Would an Earlier Lockdown Have Reduced Number of Coronavirus Deaths?

LONDON - England - Our resident doctor questions whether an earlier lockdown would have made much difference.

lockdown uk coronavirus
Central London, under coronavirus lockdown

No, because the hospitals in UK were not overwhelmed, an earlier lockdown would not have reduced the number of deaths.

Lockdown is not a cure for Coronavirus and does not prevent the deaths occurring due to Coronavirus.

However, Lockdown does slow the spread of virus and avoids the sudden overload on healthcare system.

As there are a limited number of intensive care beds in hospitals, slowing the spread of infection allows the hospitals to treat patients that need intensive care.

Once a person gets infected, the recovery depends on their body’s immune response.

There is no treatment available and the hospital intensive care units can only provide supportive care while the body is recovering itself.

If the body is not able to fight the infection, death is inevitable, even with intensive care support.

Lockdown is only postponing the inevitable.

Only a vaccine can prevent the deaths related to Coronavirus.

Until we have a vaccine or the virus miraculously disappears from planet Earth, deaths cannot be prevented.

A significant amount of effort is being put in to the development of a vaccine, however, we do not know when that will be available or if it will be available.

With lockdown destroying the economy and the uncertainty of, when a vaccine will be available, continuing in a lockdown indefinitely may not be a viable option.

Therefore, a compromised lockdown that allows for slow restarting of business while maintaining social distancing, may be a less damaging option.

Sweden appears to be following this approach and so far seems to have coped.

While we are waiting for a vaccine, we need to continue with social distancing, hand hygiene and improve our immunity by eating healthy, exercising and getting some vitamin D from direct sunlight.

Dr. Suresh