IN the wake of an eminent professor saying that if lockdown had begun a week earlier, thousands of lives would have been saved, at yesterday’s daily briefing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was repeatedly questioned by journalists who wanted him to admit that he had made mistakes in handling the pandemic.

Mr Johnson was obviously very quick to dodge them. There are very few politicians who would be willing to admit that they have made mistakes which have cost lives.

There will, when this is all over, have to be a public inquiry. It will have to look at the timing of the lockdown as well as many other questions involving the attitude to care homes, the provision of protective equipment and the attempts to reopen schools.

That is what science does: it constantly reviews the evidence as it changes, as it learns more, so that it can understand why something has happened and what that means for the future.

The Government will undoubtedly be found wanting in many areas, the most recent being the lack of imagination applied to schools – why aren’t village halls, empty department stores, hotel ballrooms being pressed into service; why aren’t Nightingale classrooms being built?

But, amid all the blame-apportioning questions, the wise will remember that hindsight is wonderful – and it didn’t exist at the moment these crucial decisions were made.