Lockdowns in non-authoritarian states will only work if people are onboard.
It is quite basic.
Norway has introduced a limit lockdown. Restaurants, sports, churches and some retail are closed and movements are to some degree limited.
However, people can still go to the beach or for a walk in the mountains.
Other countries like Italy, UK, Ireland and New Zealand have much stricter lockdowns where people’s movements are much more limited and people cannot go to the beach or for a walk in the mountains.
So, it should work better, right?
However, the reality is that the Norwegian lockdown seems to have worked much better – as the number of hospitalized patients are going down.
- The Norwegian lockdown seem to be more respected. Maybe because it still gives people freedom to move, not locking them into solitary confinement in their houses.
- Add to it that many Norwegians have social distancing as standard, even without a lockdown, and it is easy to see why it has worked better.
In comparison, the more draconian measures in Italy, UK, Ireland and New Zealand seem less respected.
Both in Scotland and New Zealand we have seen that even people in charge, think that they don’t make sense.
In New Zealand the Health minister, David Clark, has been all but sacked for breaching the lockdown twice by going to the beach and mountains.
In Scotland, the Chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, had to quit after breaching the lockdown twice and going to her holiday house on the coast.
In England people are going to the beach and are sunbathing in the parks.
Motorists have been fined, for just driving around.
In Ireland people are going to the mountains and the beach.
In Italy numerous people are fined for breaching the lockdown.
Even though most of these actions probably are harmless, the result, when the lockdown is so strict that people does not respect it, tend to be that they not respect the important parts of the lockdown either – and there are numerous of reports of busy towns.
Other countries might therefore do wise in looking to the lockdown that Norway have had and adjust the lockdowns so people will respect them.
It is highly unlikely that people will be infected in the mountains, walking far away from each other, or if they go out for a drive in the car.
However, if people don’t see sense in the rules, the risk is that they might disregard even the parts of them that are really important, and not keeping distance to each other.