web analytics

THE UNSEEN COSTS

By Pete Moore On September 30th, 2020

This is in the UK alone, Screening services, among very many others, are still a long way from being back to normal. You can believe in targeted action to suppress the spread of the virus. Most people will go along with that. But as time goes by the unseen costs of the general lockdown are becoming visible and they’re horrific. The idea that we can do something like that again must be argued out of existence.

The problem is that I don’t think that there are that many people in government who would absolutely rule out another general lockdown. Like borrowing (“deferred taxation”), if the costs are not immediate and obvious they are prepared for society to bear them.

7 Responses to “THE UNSEEN COSTS”

  1. Highly legitimate question to be asking.

    There should be more opening, with controls.

  2. The NHS effectively closed down from late March until late June and is still nowhere near back to normal. I was told yesterday about a bowel cancer patient in Belfast whose second round of chemotherapy was scheduled for April and has still not happened and he has still not even been given a date. The backlog of screenings and treatents will take years to resolve and many will die much earlier than they would have, in many cases years before they would have.

    There must be thousands of cancer patients and their families suffering mental agony as they see their life expectancy diminishing every week that their treatment is delayed. This is a diabolical scandal and heads should roll when the full death toll becomes clear. But of course we all know that no heads will roll. The politicians will have “moved on” and the civil service and NHS burocrats will be protected as always. At worst they will “suffer” early retirement on full pension.

  3. I don’t understand why there would have to be a backlog that would last for years

    Locally our hospitals were shut for much normal care for similar times as the UK and I’m not hearing of similar huge backlogs here

  4. I totally agree.
    I have first-hand experience of cancer screenings and regular check-ups being cancelled. This is extremely worrying.

  5. Many more would have missed their screening if the health system had been allowed to collapse – besides many of those who have cancer would instead have died of covid. And of course there are also unseen benefits you don’t see because you’re looking the wrong way – such as reduced traffic accidents and many lives saved due to reduced air pollution. Why pretend that you’re even interested in adding up the costs and benefit – you’re not. You have no way of doing it anyway.

    At the end of the day it is societal chemotherapy – nobody wants it but it often beats the alternative.

    Besides, this was all a consequence of the pandemic, not the lockdown. There was never a lockdown imposed requirement to miss or cancel appointments.

  6. Frank –

    I’m pretty sure I’ve been pointing out that there are two columns in the ledger, but many people only conceive of one. I’ve also recommended Bastiat’s great essay on many occasions in here. We can reduce traffic accidents to zero, but the economic costs will kill more lives than saved. That’s what we’re seeing now with the lockdown. The cure is worse than the disease.

    Many more would have missed their screening if the health system had been allowed to collapse

    For millions of people it was worse than collapse. The system was taken away entirely.

  7. And of course there are also unseen benefits you don’t see because you’re looking the wrong way – such as reduced traffic accidents and many lives saved due to reduced air pollution.

    I really don’t think a possible reduction in deaths from traffic accidents and air pollution is going to outweigh the thousands of people you’re going to die from cancelled operations and lack of care. What with cancer and heart disease being called biggest killers. How many people who work for the NHS, family members included, agree with this. And let’s not forget the stress on the nations health, brought about by mass unemployment.