There was a good article in The Times last weekend – Coronavirus: The new rhythms of life will jolt and jar as we try to live with this horrible teenager. In particular, I thought it would be good to get people’s thoughts on this quote:
“In Asia we are doing mandatory quarantining,” says Ben Cowling, professor of infectious diseases epidemiology at Hong Kong University. “If I am found to have been in contact with someone with Covid-19 I have got 30 minutes to pack and go to a quarantine facility. That’s not going to work in Britain. It’s going to be very difficult to implement.”
If relaxing lockdown rules meant you could potentially be taken away from your home, family, and pets with very little warning would you agree to it? Ben Cowling says it won’t work in Britain and given the reluctance of many just to download a simple app to their phones I tend to agree. But what if quarantine was attractive? What if it was two weeks in a five-star hotel with a gym, swimming pool, Netflix, all meals provided, and unlimited supplies of chocolate? Would that change your mind?
Asian countries have some cultural advantages. I was recently wondering how Korea is managing school closures long-term. Who is looking after the children at home? A quick search reveals that just over half of Korean mothers are working compared with over three-quarters of mothers in the UK. There’s also more of a culture of having family members care for each other and for extended families to live under the same roof. This means when both parents work there are grandparents around to care for the children making it possible to close schools long-term. They also don’t have care homes and retirement villages – I don’t think – which seem to be incubators for the virus.