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Is the government getting advice to shielders totally wrong?

25 June, 2020

‘I have been out walking or cycling – in defiance of the government’s advice’

• IS the government getting advice to the shielders totally wrong?

On Monday June 22 the health secretary announced that the 2.2million people supposedly shielding “will be free to meet with up to six others outside their homes from July 6. Further, that they will no longer need to shield from August 1.

This makes no sense to me. Right now we have the lowest incidence of new cases and deaths from coronavirus for over three months, but the country is very rapidly coming out of lockdown. Already shops have reopened and from July 4 pubs, bars and restaurants will be back in business.

That must surely spell a substantial risk that, three weeks later, there could be a rise in actual new Covid-19 cases, at exactly the time the government is encouraging forsaking shielding for two million plus people who will theoretically have, by then, been banged up in their homes for 130 days.

To have told people originally to stay inside for (initially) 12 weeks seems to me to have been mistaken and certainly bad for mental health.

Even the government, at the end of April, admitted that there was minimal risk of contracting the virus in the open air, providing one socially distanced; and acknowledged that there are huge health benefits and a vitamin D boost from taking healthy outdoor exercise.

But the government persists with its micro-management and tells those of us shielding (myself included) to stay indoors.

I believe those of us who have been designated as vulnerable are much safer doing outside activity now than we will be in August, when the level of risk may be far greater than it is today.

I freely confess that every single day since March 23 lockdown, I have been out walking or cycling – in defiance of the government’s advice that I regarded as wrong-headed.

Bartholomew Villas, NW5


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