I fully expect that we will be back in full lockdown by mid January; at least in the North and Midlands (London and the South might get spared as putting them into another lockdown would be politically more damaging for the government in the longer-term due to voting patterns). Allowing the Christmas window and then locking us down again after enables the government to be seen to be doing something about the virus and all the 'irresponsible' people in the North, and therefore keeps their core Southern voters happy.
I will admit that I have broken the current lockdown, but I have done so in a responsible way. I live on my own and have no remaining family, so I do not have significant contact with people (not of the sort that would promote virus spread). I have one friend who I saw a few times in the Summer, and there was one occasion we met up with a couple of other people outside at the picnic tables at the Dales Centre. Other than that, I have not seen anyone properly since early March. I am in the very vulnerable group (on medical grounds, not age) and was shielding until August. Being trapped inside and never seeing anyone has been really bad for my mental health to the point where I have sometimes felt like I would be better off dead. I have been doing 'non essential' trips out because I cannot cope with being shut in any more. I have been driving to places on my own and not been in close contact with anyone other than passing on footpaths (on places like Hedleyhope and Waskerley) or on my weekly Greggs trip. There are days when I have gone for a drive simply to get out of the house. I need to go beyond my village to not feel shut in and sub-human. I am not in a social bubble because most people are in bubbles with their parents or children and the the small number who aren't had formed themselves into friendship pair bubbles while I was still shielding.
The whole system assumes that everyone has a partner or family.
Yeah the fatigue thing cant be used as a mitigating factor as every team in the league is dealing with the same schedule, some with a couple of extra cup games earlier in the season and some with more than just 2 international players. Yes we have a smaller squad than some but we also have players in the squad who aren't getting minutes which is the managers decision.
Fatigue management is just another facet of management and if we start to lose games because of it that's on the management team.
I think some of the players today looked fatigued, in my opinion. NW not picking certain players, not making substitutions earlier or even using all 5 allowed substitutions (recently), will further fatigue certain players as they will have to continue to play on. Howson, McNair, Dijksteel, Saville and Tav have all played over 1100 minutes so far this season. Only Brentford have the same amount of outfield players (5) as us, to have played over 1100 minutes. So although we both agree we are in the same predicament as every other team, our circumstances in terms of player numbers are certainly different.
Regarding your other points they are well made, but I'm not sure why you have made them when the original discussion was regarding player fitness and how I thought it played a small part in today's performance.