That Boris could be so afflicted brings home in a powerful way why the shutdown is necessary

April 7th, 2020

That the man who just four months ago led the Conservatives to their biggest General Election Victory in decades should now be in intensive care with the coronavirus brings home the sheer magnitude of what the world is facing and why governments are going to extraordinary lengths to try to impede it. This is a killer and at the moment there’s no way of of stopping it.

What makes him being afflicted more striking is that Boris is in his fifties, has no pre-existing conditions and appears to approach everything he does with great energy and vigour. Before he became PM his main way of getting round London was on his bike and even last Thursday evening he managed to come to the door of Number 10 and join the mass clapping of NHS workers.

Hopefully his strengths and his willpower will see him through the next few days.

One consequence I would suggest is that this will reinforce the government in its efforts to maintain the lockdown and that there is less chance of it being lifted prematurely. This is not just something that just affects the old and frail.

Another consequence is that people will take this more seriously. My wife and I are in our 70s and over the past week or so we have had several offers of help with shopping. Last night we took one of those offers up. We can’t risk going to the supermarket.

Mike Smithson