‘Stay At Home’ Shifts To ‘Stay Alert’ As UK’s Lockdown Eases Slightly | Talking Points Memo

LONDON (AP) — The British government has replaced its “stay at home” coronavirus slogan with a new “stay alert” message, a move that has met with widespread criticism ahead of a speech Sunday in which Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lay out the stages for lifting the country’s lockdown.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://talkingpointsmemo.com/?p=1308315

Can’t speak directly to the UK’s situation but this just feels a little premature to me. Truly hope this works out OK for them.


“Stay alert”. Alert to what? Is the virus skittering around the bushes or something?


Good question. Probably that dry cough, high fever and feeling of malaise you’ve never exactly experienced before, because that’s what this’ll lead to.


Here in Germany the loosening started a couple of weeks ago. The r-value had gotten down to 0.7 and smaller shops, hair salons, etc. started to open, with appropriate measures. Then the r-value went back up to just under 1.0…

They reminded everyone that if it continued to grow, they’d reverse some of the openings, so urged again caution. It went back down to 0.7.

Then this past week there was again a meeting of Merkel and the heads of the German states (Länder). Different states have different rates of infection (where I live, North Rhine-Westphalia, is tied up with Bavaria for the highest, which is no surprise because NRW is a densely populated state). Because of the dramatic differences between states, Merkel was put under strong pressure to allow each state to make its own decisions on an opening strategy. But, like me, many people live in one state and work in the neighboring one (I can walk to the state line from my house). Merkel caved, but reserved the right to “pull the emergency brake” on the federal level.

Soooo…we had some nice weather, people went out in droves and started dancing around the limitations on group sizes, etc., and, boom, today the r-value is back up to 1.1… up 50% over a week or so.

The Robert Koch Institute is sort of the Johns Hopkins here for corona. They had been giving regular press conferences with updates on the crisis but have apparently now decided to stop, because they are disgusted with the “patchwork” decision and are protesting this decision. (They’ll continue their work and will continue the info campaign via their website and news appearances but will no longer have the full pressers.)


when we do go to work and go about our business we need to remain vigilant

Britain, this is not the time to start following America.


Jeeze, I’m in first gear this morning, I guess, slow on the uptake, but I’ve got it now. It’s “Stay Alert” because that sounds nicer than, “Fuck it, you willful babies, you won’t be sensible so do what you want and see what it gets you.” Easier to work with graphically, no cuss words, same effect really.


If you don’t mind answering, where in Germany are you? I lived there myself in various places for a number of years, albeit a few decades ago.

I live in Bonn.

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According to the leading medical genius in the US, Covid-45 is “an invisible enemy”, so how can you stay alert?


Lots of coffee. And British sudafed.


Ah, never made it Bonn, even though it was the capital at the time. But I did spend a couple years as a kid living upstream of you on the Rhine, so at least there’s that. :smiley:

If there’s a rustle in your hedgerow.


Well if we’re going with British sudafed, shouldn’t we pair that with lots of pots of lovely tea?

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The whole issue of reopening is an impossible conundrum in an environment where you do not have testing to quickly identify, target, and respond to the inevitable “hot spot” outbreaks that will occur on a regular basis.

In many European countries that is practical and doable. In Trump’s version of the “dis-United” States, that cannot happen. And so, random outbreaks will constantly happen and the death toll will continue to rise until we finally find a medical approach that works. I’m horrified to consider how many unnecessary deaths will occur before then.

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It’s from China. Might be contaminated.

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Staying home is not a viable long term strategy. Even putting economic issues aside, even those with a stable income and a comfortable home want to get out every now and then. Not to a crowded football stadium, perhaps, but somewhere. So, wear masks, keep distance, yes, but stay home is reaching its limits, I’m afraid.

We have flattened the curve, but that doesn’t necessarily lead to fewer infections in the long term, it stretches them out in time. That keeps the hospitals from being overwhelmed, which will reduce deaths, but not eliminate them. It gives time to work on treatments and vaccines, but those are still too far off to say “Stay at home for the next 12-18 months”…

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There are many countries that have beaten the curve, where it now looks like “both sides of the mountain”. You apply the stay-home strategy until you get there, because it means the flareups when you ease the stay-home order will be smaller and more easily contained. Examples of countries where it is working (and where it isn’t): https://www.endcoronavirus.org/countries


“Stay Alert” is Trump speak for , “I tried”.

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We think the US is in bad shape but as bad as we are Great Britian, with 68 million inhabitants and 32,000 deaths is doing worse than the US when compared to the US with 307 million inhabitants and 80,000 deaths. This is a pandemic. We must not loose sight of the fact that every country is suffering.