THE neutron bomb was designed in the 1960s to kill troops but leave buildings intact. This year, the People’s Republic of China accidentally (let’s be generous) unleashed its own biological version.
Coronavirus leaves office blocks, shopping malls and factories standing while all human life vanishes from sight.
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In this tenth week of empty towns and cities, Covid-19 is silently killing jobs, prosperity and the economic dreams of our children and grandchildren.
Out of sight, thousands are dying untreated from cancer and kidney and heart disease.
The suicide rate is ballooning behind closed doors, along with domestic abuse and drug and alcohol addiction.
Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, parks and beaches are crowded with happy people, some on taxpayer-funded breaks, drinking supermarket booze as if there were no tomorrow. They could be proved right.
Most people have carried on working hard from home and in the classroom.
But polls suggest many are enjoying this festive delusion, glad to spend time with family.
We risk looking like cartoon characters, peddling furiously — off a cliff. Those celebrating Bank Holiday on furlough with a can of lager today may be drowning their sorrows on social security by Christmas.
Britain must get back to work — and soon. We need to reopen schools for the sake of our kids and give their mums and dads a chance of saving their jobs. We must revive pubs, shops and restaurants before they close forever.
Let’s get airlines up and flying again.
PM Boris Johnson fears being blamed by union lefties for every fresh Covid casualty.
But he risks political death if the virus recedes and the economy implodes. Victims will include Red Wall voters who handed him the last election.
It could cost him the next one.
Every extra week in lockdown drives us closer to meltdown. Each day another firm shuts its doors forever.
Rolls-Royce, the jewel in our industrial crown, has slashed 9,000 jobs. Don’t be surprised when the Chinese swoop to pick up the pieces.
On this page recently, I suggested lockdown was a “terrible mistake, forced on a panic-stricken world by China’s authoritarian example”.
I blamed shroud-waving Neil Ferguson — the Bonking Boffin — for stoking public terror with wild forecasts of half a million Covid corpses.
Yesterday, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Michael Levitt — who accurately forecast the UK’s likely 50,000 UK deaths — described Covid-19 as a “panic virus”.
At the start of the outbreak, Prof Levitt warned that Ferguson was deliberately frightening people with forecasts “ten or 12 times” too high. He has been proved right.
“The problem with epidemiologists is that they feel their job is to frighten people into lockdown,” says Levitt. “I think lockdown saved no lives.”
Indeed, this outbreak of coronavirus does not even rate officially as an epidemic.
Just as many died in 2018 from severe winter flu. Back then, images of patients queuing on hospital trolleys or parked in ambulances aroused routine media interest.
Lockdown was never even considered.
All deaths are tragic for those who go before their time.
But if there is another outbreak this winter, would we shut down the entire economy again? No way.
So why did we take such draconian action this time?
It was to save the NHS, which had been left unprepared by its managers.
We’ve now done that. Hospitals are back to normal. Death rates are falling. There is no sign of a second wave, whether we lift lockdown or not.
The NHS has coped brilliantly thanks to frontline staff, not its leaden-footed, boxticking bureaucratic bosses.
Our Thursday night salutes have done their job and — as their cheerleader suggests — should be wound up this week.
This freak ten-week spring Bank Holiday is over.
It’s time for classrooms to resume, shops to reopen and pubs and theatres to begin cheering us up again.
Let’s keep washing our hands and elbow bumping, but two-metre distancing is just another form of lockdown.
Let’s make it one metre, as the World Health Organisation suggests.
Britain will bounce back swiftly in a V-shaped recovery — rather than crashing vertically over the edge of that wretched cliff.
The public should understand
DEFIANT Boris Johnson did more than simply ride to the rescue of embattled Dominic Cummings yesterday. He effectively put his own job on the line.
The PM insisted his closest political ally acted responsibly when he and his wife, Mary – both with coronavirus – drove their four-year-old son to isolation at a family home in Durham.
“Any father or parent would frankly understand,” Boris insisted.
I think he’s right. I would have done the same.
But if the public does not understand, Dominic Cummings will have to go and the Prime Minister’s authority will be shot to pieces.
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