Three in 10 Britons have stayed at home to avoid Covid in the last month and more than 40% have worn a face mask as fears about the virus persist, a survey suggests. MailOnline has the story.
The U.K. is currently in the midst of a mild fifth wave that has seen infections rise for the past month, with 2.7 million people carrying Covid in the most recent week – even though deaths and ICU admissions have remained flat.
An exclusive poll for MailOnline found 29% of people have stayed indoors at some point since cases began rising to avoid catching the virus, while 42% have worn a covering. Almost half observed social distancing rules that have not been in place since February, while two-thirds said they had sanitised their hands.
Just 16% of people, around one in six, had not taken any precautions in the last month, according to the survey of 1,500 Britons by Redfield & Wilton Strategies.
NHS bosses expect the latest wave to fizzle out naturally in the coming weeks, without the need for any onerous public health measures.
And MailOnline’s analysis of official data suggests the latest wave is plateauing, with Covid hospital admissions and cases both slowing down.
But that has not stopped individual hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes and some schools from reintroducing face masks and social distancing in recent weeks.
And across Britain’s towns and cities, a growing share of the public appear to be wearing masks in shops, supermarkets and on public transport. Retail bosses have warned that Britain is becoming a nation of hypochondriacs.
Luke Johnson – a serial entrepreneur and Chairman of Gail’s bakery – told MailOnline: “Recent research shows Covid is now no more lethal than influenza, thanks in part to vaccines and natural immunity. Society has never tested widely or shut down for flu – we have learned to live with it. We must do the same with Covid.
“We need to stop the irrational fear and get the disease in proportion. For the vast majority of those testing positive for Covid, they are asymptomatic or have cold-like symptoms. Unless we want to become a nation of hypochondriacs and suffer a much lower standard of living, society needs to stop testing, put Covid in the past, and regain its ambition.”
Worth reading in full.
The wave (which should probably count as the sixth, after spring 2020, winter 2020-21, Delta, Omicron BA.1 and Omicron BA.2) does appear to be peaking. Reported infections have levelled off in the last week or so (even allowing for the reporting lag).
The ONS Infection Survey today reported a new jump in infections, to 5.3% of the population in England, but note this was for the week ending July 7th, which according to the chart above appears to have been the peak.
The slowing trend is clearer in Scotland.
Hospital admissions are flattening off (bear in mind that only around a third of ‘Covid’ admissions are mainly ill with Covid).
Covid ICU admission have crept up a little, but nothing alarming.
Deaths may also be easing off, though the reporting lag needs to be allowed for in the most recent days. Note that around 60% of ‘Covid’ deaths are registered with Covid as the underlying cause.
What baffles me is with every wave it’s clear that Covid behaves exactly the same way, rising and peaking to around the same level in the same time period before falling again, regardless of what interventions are imposed. Yet lockdown zealots continue to claim that their various restrictions are necessary and effective for ‘controlling the virus’ and never seem to adapt their beliefs to the evidence.