IS NOT the road to hell paved with good intentions?

It is highly likely this maxim will apply to the coronavirus strategy too.

We already know the statistics.

That is: one per cent of the eighty per cent of the population who may get the virus will die.

So disastrous news, but remember that up to two thirds of a million people die every year in the UK from other causes, including other viruses.

The systems more or less cope with that so another quarter to a half million deaths is the likely order of events.

The great danger in the emergency planning to deal with the coronavirus now is that in trying to deal with a health disaster we inadvertently create many other disasters.

Top of this list of casualties must be the UK economy.

Business leaders are already on the media pleading for government bailouts or their businesses with go bust taking millions of jobs with them.

So we face the situation that without emergency funding from the government later this week we face millions falling into poverty and uncertainty.

This situation over several months will greatly damage their health for there is a direct link between lower income and poorer health and lower life expectancy.

So to try to pace the impact of the coronavirus on the NHS over a sensible period of time we are likely creating higher levels of health and life expectancy in millions of others in the general population.

The prescription that says over 70s need to socially isolate for several months, similarly with create huge unwanted effects.

Despite some extra support these older people will sink into isolation, poverty, possibly debt and depression.

The very worried ones will stay in at all costs and may become immobile. Older people die of too much change that distresses them and also they die regularly of physical immobility.

As regards the over 70s too this group is the one that keeps many voluntary organisations going that would otherwise help, for example, the Church of England is more or less run by the over 70s.

Without them it will fall apart because the younger people are not coming to church anyway.

A key final point: councils up and down the country are run by the over 70s because many councillors do this as a second or third career later in life.

Without key meetings taking place councils will either grind to a halt, postpone key decisions, or simply not be able to manage their normal workloads and responsibilities.

My conclusion? Be careful.

The prescription to deal with coronavirus could be worse than the coronavirus itself.

Elizabeth Smith