Shropshire Star comment: We must control second wave

The worrying spread of the coronavirus is something we can all do our bit to prevent.

A person wearing a face mask walks passed a sign in a shop window
A person wearing a face mask walks passed a sign in a shop window

And with cases of the virus now increasing across many parts of the country – and indeed the world – controlling it is most definitely not someone else's problem.

As England’s chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty said in yesterday's press conference, this is best looked at as a "six month problem" that the country must deal with collectively.

The implication is that we are in this for the long haul, with the virus unlikely to be under control until a vaccine is found.

The seasons are now against us – with autumn and winter benefitting Covid-19 – and contrary to some theories doing the rounds on social media, the virus has not become milder than it was earlier in the year.

If the infection continues at its current rate, without any action being taken, then by mid-October we could be looking at 50,000 cases a day, which would lead to more than 200 deaths a day by mid-November.

For now, all we can do is stick to the guidance and do all we can to curb the spread of the virus.

It looks increasingly likely that new restrictions are to come in, possibly today.

While nobody wants to see extra lockdown measures, from a public health perspective they are entirely necessary.

Put simply, if we don't take action, then the virus will spiral even further out of control. On the other hand, bringing back the sort of restrictions we had at the start of the pandemic will cause serious damage to our already struggling economy.

This is undoubtedly a difficult balance for the Government.

We need to temporarily break the links between different households which experts believe is behind the huge rise in transmissions of the virus.

This must be done in the least damaging way possible, but it is not an issue we can simply ignore in the hope that it goes away.

It is clear that in order to prevent disaster from striking over the next few months, we need to change course.

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