Pandemic – what pandemic?
Surely pandemics of the past were nothing like the one the world is living through now. In previous pandemics news about what was happening on the other side of the world either just didn’t exist or would take some time to filter down to the vast majority of the population. With modern technology what happens in Australia and New Zealand, for example, can be known about almost instantly. However, the speed of communication is nothing if people don’t know how (or don’t want) to use that rapid sharing of knowledge to the advantage of all.
That means each country is following its own road with no concern for the long term, worldwide domination of the virus. The consensus now seems to be accepting that covid will be with us forever and that attempts to achieve and maintain a zero level of infection is unlikely – although China and New Zealand still seem to be sticking with their original ‘strategy’. If different countries are shooting into different goal mouths then it doesn’t bode too well for the future.
When it comes to vaccines the selfish, ‘western’, capitalist world continues to grab as much as possible for it’s own privileged populations – the UK just in the last day or so announcing that they had ordered (and paid for) 100 million doses of the very expensive and difficult to transport Pfizer vaccine. The fine statements made at the G7 meeting in June about sharing the available vaccines with the poorer nations on the planet are conveniently forgotten. In England children are being brought into the programme and third doses are being proposed for an, as yet, indeterminate section of the population.
So the chaotic situation that has dominated the last 18 months or so has morphed into surrealism. Life ‘goes on as normal’, people go on holiday, mass sporting events go ahead and it’s difficult to remember that the virus is still with us and we still lack a real strategy to deal with it.
As has been the case for a while now there’s a great dependence being placed upon chance, that the virus will not be as virulent if it returns in a major way in the autumn. But if things do turn bad later in the year there’s no strategy to deal with another major outbreak – so, basically, nothing’s been learnt since the beginning of 2020.
Many of the world’s ‘leaders’ (and probably a sizeable proportion of the populations in the richer countries) are like ostriches with their heads buried deep in the sand. Pandemic, what pandemic?
Vaccination programme in Britain …..
UK doctors alarmed at ‘shambolic’ roll-out of covid jabs for children.
Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) ‘largely opposed’ to Covid vaccination for children under 16.
Vaccinating teenagers is beneficial, even if their vulnerability to covid-19 is low – if you ignore the moral argument about what is happening (or not) in the rest of the world.
Oxford-jab chief criticises UK’s covid booster plan.
How will covid vaccines work on compromised immune systems?
Teenage jab roll out moving cautiously.
Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine: rare blood clot syndrome has high mortality rate.
Should we tell stories of vaccine sceptics who have died of covid?
Is catching covid now better than more vaccine?
….. and the rest of the world
World Health Organisation (WHO) calls for moratorium on booster shots – is it justifiable?
How effective are covid-19 vaccines? Here’s what the stats mean … and what they don’t.
India is preparing for another covid surge but low vaccine coverage leaves it vulnerable
G7 nations will have stockpiled a billion spare covid vaccine doses by end of 2021.
India approves world’s first DNA covid vaccine.
After India’s brutal coronavirus wave, two-thirds of population has been exposed to SARS-CoV2.
Immunocompromised people make up nearly half of covid-19 breakthrough hospitalizations – an extra vaccine dose may help.
Antibody tests offered to public for first time. Is there a reason this wasn’t started a long time ago? The more information the better to deal with the pandemic, no?
The ever mutating virus
What happens if a far more lethal coronavirus emerges in pets?
SARS-CoV-2 mutations: why the virus might still have some tricks to pull.
New covid variants ‘would set us back a year’, experts warn UK government.
New wave of covid infections possible when schools and office workers return.
UK covid cases have fallen dramatically – but another wave is likely.
Jabbed adults infected with Delta ‘can match virus levels of unvaccinated’.
Thousands isolated unnecessarily because of NHS covid app error.
Why are things so different in Africa?
The impact of covid-19 has been lower in Africa. Why?
What does China have to teach us?
From ground zero to zero tolerance – how China learnt from its covid response to quickly stamp out its latest outbreak.
China hits zero covid cases with a month of draconian curbs.
Hundreds quarantined in Shanghai as China nears 2 billion covid-19 vaccine doses.
British Trade Unions get to grips with the pandemic
Urgent call for covid-safe ventilation in schools.
‘Herd immunity’ – or not
Delta variant renders herd immunity from covid ‘mythical’.
Travelling in a time of covid
Ministers accused of destroying trust in England’s covid travel rules.
Private schools poised to widen lead over state pupils at A-level.
Covid is making a summer break something only the rich can afford.
Could NHS waiting lists really reach 13 million?
England’s pandemic crisis of child abuse, neglect and poverty.
Almost 1.2 million people waiting at least six months for vital NHS services in England.
Working from home has created an ‘overtime epidemic’.
A million jobs in peril as one in 16 UK firms say they are at risk of closure.
How the pandemic exposed the crisis in children’s social care. (Links to a podcast.)
Record number of young people wait for eating disorder treatment in England.
The pandemic transformed how social work was delivered – and these changes could be here to stay.
How decades of Neoliberalism left the NHS on the brink.
Poverty in Britain
The National Housing Federation released a report in July 2021 about the experiences of social housing tenants in claiming Universal Credit during the present covid pandemic entitled ‘Universal Credit: claiming during the coronavirus pandemic – A survey of housing association tenants claiming Universal Credit in 2020/21. In comes in two versions, the Executive Report and the Technical (full) Report.
Cuts to Universal Credit will leave children hungry.
Who’s making it big in Pandemic Britain?
Covid contracts: inquiry to look into use of WhatsApp, says Information Commissioners Office – they knew they were doing something illicit hence trying to do business through less traceable forms of communication.
‘Lost samples and late results’: the Tory donor, his son and their travel-test firms.
Church leader who sold £91 bogus covid remedy appears in court. This was first highlighted here about a year ago – so things aren’t moving particularly fast.
Mask wearing – after the pandemic?
Will mask wearing still be common in Britain after the pandemic is over?
Impossible to get the testing right – or how to make easy money
Anger at overflowing covid test drop boxes.
PCR tests for travel: Competition watchdog to investigate if excessive profits are being made.
Ministers face calls to intervene in ‘scam’ covid travel test system.
UK watchdog (Competition and Markets Authority – CMA) vows to help fight rip-off covid test firms.
Government warns covid test firms over misleading prices.
How are the ‘strategies’ working in other countries?
Has the Delta variant derailed Australia’s zero-covid strategy? (Podcast.)
New Zealand borders to remain closed for rest of the year.
Why I no longer think we can eliminate covid – public health expert.
New Zealand pandemic strategy in doubt amid Delta spread.
What will happen when it’s all over?
Plagues and classical history – what the humanities will tell us about covid in years to come.