On 31st August 2020, a group of thirteen senior Melbourne doctors signed an open letter to Victorian Premier Dan Andrews expressing deep concern with the government's handling of the corona virus pandemic. Five days later, 491 other medical practitioners, mainly from Melbourne, had added their signatures to the letter, which describes the government policy of stage 4 lockdown as “ill-focussed, heavy-handed and unjustifiable”. It calls for a more pragmatic, common sense approach.
We talk with Geoff Wells, an honorary consultant urologist at Melbourne’s Box Hill Hospital, who organised the letter. Geoff reckons the effects of prolonged isolation - depression, neglected pre-existing illnesses, increased rates of suicide and devastating financial hardship, could be worse than the corona virus itself.
(Correction: Geoff Wells of The Covid Doctors Network advises that “based on overseas studies, if you’re healthy and under 60 you have about a 1 in 150,000 chance of dying if you get Covid”. In the interview, Geoff stated under 70.)