Does ‘too little, too late’ become ‘too much too soon’?

More on covid pandemic 2020-2?

Does ‘too little, too late’ become ‘too much too soon’?

Seemingly not, surprisingly not, astoundingly not! All initial indications from commentators and even the ‘experts’ is that the plan announced by the Buffoon on 22nd February might be the best way forward for the country. So it looks like he didn’t have any real say in the proposed timetable of raising of restrictions.

Whether the literal island of Britain can exist as a metaphorical island in the rest of the world – when the vast majority of the world’s 8 billion people are nowhere near having any protection against the virus is another matter.

If we maintain the parochial approach the vaccination programme in the UK also still seems to be going well. Figures are showing that around half a million people, more or less, are being vaccinated every day. The ‘promise’ that every adult – those over the age of 18 years – will be vaccinated by the end of July is just another bit of grandstanding and might catch the Buffoon out in the future – but all he is thinking about is short term popularity. Such a promise (bringing that target forward a month) serves no purpose other than being a form of political posturing.

Extending the vaccination programme to those younger than 18 probably won’t happen until much later in the year – not least as the present vaccines haven’t been authorised for children yet – although all the vaccines that are being put into peoples’ arms throughout the (‘developed’) world now were all rushed through the validation process. It looks like that gamble has paid off as there are no reports of serious side effcts, other than those normally associated with vaccines.

The Buffoon’s latest slogan has been ‘data not dates’. Always one for the short, snappy slogan. Although this is the first time he might have really been following the data.

However, one question to ask is; what data are they following. Yes, infections, hospitalisations and deaths are falling. But why? When you have two variables introduced at the same time (a lock down – if only partial – and the introduction of a mass vaccination programme both starting at the end of December and which have been running in tandem ever since) how can you say which one has had the desired effect?

Perhaps the answer to that will come out in the next few months.

Also (and this leaves a bad taste in the mouth) the Buffoon is starting to make reasonable comments about the introduction of a so called ‘immunity passport’ based upon a vaccination history. Yes, initially, it will be discriminatory, for a a number of reasons – mainly age but also there are other variables that might mean someone has not been vaccinated when given the chance.

The idea of carrying proof of who you are (which is what such a ‘passport’ would be) has always been fought in Britain – one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t have an obligatory identity card system.

Most people in the country will accept anything – under the impression that it will be a temporary imposition – in order to return to some form of normality. However, as with the restrictions that were written into law with the Coronavirus Act of last spring once these sort of measures are enacted the State is very reluctant to rescind them – unless there is a lot of pressure for them to do so. A nation ‘tired’ of restrictions on its movement might not be the best ones to take on that fight.

And the words of the Buffoon can never be trusted.

The ‘roadmap’

Initial reactions to the Buffoon’s announcements of 22nd February. Is England’s Covid roadmap the right way out of lock down? The experts’ view

A year too late, the Buffoon produces a reasonable plan.

Is the UK’s exit plan the right one? Three experts give their view.

Although at the end of last week it was reported that Whitty was at odds with the Buffoon over ‘big bang’ reopening of schools in England.

Vaccination programme

The question of enforced vaccination – or at least pressure to get vaccinated. ‘No jab, no job’ policies may be legal for new staff.

When there’s a shortage there’s the potential for gangsters to fill the gap. Something about which all countries should be aware so what we can learn from the great polio vaccine heist of 1959?

Should politicians showcase their own vaccinations to convince the rest of us?

Vaccines on the world stage

UK should send vaccines to poorer nations now – head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

UK hits target for protecting most vulnerable but global roll out lags far behind.

Vaccine diplomacy – how some countries are using COVID to enhance their soft power. This article doesn’t specifically address the announcement by the Buffoon at the G7 meeting last week about the UK ‘donating’ excess vaccines to poorer countries – but all donations will come with their ‘conditions’.

Covid-19 variants

It seems that the Kent variant really is starting to take over the world. Is the Kent variant responsible for the rise in cases among young people in Israel and Italy?

The issue of masks keeps on developing

At first it was just any ‘face covering’ was adequate, now technology (and profit opportunities) are becoming more important. ‘Smart’ face masks promise high-tech protection – but who is going to pay for these, yet another divide due to class and poverty?

The National Health Service

Yet something else we’ve known for many years but to reiterate – management consultants in healthcare do more harm than good, but keep getting rehired.

Health workers appeal to Buffoon for better personal protection. So getting close to the second year and the issue of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) still remains an issue.

Front line National Health Service staff at risk from airborne coronavirus.

Poverty in Britain

England’s poorest areas hit by covid ‘perfect storm’.

One in six new universal credit claimants forced to skip meals.

Universal Credit worth less than in 2013, says Citizens Advice Scotland.

Again, not strictly covid related but a situation which will only get worse as a consequence of the pandemic. ‘Only junkies’– how stigma and discrimination link to rise in drug deaths among Scotland’s poor.

Prison cases ‘almost double’ in a week – in Scotland.

International preparedness for the pandemic

Italy ‘misled WHO on pandemic readiness’ weeks before Covid outbreak. That’s all well and good BUT … what was the situation in Britain at the beginning of 2020? From all that we experienced last year the situation in the UK wasn’t significantly better – nor in many other so called ‘developed countries’. Otherwise why have we seen 120,000 and 500,000 excess deaths in the UK and the USA respectively. What The Guardian should be investigating is not what happened in another European country but what was the situation here, in Britain.

How did the pandemic start?

I was the Australian doctor on the WHO’s covid-19 mission to China. Here’s what we found about the origins of the coronavirus.

The effects of covid – and how to deal with them

A distorted sense of smell is dangerous but treatable.

‘Collateral damage’

UK government blasted over delays to employment reforms.

The Resolution Foundation has produced another report looking at employment prospects for the post-covid future entitled Long Covid in the Labour Market. On the 18th February they also hosted a discussion on this issue and that is available to watch here.

Under-25s hit worst as unemployment rises again.

‘Immunity Passports’

IT experts weigh up the pros and cons of vaccine passports.

Covid vaccine passports could discriminate.

And people should be aware that although they want to get back to a ‘new’ normal as soon as possible the general application of such documentation could well be the slippery slope down the road of the need to carry an identity card. Easier to accept for people used to doing so in many countries – a little bit more difficult in the UK.

We have Cummins – the US has Cruz

Although not covid related exactly but just goes to show those who consider themselves entitled just carry on doing what they want – whatever the situation the majority of people have to endure. Texas Senator Ted Cruz flew to Mexico amid state energy crisis.

Help for home owners, yes, help for renters perhaps (or perhaps not)

Here’s how the Government can release renters from mounting pressure.

Calls for Spanish-style loan scheme to help UK households in arrears.

The ‘recovery’ from the pandemic?

We need a green recovery after covid-19, but banning wildlife trade could do more harm than good.

Corruption in ‘high places’

Matt Hancock acted unlawfully over pandemic contracts. So what’s going to be the consequence of this ruling?

Or this? Covid contract-winning firm owned by Hancock’s neighbour is investigated by health regulator.

More on covid pandemic 2020-2?

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