This is an extract of a report that I was reading on the effectiveness of covid restrictions. We are getting there:
......The evidence is mounting that a sizeable part of the population is voting with their feet and opting out of the elaborate regulatory system that is supposed to prevent the spread of the epidemic. They do so because they have become more frightened of these restrictions ruining their livelihoods than they are of contracting Covid-19 in a serious form.
Government and media are so absorbed in a narrative that is all about these new rules that they have not paid enough attention to the limited degree to which people obey them in real life. Blindness about lack of compliance is pervasive, though it is self-evident that adherence to restrictions is ebbing fast. This week it emerged that only 59.6 per cent of the contacts of infected people are reached by phone and told to isolate by the TTI contact tracers.
The official explanation for this low figure is lack of capacity on the part of the TTI system, but another reason is that people who cannot afford to self-isolate, for job or family reasons, simply do not answer the phone when they see a number that they do not recognise coming up. Statistics showing that people really do behave like this were published last month in a ground-breaking survey by King’s College London of 30,000 people, which I have quoted before in this column but do so again because of its great importance.
The survey shows that, while 70 percent of people say that they will self-isolate if they have Covid-19 symptoms, only 18.2 percent of them actually did so. The same disparity is true of testing, with 50 per cent saying that they will ask for a test if they have symptoms of the illness, but only 11.2 per cent really do self-isolate. Of those contacted by the NHS and told to quarantine themselves, just “10.9 per cent reported staying at home or quarantining for the following 14 days”.