As controversy has raged about my views on lockdown I have been encouraged by an enormous correspondence overwhelmingly in support of the stance that I have taken.
There is however, an element in that correspondence which I must contradict: When commenting on the staggering number of deaths, some of my correspondents add that overwhelmingly those who have died were elderly or suffered from other life-limiting conditions, as if this somehow made the scale of lesser importance compared to the deaths of others. We must not diminish in any way those who have died. No life is worth less than another. All their lives were shortened and they have friends and families who grieve.
One other aspect of my correspondence includes unflattering international comparisons of UK performance in terms both of the number of deaths and the damage sustained to the economy. I suspect that the fatuous conclusions drawn are more the result of ignorance than malice, but the fact is that these comparisons do not compare like with like. There will come a time to focus on comparative performance and the lessons to be drawn, but not yet.
Of one comparison though, I am absolutely certain: if you are unfortunate enough to be struck down with the virus, then there is no better place to be in the world than in the care of the NHS and its fantastic staff. I’ve heard from so many of them: they’re exhausted and emotionally drained, yet they just carry on regardless. It has been a magnificent effort