The eve of yet another change in tactics – doom and gloom in the UK early December 2020
A new month. New ‘tactics’. More confusion. No co-ordination across the island. No real ‘exit’ strategy. More of the same.
But at least Christmas has been ‘saved’ – perhaps.
The issue of the tiers
The way the country is being divided up into ‘tiers’ from tomorrow (2nd December) is an issue that will be filling the news bulletins until the end of the pandemic. This is good for the Buffoon and his Government. Anger gets diverted to those living in the various levels, increasing divisions amongst the people and not being directed against the Government itself.
And it all becomes a game for Britain’s Parliamentary ‘Democracy’. The so-called ‘Opposition Parties’ will abstain when the matter is taken to a vote thus allowing the Tory ‘rebels’ to vent their indignation and claim the moral high ground – without having to put them really to the test and defeat their own Government in a crucial vote.
Another, scientific, view of the rate of infection and the efficacy of a tier system was discussed on Radio 4’s World at One on 26th November.
Liverpool ‘pilot’ – latest update
The pilot mass-testing scheme continues in Liverpool – but seemingly endlessly, without direction or reason. Lessons learnt aren’t being implemented elsewhere in the United kingdom as each area seems to follow it’s own trajectory, more for local credibility than in an effort to understand how to best deal with the virus.
The official Council website still states the ‘pilot’ will continue till the end of November – even on 1st December – with no indication of a end date or reasons why it might continue. Also the lists of the number of test sites resemble the movements of a yo-yo, reaching a total of 51 on 28th November (when 8 more ‘pop-up’ sites were used) but down to 21 on 1st December. By the look of it the ‘pilot’ will just fizzle out as the number of testing sites gets closer to the original six opened at midday on 6th November.
A good idea – poorly thought out and monitored.
Some recent statistics;
Liverpool testing update – 1pm 23rd November 2020
- 98,203 Liverpool residents tested using lateral flow
- 62,258 Liverpool residents tested using PCR
- In addition, 22,367 people from neighbouring areas have been tested using lateral flow
- There have been 866 positive lateral flow tests – 629 of which have been Liverpool residents
Testing period: 12 midday, 6th November 2020 – 1pm, 23rd November 2020.
Liverpool testing update – 1pm 27th November 2020
- 111,028 Liverpool residents tested using lateral flow
- 66,166 Liverpool residents tested using PCR
- In addition, 26,476 people from neighbouring areas have been tested using lateral flow
- There have been 995 positive lateral flow tests – 721 of which have been Liverpool residents
Testing period: 12 midday, 6th November 2020 – 1pm, 27th November 2020.
A break down of daily take up rates, and where, would be useful.
After the ‘we’re all in it together’ phase comes the money grabbers
Many people, in the past, have had ‘good wars’. This battle against the covid pandemic is no different.
As time goes on (and with ‘the vaccine calvary coming over the hills’ – what a cretin is the Buffoon?) more people will seek more openly legal methods to make money out of the build up of lock down frustration.
Expensive, private, tests will enable some people to cut or avoid quarantine on returning to the UK.
Bandits will also take advantage of any given opportunity. Here’s one that most of us have not thought about – or at least I didn’t. That’s the issue of food adulteration. An interview on Radio 4’s You and Yours on 27th November shed some light on this issue – the consequences of which will probably be greater in 2021 than it has so far this year.
Poverty in Britain
The stories of woe continue.
Nearly half of families forced into debt since start of pandemic.
Hungry and out of work; what life is like for young British people under covid-19 restrictions.
Here today, gone tomorrow, the November 2020 ‘Spending review’ in context, by the Resolution Foundation. Which shows how people will be worse off after this crisis than they have in previous financial crashes.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation also produced a briefing, this one entitled; Spending Review 2020; No plan to protect people in poverty.
Various charities consider the Spending Review ‘pitiful’ and ‘a missed opportunity’.
Experience of University students
How some university students, in Manchester, view their situation – and the attitude of their University – to issues surrounding teaching in the present pandemic. An interesting (and intelligent) discussion was broadcast on Radio 4’s You and Yours on 27th November.
Travel restrictions – or not
Business travellers to England could be exempt from quarantine under government plans.
How have the Nationalists fared by ploughing their own furrow?
Sturgeon defends handling of pandemic – although the infection is no closer to being under control north, as it is south, of the border.
Alcohol ban for Welsh pubs and restaurants. A new twist on ‘a pub with no beer’. It appears that Wales now has its own ‘buffoon’ in Mark Drakeford – and that’s the Welsh translation.
Mass vaccination – and potential problems
Due to the lack of strategy and leadership from the Buffoon and his equally clueless homologues in the other governments of the world there has been an increase in scepticism about vaccines which might lead to a lower take up of any programme than would be desired. Force won’t work – so what will to get the numbers up?
Should covid-19 vaccines be mandatory? Two experts discuss.
After the good (‘we have vaccines’) comes the bad – the Oxford vaccine needs ‘additional study’.
No plans for ‘vaccine passport’ – Michael Gove, 1st December. So expect the announcement for one in the not too distant future.
Test, track and trace – or not
Hundreds get wrong results due to covid test error.
Mass testing a ‘distraction’ from vaccine roll out.
Mass testing in communities to begin in Scotland.
Although it should have come out of an analysis of the Liverpool mass testing ‘pilot’ there does now seem to be a change in emphasis when it comes to non-symptomatic testing. Instead of ‘mass testing’ we should have ‘community testing’, that is testing concentrated in those areas which have been identified (through increased knowledge of the virus over the last nine months) as being of higher risk of infection or communities with a reluctance to risk having to self-isolate if testing positive – basically the poorest areas of the country and those areas with the highest population densities.
This idea was presented on Radio 4’s World at One programme on 27th November.
Covid not the only problem we have to deal with …
… and those other problems probably kill many more than covid-19 ever will.
Smog-infested Delhi slum that may prove link between pollution and covid-19 levels.
With all the focus on coronavirus, let’s not forget the other respiratory viruses.
More chores for women set back gains in equality.
Why coronavirus rules should be about more than just stopping transmission.
Scams in the last eight months
First, the good news. Benefit scams worth £1billion foiled during lock down.
Now the bad news. In May it was reported that benefit claims fraud could be £1.5 billion, that is, already lost to the exchequer.
In October it was reported that furlough fraudsters ‘may have stolen more than £3 billion’.
For decades the Department of Work and pensions (under its various guises) had hounded those claiming benefits but when it came to possibly saving an infinitely greater amount of money they just seemed to trust whatever request they received – even though it was stated at the time that fraudsters would love the system the government was putting in place.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Due to the total lack of preparation for anything approximating a pandemic the country has had to pay billions of pounds extra by purchasing PPE when it was at its most expensive.
One of the matters that should be looked at after this pandemic ceases to hold the country in its grip is the very nature of PPE – what sort is needed; how it can be rotated so that it doesn’t go past ‘sell by’ dates; where it is stored, how it is distributed – and to where based upon perceived priorities; when it is actually used (i.e., in the early stages huge amounts of PPE were being just dumped after one use as panic gripped even health professionals in March and April, thereby possibly causing a false and unnecessary shortage)
Zombie mink come back to haunt their murderers
Millions of mink in Denmark (in the Netherlands as well) pay the price for humanity’s idiocy but culled mink rise from the dead to Denmark’s horror.
Has Sweden lost the no-lock down pole position?
Is anti-lock down Switzerland becoming the new Sweden?
Switzerland halves new infections without national lock down as pubs and restaurants stay open.
The world in the dreams of the Buffoon
UK military to get biggest spending boost in 30 years.
If future British campaigns are carried out with the same efficiency as the campaign against the pandemic then the UK is in for the biggest military disaster in the history of capitalism.