A comment by a reader yesterday is worth reposting for maximum exposure:
By Alex Lee-MacDonald
It’s a very good point that often seems to be forgotten by both opponents and supporters of the Scottish Government – Scotland did not have any legal powers to lockdown until the (UK Parliament) Coronavirus Act 2020 was passed late on 25th March 2020 –
Prior to that, England and Wales had power to lockdown but Scotland did not –
The first few days of lockdown 1, which were actually only advisory in Scotland until after the Coronavirus Act 2020 passed, probably only worked in Scotland because the rest of the UK had locked down and there was consistent stay at home messages across the UK at that point.
This is a key point when discussing Scotland’s death rate in the pandemic compared to other countries because by late March 2020, when Scotland got the powers to lockdown (or 23 March 2020 when advisory lockdown became possible), the vast majority of the deaths/cases in the first wave were already baked in. Even though the lockdown got the reproduction number down across the UK, the very high baseline of cases at that point meant that no matter what policies the Scottish Government adopted, almost all the cases/deaths were already baked in by that point, probably until around start of June.