As Premier League football is cancelled today – as well nearly every other large gathering – the Government has surprised us all by not electing to instruct the populace to self-isolate. With every other country implementing social distancing, it begs the question: do the Brits know best? Is this another example of supposed British exceptionalism?

I hope so.

But I doubt it.

My analysis of the state of play is that the Chief Medial Advisors et al have advised the government that:

  • COV-19 has spread far and wide already;
  • The NHS and social care will not be able to cope (after years of under-funding);
  • That social modelling prepared over the years reveals that Brits, with a penchant for anti- authoritarianism – will not take instruction, unlike the Chinese (though I am sure that not all
    Chinese people did as they were commanded to do). I.e. Brits couldn’t tolerate being
    forcefully housebound for more than two weeks.
  • That so many businesses will fail, with pre-COV-19 so many people surviving with little
    financial buffer, that economic collapse is inevitable, exacerbating an already parlous

Nobody can envy the Prime Minister. Whichever way he decides – to social distance now or not to – people will die. And die in the thousands (present estimate is half a million).

Understandably, anger is mounting that the draconian – and probable – successful methods employed by the Chinese and other countries have not been employed here.

When this pandemic passes, and it will, Brits will compare how we did against other countries. If more people have suffered here than elsewhere, the Prime Minister will be toast, and so will the Tories be for a generation, even if they have followed the scientific advice.