This article is by Matt Gubba – CEO and Founder of BizBritain. In this article, he argues that government restrictions to tackle Covid-19 are hurting the economy and businesses, possibly beyond repair.
I have said it many times before and I will say it again; entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy. In fact, the SMEs which UK entrepreneurs create, own, and run account for three fifths of the employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector.
So why do our government seem so hell bent on taking a metaphorical chainsaw to the spinal cords of the very business owners who form the beating heart of our nation’s livelihood?
As a business owner myself, who has witnessed countless numbers of my fellow entrepreneurs being utterly devastated by the onslaught of ever-changing government restrictions, I emphatically believe now is the time for us to rally together and demand a more balanced approach to our current situation. We should not be destroying the lives of millions of healthy, working age people on the off chance it might delay the inevitable spread of a virus, which let us be blunt, has a 99.9% survival rate.
For too long now we have been locked into a state of tunnel vision, doubling down on an ineffective, self-destructive course of action reminiscent of a panicked animal darting out in front of a car to its grizzly demise. The plan simply is not working. The vulnerable are still dying despite draconian policies, and our approach is causing an incomprehensible level of collateral damage. We need to change our strategy. Urgently.
We are frequently told by the Prime Minister and Health Secretary we should “follow the science” when formulating our national response to the pandemic. Yet at the time of writing this article, they are refusing to take seriously the 10,842 medical & public health scientists and 30,129 medical practitioners who have signed The Great Barrington Declaration, a document highlighting grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies being actioned by government, and recommending an approach they call “Focused Protection”.
Recently, Special Envoy for Covid-19 at the World Health Organisation, Dr David Nabarro, told Andrew Neil in an interview “We in the WHO do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus. We really do appeal to all world leaders: stop using lockdown as your primary control method.”
The message is clear. Lockdowns are not only ineffective and disproportionate; they are deeply harmful to both our health and our economy. If we continue with the government’s current approach to covid-19 restrictions, we run a very real risk of doing irreparable long-term damage, not only to our economy, but to the very fabric of our society.
Businesses in industries like travel, hospitality, tourism, live events, and live sport to name a few, face total oblivion should the government opt to place us into further national lockdowns over the winter period. We must not let this happen.
Moving to a system of focused protection (i.e. focusing our efforts on shielding the vulnerable and allowing the rest of us get back to normal life) gives everyone and every business a fair, fighting chance of survival. It is a win-win situation allowing us the best hybrid of protecting those at the highest risk medically, while simultaneously allowing businesses to operate as normal, protecting jobs and livelihoods from being destroyed.
All most business owners are asking for is the right to trade, and for their customers to have the freedom to make their own choices about their health. Let’s stop this descent into dystopia and return to the democratic freedom and economic prosperity that makes our nation so great.