Scientists Suggest Unlocking One Lucky City as a Municipal Guinea Pig to See What Happens

By Gary Cutlack on at

A group of experts and scientists have proposed the idea of entirely returning one UK city back to pre-lockdown levels of normality, then simply testing everyone once a week and... seeing what happens. Does five per cent of everyone die or not? There's only one way to find out.

The group of scientific thinkers including luminaries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine would like to see a city of around 250,000 people – that's about a whole Plymouth's worth of human guinea pigs – completely freed from restrictions; but placed under an onerous testing regime that'd see everyone's gobs rinsed out once a week to see if they've got the covid. There would then be a hyperlocal household quarantine applied to the immediate circle of those who test positive, and hey presto! – everyone else can get back to leaving sandwich wrappers, crisp packets and used condoms in all their local beauty spots. And oh yes, off to work. Forgot about jobs.

The psychology of this works, the authors suggest, as people who know they're infected are much happier to comply with extreme lockdown rules, plus new saliva tests make it less harrowing and quicker to check everyone when compared to the grim old throat swabs.

The only problem is... no one knows if this would work because no city in the world has been mad enough to suggest it to their valued taxpayers thus far. The report says: "Whether the combined effect would control the epidemic can only be determined by a demonstration study in which a whole city is tested weekly and ends lockdown."

Sounds like it's petition time, and if all your neighbours sign it you might be able to convince the council to give it a shot. We can probably afford to write off Plymouth, if it helps get us out of this. [Independent]

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