ago, FoxesDeb said:

In an ideal world, yes, but some people lack the capacity to make what we know as sensible choices. If we are saying we need to protect the vulnerable, I would expect that to include all of them, not excluding people judged for making poor choices. It's the same as treating people for diseases brought on by poor lifestyle choices, we don't refuse to treat smokers for lung cancer, nor alcoholics for liver damage, nor the idiot who stepped out in front of a car because they weren't looking properly, and nor should we imo. A civilised society looks after all within it surely?

Yes we are civilised, I guess I just wish people would take more responsibility for their actions and think of the potential consequences.

Its a much publicised fact that obesity has been on the rise for a number of years and the current crisis should be a warning that we should be looking after ourselves far better than we do currently.

 

 

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