The pandemic forgotten as the Buffoon scrambles to ensure his political future
As each day goes by, in Britain, there’s less and less evidence that there’s still a worldwide pandemic. On public transport and in stores, where the ‘guidance’ is still to wear a mask, fewer people do so as they follow what is the ‘norm’.
That doesn’t mean to say things are getting back to even the ‘new normal’. The number of people travelling on public transport is still way down from what it was two years ago – partly because there are still people afraid to mix and will use their own transport if they have it and many people are still ‘working from home’ – those that can do so.
If you get infected or end up dying with the virus you’re not really even counted now as the figures that used to come out on a daily basis are now only released when someone has a point to make – either in favour of less or more restrictions.
The Buffoon and his Government, who (despite all their protestations to the contrary) have made a pig’s ear of dealing with the pandemic from the start (many of the U-turns and confusions being documented on this blog) are using the various non-pandemic crises that are cropping up to divert attention away from the fact that they were quite happy to carry on in a way that they were saying was too dangerous for the majority of the population to follow – the so-called ‘partygate’.
They are hoping the longer it all drags out the more people will forget their hypocrisy (not an entirely impossible scenario) and that the Tory Members of Parliament who might consider the whole issue an embarrassment will start to think of their own futures and hold back from pressuring the Buffoon to resign. After all a couple more years on the gravy train is better than facing an election where they might all be sent into the wilderness.
The Buffoon makes announcement that are aimed at ‘buying’ votes – a tactic which Thatcher used, with not inconsiderable success in the 1980s – but whether he will be successful in buying votes so cheaply has yet to be seen.
More seriously the Buffoon is following in the wake of the failed and failing Biden administration and banging the drums of war against Russia over the Ukraine accompanied by the embarrassing spectacle of both Johnson and Truss playing at being diplomats – which amuses the Russians if no one else. So after a ‘war’ against a virus we might see a war in the real sense.
Wars have historically been good at diverting attention away from domestic problems, in Britain the most recent example of that was the war against Argentina in Las Malvinas in 1982. And even when millions go on the streets that doesn’t stop the warmongers from carrying out their plans – as could be seen in 2003 prior to the invasion and destruction of Iraq. If all the weapons are just allowed to lie in storage how can the military-industrial complex increase their profits?
But the virus hasn’t gone away. If the vaccination programme was the way out of it there are still only a very small percentage of the world’s poorest people who have yet to receive even one dose. Britain, together with most of the other ‘industrialised’ and wealthiest countries in the world are still holding out against patent waivers and promises of ‘donations’ of vaccines are falling way short of the numbers needed.
But then if there was a patent waiver this would have the effect of reducing the profits of ‘Big Pharma’ – and that will never do.
In all ‘wars’ there are winners and losers. What capitalism has been very successful in achieving is maintaining a grip on society where the losers are the poor and the winners are those who already have many times more than they need. Indeed, that is what capitalism is all about.
It always comes down to how long working people are prepared to accept this. However much they might have suffered in the last two years (with problems over and above those they might have had for years) there still isn’t a groundswell that looks like changing the situation any time soon.
The vaccination programme in the UK ….
Cash incentives for vaccination could be an effective long-term strategy.
AstraZeneca vaccine: Did nationalism spoil UK’s ‘gift to the world’?
…. and the rest of the world
Scientists argue for the sharing of technology so that vaccines can be produced in other parts o0f the world.
Cuba leads the world in vaccinating children as young as two against covid.
Covid vaccines may be getting worse at stopping new variants emerging – but they’re still lowering the risk.
Novavax under delivers on covid vaccine promises.
Who’s making billions from the pandemic?
Vaccine mandates for healthcare workers should be scrapped – omicron has changed the game.
Is this the end of the road for vaccine mandates in healthcare?
Treatment other than vaccines
WHO recommends two new treatments – here’s how they work.
Gut bacteria could help protect against covid and even lead to a new drug.
Have you stopped wearing reusable fabric masks? Here’s how to cut down waste without compromising your health.
Understanding the statistics
The cognitive bias that tripped us up during the pandemic.
Measles warning for children as jab rate falls in England.
How the pandemic could make poverty levels among ethnic minorities even worse.
The Mental Health Experiences of Older People During the Pandemic. The Full Report.
The pandemic made period poverty worse in the UK – but also led to new ways to combat it.
Plan to tackle England’s NHS backlog delayed.
Energy prices: how covid helped them to surge – and why they won’t go down any time soon.
Why some people with symptoms don’t get tested.
The omicron variant …
Two thirds of people who catch omicron have already had covid.
Omicron reinfection rate dwarfs last 18 months of covid.
South African scientists on the inside story of discovering omicron – and what their experience offers the world about future variants. A link to a Podcast.
…. and the variant’s variant
BA.2 is like Omicron’s sister. Here’s what we know about it so far.
The nationalists’ record
Covid in Scotland: ‘Lack of planning’ has put NHS in crisis.
Don’t believe the claim that only 17,371 people have died from covid in England and Wales.
U.S. coronavirus deaths surpass 900,000, driven in part by Omicron surge.
The next pandemic
Failure to prevent pandemics at source is ‘greatest folly’. Protecting wildlife to stop viruses jumping to humans would save far more than it costs, analysis shows.
England’s plan B restrictions are lifting – but are some measures here to stay?
Treasury minister quits over covid loan fraud: what we know so far about the unfolding scandal.
Government writes off £8.7 billion of pandemic PPE.
Owen Paterson’s private messages about Randox testing released.
Poverty in Britain ….
Consumption inequality in the digital age.
Government inaction on energy bills ‘will cause an increase in deaths’ in Scotland.
Energy poverty is linked to physical and mental health.
Extra 1.3 million workers on universal credit since pandemic began.
Interest Rate hikes are Class War.
Inequality and the covid crisis in the United Kingdom – and Institute for Fiscal Studies report.
…. and poverty throughout the world
Private sector debt and coronavirus in developing countries. A number of anti-poverty NGOs came together in 2020 to produce a report entitled Under the radar (don’t know why this is the first time I’ve come across it).
Oxfam International have just released a report entitled ‘Inequality Kills: The unparalleled action needed to combat unprecedented inequality in the wake of covid-19’. The Summary and the Full Report.
Effects of covid on the rest of health care
Warwick University have produced a report, entitled Pandemic Pressures and Public Health care – evidence from England, looking at the impact of covid on general health care.
Blaming someone else
How the psychology of blame can explain covid-19 responses.
To shield or not to shield
More than 1.5 million people were wrongly told to shield from covid-19.
Problems in the NHS
The NHS is having its worst winter ever – and the reasons run much deeper than covid.