The future of the country in the feet of a football team
If there was one word that could be used to describe the manner in which the present covid pandemic has been managed in the UK then that word would be ‘surreal’. (I have been more closely following the situation in Britain but from what I know about other parts of the world the epithet would not be misplaced elsewhere.)
Perhaps, at the very beginning, there was an excuse for this impression. But only a small ‘perhaps’. Previous governments, of whatever political colour, had given the impression they were planning for any such eventuality (be it medical, natural or even military) but when it came it seemed – in Britain, at least – that they had been planning for the wrong type of pandemic. The cunning covid virus had snuck under the radar and it should have been a variety of flu.
That was a weak argument as there must be certain constants that exist in a pandemic; testing; isolation plans; a properly functioning, resourced and financed health service; support for those who are infected but can’t work; a well thought out strategy; an idea of worst case scenarios; a long term perspective as a modern city based society has little to fall back on compared to when pandemics (much more virulent and destructive in terms of human life) struck in past centuries – failure to do so could quite well lead to a situation where the cure can become more destructive and longer lasting than the disease itself.
But none of that was there, nothing concrete and thought through existed from the start and the situation is not that much better now.
Following the ‘data and not dates’ has meant that prior to long publicised ‘crunch’ times speculation is rife, with the Government no doubt promoting leaks to see how they are picked up by the media and the population in general. Lacking any strategy, lacking any real ideas, lacking any courage they seek to place (in whatever manner) the responsibility upon the the people themselves.
Whilst claiming ‘leadership’ the Buffoon and his acolytes have bounced around like a ball in a squash court with no one knowing where the ball will land. U-turns have been made on virtually all important decisions (when they are proven to be totally out of tune with reality or because they realise the plans just aren’t workable) and getting close to any sort of strategy is just a pipe-dream.
The period where speculation is rife before the making of a decision on the way forward gets extended from one week to two, the resultant ‘debate’ almost certainly causing more confusion the longer it goes on. But one thing is certain, whatever the consequences of changes in the present circumstances (which must happen, at some time in the future, a modern society can’t go on as it has in the UK for the last 18 months or so), if it all goes tits up it won’t be the Buffoon or the politicians that are at fault.
The Tories have tried (probably not very successfully) to claim credit for the success in the vaccination programme in the country. They were hypocritical in their ‘celebration’ of the 73rd anniversary of the establishment of the National Health Service which took place on 5th July. A party that had fought against its establishment in the first place, has been trying to undermine it ever since and which is, at present, pushing through changes that will further weaken its ability to provide what it promised to do in the immediate post-war years looks even more shallow when they are forced to attend such celebrations.
Now the Buffoon has become the country’s most avid football supporter and the Euro Cup Final that’s taking place as I type is supposed to have everyone in the country supporting ‘our’ team, an attempt at narrow minded nationalism which will help us to cope as we come out of the ‘unprecedented’ situation of the last year and a half.
If the feel good factor kicks in if England win what happens if they lose?
Vaccination programme in Britain ….
Covid vaccines: combining AstraZeneca and Pfizer may boost immunity.
Heart inflammation link to Pfizer and Moderna jabs.
….. and the rest of the world
Delta variant exposes the flaws of stop-start vaccination programmes.
Proposals to extend covid jabs to children in west would delay worldwide roll out and allow deadly variants to develop elsewhere.
South Africa’s vaccine quagmire, and what needs to be done now.
The ever changing virus
What’s the ‘Delta plus’ variant? And can it escape vaccines?
Age, sex, vaccine dose, chronic illness – insight into risk factors for severe covid is growing.
We should treat covid like norovirus – not the flu.
Moving forward …..
Chris Whitty: keeping covid restrictions will only delay wave.
Why it’s time to think differently about covid.
Living with covid: is now the right time for England to lift all restrictions?
….. or pumping up the fear
UK scientists caution that lifting of Covid rules is like building ‘variant factories’.
Covid-19: ‘For us it’s not freedom day, is it?’
Global experts urge Boris Johnson to delay ‘dangerous’ covid reopening.
England’s ‘freedom day’ to be day of fear for elderly people.
How missing out on nursery due to covid has affected children’s development.
A hidden covid crisis? Assessing the pandemic’s impact on young workers and their mental health. This page has a link to a recording of a webinar that looked at this issue in May.
Remote workers suffered most mental distress during pandemic.
Some things we are learning
How scientists can help tell if someone caught the virus at a nightclub.
Why we should stop testing in schools.
Poverty in Britain
How inequality explains the high impact of covid-19 in the UK.
£20 cut to benefits to impact families’ ability to put food on the table.
Universal credit £20 top up to be phased out.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies published a report entitled Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2021. On 8th July there was also a webinar where this report was introduced.
The covid death toll in poorer areas highlights long term inequalities in Britain, the conclusion of a report by the Health Foundation entitled Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery.
Chaos that follows the ‘no strategy’ strategy
Parents angry at shifting government covid messages.
Covid-19: New rules for schools in England to be set out.
Hypocrisy in Britain
For an example of the shallowness of British society, and the ease with which a sizeable section of the population can be lulled into inactivity, just look at the ‘honours’ system that operates due to the existence of an hereditary monarchy. At a time when wide ranging changes are being proposed for the National Health Service which could drastically alter (for the worse) general working conditions; when staff shortages are getting worse – not solely down to the pandemic as it arrived at a time of a staffing crisis that had been developing for years; when a derisory pay offer is being offered by the Buffoon’s government which will very likely lead to strike action and/or an even greater departure of trained staff; and still a lack of a strategy to deal with covid – which we are constantly being told will be with us for ever – what is the government’s response? The Queen gives ‘courageous’ and ‘dedicated’ NHS the George Cross as William and Kate mark its 73rd birthday
Corruption in Britain
Greensill given access to covid loans without detailed checks.
UK pupils use orange juice to fake ‘positive’ Covid test results.
Test-and-trace rules ‘wreaking havoc’ for pubs and restaurants.
After the pandemic – or at least after Britain returns to ‘normal’
Why early-years education must be prioritised in pandemic recovery plans.
The Centre for Ageing Better has produced a report on access to the internet for older people, Covid-19 and the digital divide, with suggestions how things could change in the future.
Sunak must spend extra £10 billion a year on public services because of Covid – Office for Budget Responsibility.
Lessons from the pandemic
Human behaviour: what scientists have learned about it from the pandemic.
And how did it all start?
Covid origins: Scientists weigh up evidence over virus’s origins.