zico wrote:I'm genuinely interested in trying to understand the anti-lockdown rationale ...
(There's an associated argument that cracking down on Covid deaths causes more cancer deaths, suicides and other forms of deaths. This argument states that hospitals should be more focused on treating non-Covid diseases. The big problem here is that if there's a Covid epidemic, the hospitals can't treat non-Covid diseases, because they'll be full of Covid patients. Even if there is capacity, as in the first wave, cancer patients will be deterred from visiting hospitals because of the risk of catching Covid. The only way around this is to prevent Covid patients from entering hospitals, but then they will die at home, and the death rate will be 4/5 times if they are denied medical care)
It's not true that hospitals can't treat non-Covid patients. There is/was a switch in resource to Covid treatment, but plenty of resource isn't compatible. In wave 1 many wards/operating theatres (and GP surgeries) were simply closed, but the operating theatres, GPs etc. weren't switched and used for treating Covid.
It also wasn't true that (most) cancer patients were deterred from going to hospital. Many Cancer facilities aren't even in conventional hospitals, and the ones that are were mostly segregated from the Covid parts (as was the case with most facilities where "zones" were created). I would suggest most cancer patients, and certainly those with first diagnosis would have welcomed the certainty and diagnosis of cancer despite the perceived risk of Covid transmission. Furthermore by closing GP surgeries, dentists, beauty salons etc a large number of early stage 1 detections will have been missed that become first diagnosed at stages 2 or 3, dangerous enough in itself, even more so with a backlog of treatments and queuing that might make them stage 3 or 4.
Of course when wave 1 accelerated with a disease that was "new" and "scary" mistakes will have been made. As more was learnt, and specifically as the casualty numbers, be that tests, cases, deaths, or some other measurement plummeted post April to July/August etc it was scandalous that so many NHS facilities remained closed. Not only were Covid wards nearly empty (or completely unused in the case of some Nightingale hospitals) but the closed non-Covid facilities remained mothballed.
I think it perfectly possible to hold a view that (some) lockdowns, to use that crude term, are necessary at different points in the "cycle", but that more effective or efficient use of facilities under that lockdown should have, and should be happening. To many advocates, and managers of the pandemic the "Covid" excuse for making decisions to close or limit things has been argued for or executed extremely badly. Wave 2 has shown a degree of learning from the earlier months, and schools are open for instance. But it is still the case that many GP surgeries are effectively closed, as are many dentists, and a host of health provision is both severely curtailed and subject to large waiting lists, queues and rationing.