The ‘Swiss special way’ to cut Covid cases: the lockdown of death
Apparently, ‘Switzerland is emerging as a model for how the coronavirus can be contained without a national lockdown, after daily infections halved since the start of November despite pubs, restaurants, gyms and sports facilities remaining open in much of the country.’ Last week, the declining figures were ‘hailed as a triumph for the “Swiss special way” by government doctors’, and ‘will be seen as evidence that regional tiers can work in the UK.’ Having ‘experienced some of the highest death rates in Europe’ after ‘it refused to follow the UK and other countries into a second lockdown this month’, rather than imposing ‘a general lockdown, Switzerland allowed regions to decide their own measures and only the worst-hit imposed tough restrictions’ (“‘Swiss special way” cuts cases’, Telegraph, December 1, 2020). https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/30/switzerland-halves-new-infections-without-national-lockdown/
But only last month, Swiss doctors asked vulnerable people – including the over-60s and those with heart disease and diabetes – to sign ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders; https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8978525/Doctors-ask-people-vulnerable-covid-sign-not-resuscitate-orders-Switzerland.html perhaps this has had something to do with the declining death rates from Covid – perhaps, as in the UK, people are dying of other, untreated illnesses.
Not forgetting, of course, that Switzerland is the home of assisted suicide, and that our own Government – which has presided over the mass-signing of DNRs in care homes - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/23/care-homes-asked-place-blanket-do-not-resuscitate-orders-residents/ now allows people to breach Coronavirus restrictions to travel to Switzerland to kill themselves. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/05/matt-hancock-people-can-break-national-coronavirus-lockdown/
Rather than hailing the ‘Swiss special way’ as a success, we must remain alert to attempts to follow it by allowing vulnerable people to choose the self-imposed permanent lockdown of death - so that we can claim to be saving lives.