If 30% of the public did not comply with lockdown then what good will future lockdowns do?

Here is a nugget from the Telegraph’s COVID-19 live feed.

“Only 71 per cent of Brits, Americans and other English speakers around the globe followed guidelines set by their governments during the Covid-19 lockdown, according to a new study from Durham University Business School.

This was drastically lower than French and Italians – where 89 per cent of respondents followed guidelines.”[1]

The crucial bit of data however is missing. You see, I suspect within that 71% adherence will not have been 100%.  This is important because it is better to have a small % of people not complying at all if the vast majority are 100% compliant than to have everyone complying but not at 100%. Having said that, if nearly 30% did not comply at all then that will have severely undermined the effort.

Worse still, it makes it difficult to know what to do next.  Areas of the country have experienced or been threatened with a return to lockdown measures due to rising numbers of cases. But if people had never complied with the guidance and regulations in the first place, then what difference will reintroducing the measures bring? My concern is that it will make those who have been afraid of the virus even more afraid so that they will find it even harder to come out of lockdown. Meanwhile those who did not comply before will continue not to comply.


[1] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/coronavirus-news-face-mask-work-local-lockdown-cases/ at 9:34am

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