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A FURTHER three week lockdown was announced for Wales today.
First Minister Mark Drakeford still insisting on using the bluntest of all blunt tools – shutting down a whole society – to handle the virus.
But, almost a year down the line, there’s still no sign of an Impact Assessment Study into lockdowns from the Welsh Government.
A study which could fully assess the societal and economic damage of lockdowns on Welsh society, and provide some much needed balance in the whole public debate about the crisis.
A spokesperson for Gwlad said the lack of such an impact assessment study was a clear dereliction of duty on the part of Welsh Labour.
‘It’s also hugely disappointing that so few Senedd members have been calling for such a study – Neil McEvoy is the only one who has really pressed them on this, and he’s still not getting any answers,’ he said.
‘The Welsh public deserve to know what the real impact of these lockdowns are, and our politicians should not shy away from these harsh truths. We are not saying that Covid shouldn’t be taken seriously: far from it. The virus causes harm, and lockdowns cause harm; both should be taken into account and a balance sought.’
With hindsight, it looks indefensible that such far-reaching lockdowns were imposed on society with no impact assessments commissioned either by Cardiff or Westminster.
This will surely come back to haunt the politicians in charge when the next set of elections come around.
Some people in England aren’t hanging around to wait for that event, since tomorrow will see the first real push-back to lockdowns in the UK and Ireland in the form of a mass event called ‘The Great Re-opening’.
Thousands of shops, bars, restaurants and clubs have pledged to open despite the restrictions.
This follows similar large-scale organized events in Italy, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands over the past week or so.
The organisers of the ‘Great Re-opening’ state: ‘ We cannot continue to allow Governments to destroy businesses and livelihoods’.
‘We must all come together peacefully in a mass act of civil disobedience as the future of our families and the country are at stake’
It remains to be seen how well supported the event will be and what momentum, if any, will be created.
But, it’s a clear sign that public disquiet over continuing lockdowns is now becoming mainstream.