As the Covid-19 crisis evolves and we as a society strive to save lives, but at the cost of seriously damaging our present and future economic health, I wonder if we have our priorities right.

In our desire to prolong life at seemingly any cost are we over-simplifying what we understand as human well-being? Over the last 50 years or so a great deal of work has been done on what constitutes well-being or happiness. This shows that happiness has various elements, and in giving overriding priority to simply extending life we are certainly going to lessen our ability to deliver happiness to millions in the longer term.

One well known index of happiness emphasises the importance of the quality of education, environment, health, leisure and culture within a society. Our ability to deliver on these fronts is going to be seriously undermined by the damage we are doing to the engine of our economy.

The NHS looms large in the current crisis, but ironically as a result of the strategy we have adopted we will have fewer resources to devote to it after this crisis has passed.

So make no mistake about it, our present policy may prolong lives now but it will cost lives in the future. Impoverishment and low quality of life kill – it’s just that we won’t know who these victims of Covid-19 are.

In the terrible moral dilemma presented by the Covid-19 crisis have we simply gone for the easy “feel-good” fix and kicked the can of consequences down the road for future generations to deal with?

Ronald McGrath

Langley Way, Watford