The war on covid replaced by the war on Russia
If you live in Britain now the covid pandemic is over. The fact that infections are still high, and fluctuating widely in various parts of the country, the fact that there are still deaths (although the exact figures are not publicised as much as a couple of years ago) and there’s still a fear that it will have a serious effect upon certain sections of the population as the fourth jab is now being offered to a not inconsiderable number of people
But pandemic related issues still exist apart from the level of infections and deaths – as can be seen below. And the issue of poverty in the UK (which played its part in the trajectory of the pandemic since March 2020) is still not being adequately addressed – as it will never be under the capitalist system.
At the same time it’s convenient for the Buffoon and his government (and for the governments in many countries in the ‘west’) that there’s now a war going on to distract attention from anything that isn’t directly related to the Ukraine.
The Buffoon will argue that to bring up any discussion about the breaking of national rules in Downing Street on numerous occasions in the last couple of years is unimportant and a distraction from the war ‘where people are dying in their thousands’. But the untrustworthiness of the Buffoon is important when we consider that he is stoking the fires of war by the sending of serious levels of lethal weaponry to keep the Ukrainians fighting – for the benefit of the NATO and the capitalist governments of the ‘west’. For whose benefit is he sending those weapons? His disregard for the well being of the British population indicates that he will have little regard to the lives of Ukrainians and that he is playing (as many of the other ‘world leaders) a geopolitical game where the Ukrainians are merely the disposable pawns. (More on the hypocrisy of the ‘west’.)
And the Buffoons true level of concern for other people can be seen by the way in which the British Government has been one of the biggest supporters of ‘Big Pharma’ and refusing to support the relaxing of Intellectual Property (IP) rights on vaccines so that they can be produced in many more places in the world. This total disregard for the well being of the poorest in the world – whilst at the same time offering (i.e., buying support within a section of the British population) a fourth vaccination to those who don’t really need it – is no surprise and only goes to demonstrate, if it was still needed, that these people consider only themselves ad the class they represent.
The fact that this refusal to act in a manner to vaccinate as many people as possible throughout the world will almost certainly lead to new variants appearing – whether they will be relatively ‘benign’ (as they have been recently with Omicron) or true killer variants will have to be seen.
Finally, another Ukrainian war aspect that might come into play is the fact that the Ukraine had a low level of vaccination prior to the outbreak of hostilities. The trauma caused by the war and the leaving of their homes means that the refugees will be even less able to deal (physically and psychologically) with the virus if they come into contact with it on their journey west. Although Ukrainian refugees are being treated in a different way to that of previous waves in the last ten years or so there will be many who will attempt to get west by routes that are unregulated. Unless there is an effective testing regime in place (which hasn’t really been evident in Britain in the last two years), as well as the adequate provision, distribution and use of vaccines then the ‘wave’ of Ukrainian refugees could be introducing another wave of covid.
Vaccination programme in Britain …
Uptake of children’s covid vaccines is low in the UK – and their slow, confused approval is to blame.
Spring booster offered to elderly and vulnerable in England.
…. and worldwide
Covid vaccines not linked to deaths, major US study finds.
Top economists and Oxfam leader demand truly just covid IP (Intellectual Property) waiver.
Covid vaccines: WTO (World Trade Organisation) compromise over India and South Africa’s proposal is disappointing.
Treatment other than vaccines
Molnupiravir: why are there potential safety issues around this covid antiviral?
The pandemic worldwide
The changing political geography of covid-19 – during the fourth wave of the pandemic, death rates in the most pro-Trump counties were about four times what they were in the most pro-Biden counties.
Global covid-19 death toll ‘may be three times higher than official figures’.
The pandemic’s true death toll.
What are the Covid variants and do vaccines still work?
Deltacron: what scientists know so far about this new hybrid coronavirus.
Even mild cases of covid-19 can leave a mark on the brain, such as reductions in gray matter.
Lessons of the pandemic – two years on
‘We suppressed our scientific imagination’: four experts examine the big successes and failures of the covid response so far.
The hard lessons we learned – and didn’t – from two years in Pandemic School
Two years into the pandemic, which of our newly formed habits are here to stay?
Two years on, what has covid-19 taught us? A human rights-centered way forward.
Two years on, complacency still plagues global covid-19 response.
Did the covid lockdowns work? Here’s what we know two years on.
No PCR, no problem: how covid can be diagnosed with X-rays.
Zoe Covid-tracking app loses government funding.
Testing sewage has helped track covid – soon it could reveal much more about the UK’s health.
Why we shouldn’t worry about covid spilling back from animals into human populations.
Risk of severe disease could be in your blood.
Why do some people never get covid?
How the pandemic has affected periods.
The NHS backlog recovery plan and the outlook for waiting lists.
Covid has intensified gender inequalities. Researchers find women hit harder by negative social and economic impacts of the pandemic than men.
Universities after covid: as lecture theatres reopen, some pandemic teaching methods should live on.
Five things the UK must prioritise in its pandemic recovery plan.
Fraud, corruption and the pandemic
Government’s anti-fraud efforts was like Dad’s Army operation.
Audit Scotland: Watchdog concern over where £5 billion covid funds went.
Covid bailouts helped politically connected businesses more than others.
Will economic inactivity be another unwelcome side-effect of the pandemic?
Poverty in Britain
Housing associations stepping up support for tenants struggling with energy costs.
Not strictly about poverty but any changes that are made to deal with the climate emergency, if they are not well thought out, will have consequences and the poorest in society will bear the brunt of the problems. ‘Shrinking footprints; the impacts of the net zero transition on households and consumption’ is a report produced by the Resolution Foundation.
In February the Institute of Fiscal Studies produce a report in the changes to social care charges, Does the cap fit? Analysing the government’s proposed amendment to the English social care charging system. And the Full Report.
Sweeping changes to student loans to hit tomorrow’s lower-earning graduates.
Living standards for UK households set for greatest fall since 1970s.
The Trussel Trust (which operates the biggest number of food banks in the UK) has produced a report on hunger in one of the richest countries in the world. The full report, the executive summary, the technical annex.
Poverty in later life: How people in older age move in and out of poverty, and what should be done to reduce it. Full report by Independent Age.
A more caring society after the pandemic?
Did the pandemic drive a desire for more generous welfare? New research suggests not.