While the jury is still out — and will be for some time — on the Swedish approach to COVID-19, the decision by many governments to opt for dramatic, brief lockdowns (in order, primarily, to avoid overloading health-care systems, but also to use the time — an opportunity too often missed — to prepare for massively enhanced testing), was defensible. The prolongation of lockdowns, at least on the scale and for the duration seen in many countries, was, however, a different matter.
How many governments, I wonder, will be as honest as France’s on this topic?
“My aim is to prepare France for a possible second wave while preserving our daily life, our economic and social life,” new Prime Minister Jean Castex said in an interview on RTL television.
“But we’re not going to impose a lockdown like the one we did last March, because we’ve learned . . . that the economic and human consequences from a total lockdown are disastrous,” he said.
While this was always likely to be the case, I suspect that we are still in the process of discovering quite how disastrous those consequences will be — and already have been.