Great Britain

Boris Johnson has a duty to see through his panic and recognise the grim impact of lockdown on individuals

Lives in balance

THE grim impact of lockdown on individuals must never be underestimated.

Age UK has reported a whopping rise in calls from the lonely. Childline has been overwhelmed by kids stuck in abusive homes. An Oxford University study suggests even babies and toddlers have had their development affected. 

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Back in March — when we thought lockdown would be a short, sharp shock — it might have been possible to justify all of this.

An unfamiliar virus ripping through Europe should, of course, be treated with extreme caution.

Seven months on, it is no longer clear politicians are getting the trade-off right. 

Yes, the latest predictions of 25,000 Covid patients in hospital by the end of November look wretched.

But these forecasts have been extravagantly wrong before. British scientists over-estimated global bird flu deaths by a factor of 450,000; UK swine flu deaths by a factor of 142.

The actual data gives more cause for hope: death rates among severe Covid-19 patients have fallen to about half what they were at the peak of the pandemic. 

Government scientists such as Sir Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty will always support blanket lockdowns. They are trained to think about public health in the narrowest possible terms.

Boris and his ministers have a duty to see through their panic to the bigger picture. 

Ticket to horror

THE suffering endured by the children and adults who died in the Channel last night hardly bears thinking about.

Yet the grim story should not surprise us: these lives were not the first to be lost in this way, nor will they be the last. 

Which is why it’s time for politicians of all stripes, both French and British, to stop treating this deeply human crisis like a political football.

The tiny, battered boats and rafts used by people-traffickers to smuggle thousands of migrants across the Channel simply aren’t seaworthy. 

Until we find a way to stop those journeys taking place, these tragedies will keep happening. 

Careless BBC

ONLY the BBC knows how it allowed the release of a documentary trailer portraying murderer Oscar Pistorius as some kind of misunderstood victim. 

The teaser, which has now been pulled, failed to even mention the REAL victim. 

Reeva Steenkamp — shot dead by Pistorius as she cowered behind a bathroom door — was more than just a girlfriend to a sporting star. 

The law graduate and model was a human being with plans, dreams and a family who loved her. 

Licence fee-payers have every right to expect better from the BBC. 

Councillor Irene Hewitson claims coronavirus is a ‘fake virus’ and says lockdown is like 'North Korea'

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