First of all, I have an article in The National with more analysis of yesterday's sensational YouGov poll, which showed the SNP on an almost unbelievable 54% of the Holyrood constituency vote. You can read it HERE.
But there was also another significant YouGov poll yesterday, which asked respondents across Britain for their views on extending the lockdown. The verdict was emphatic - a total of 77% of Britons think the lockdown should continue and a mere 15% disagree. Among the Scottish subsample, the majority is even bigger - 80% to 12%. This once again exposes the media narrative of "public pressure to get back to normal" as utterly bogus. It's not that anyone likes being under lockdown - but it looks like the vast majority of people realise that it's by far the lesser of the two available evils.
If you haven't already seen it, you might also be interested in this long video interview from a few days ago with Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College, who has (since mid-March at any rate) been one of the 'doves' on SAGE arguing against a 'herd immunity' strategy and in favour of a full-on suppression strategy. He makes a number of interesting points, but there are a couple that particularly address some of the red herrings that are regularly raised by the usual suspects in the comments section of this blog. He explains that it's simply not the case that what is happening in Sweden can be taken as an example of the end result of a country following a mitigation (ie. herd immunity) strategy, because in fact Sweden's strategy is a halfway house - he describes it is a semi-suppression strategy which has dramatically reduced the reproduction rate of the virus, but not to below 1. In many ways that leaves Sweden with the worst of all worlds, because there's enough social distancing to ensure that collective immunity won't be achieved in the foreseeable future, but the virus is still rampant enough to be causing carnage in environments like care homes. In a perverse way the Swedish approach looks like survival of the fittest for the elderly and other vulnerable groups, but with a degree of protection for everyone else.
Ferguson also highlights the magical thinking of those who argue that lockdown causes more harm than the virus itself would in the absence of lockdown. He points out that some of the harms ascribed to lockdown are actually caused by the virus, and that if you lifted the lockdown they would get a lot worse rather than better. For example, people may be currently dying of non-coronavirus conditions because they're not accessing the health service, or because the health service doesn't have the capacity to help them. But if you decide "there's more to life than the virus" (as someone absurdly said on Twitter yesterday), and act as if the problem isn't there anymore so that you can get on with other things, that doesn't mean the virus goes away - quite the reverse. Without suppression measures it comes back with a vengeance, the NHS will be totally overwhelmed, and people with other conditions won't have a hope of getting the care they need. Non-coronavirus excess deaths will further increase, not decrease. OK, eventually the epidemic will pass of its own accord, but that will take several months, and by then the damage will have been done.