How secure is a return to a ‘new normal’?
Light at the end of the tunnel, bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover, the Sun will come out tomorrow. Perhaps. Perhaps not.
In Britain, in the absence of any strategy to deal with the covid-19 pandemic, we were told the justification for all the restrictions, the ‘lock downs’, having to listen to incompetents spout on as if they knew what they were saying and forcing upon us, being told that we are all suffering mental health problems due to all these activities, that it would all be worth it as the vaccine (that admittedly came sooner than most non-scientists expected, but which, in many ways, had been half developed before the first death from covid in 2019) would mean a rapid return to the ‘new normal’ – not the same normality but one that would be slightly tweaked due the events of the last year or so.
And that ‘justification’ seems to have worked – politically, at least. After all the uncertainty, after all the U-turns of the last year, after the total lack of any strategy whatsoever, after the plethora of contradictions (e.g., following the science, not following the science) the ‘popularity’ of the Buffoon has been on the rise since the beginning of the vaccine programme at the end of 2020.
The success of the programme had nothing whatsoever to do with the Buffoon or his government of buffoonettes. It was down to publicly funded research, the NHS and a compliant population which thought that things would gradually get better if they followed the recommendations. To date more than half the total population of the UK has now been vaccinated at least once.
But now comes the new reality, the new ‘truth’.
The efficacy of the cheapest vaccine is being questioned (see below) and those more risk averse scientists are starting to make even more noise that any vaccine might be fighting a losing battle against the new variants (also see below).
But this doesn’t make sense – or shouldn’t in the 21st century with all our advances in science and technology.
From the very beginning of this blog it has been argued that something is fundamentally wrong with society if the response to a pandemic is exactly the same as it was in the 14th century when the bubonic plague (The Black Death) handed a third (or more) of the population of the world to the Grim Reaper. In a world with a population of 8 billion plus people just dealing with one virus is going to have (and already has had) huge consequences – the uncertain ‘collateral damage’.
For many people of the world – and not just those in the so-called less developed countries – there are more problems (and with more immediacy) to deal with than the covid virus. They have been having to deal with these problems for generations and although rarely acting to change the very basis of society (the root cause of many of the defining issues being the existence and stranglehold of capitalism on the life of the world’s people) which really might see a way out they have been able to survive, more or less. That will become even more difficult if the richer countries of the world continue in the same way as they have been acting now for almost 18 months – that is in a purely selfish response to the pandemic.
There are, however, positives in this parochial and selfish approach to a problem that transcends borders.
People throughout the world might start to see that they are being conned by the political and economic system that is making such a pig’s ear out of dealing with the pandemic – whilst at the same time shovelling billions of the people’s money into the hands of the richest section of society.
There’s been little news of reaction to the failings of their ‘leaders’ in the poorer countries of the world but there have been periodic angry responses in the more ‘developed’ countries to government failings.
I have for long thought that such ‘natural’ disasters would be the spur to make people realise that the old system – which has been exploiting and oppressing them for millennia – was past its sell by date and would get off their knees and take their own fate in their own hands.
Matters have been surprisingly quiet so far, little and sporadic public manifestations of anger, but if the mysterious ‘they’ keep on keeping the carrot at the end of the stick they might find they become a victim of their own over-confidence.
We shall see.
Vaccination programme in Britain ….
AstraZeneca supplies and efficacy under the microscope again.
There’s no need to pause vaccine roll outs when there’s a safety scare. Give the public the facts and let them decide.
Moderna and Novavax – here’s what new vaccines mean for the UK roll out and the end of lock down.
Experts stress vaccine benefits outweigh risks after seven UK deaths.
Trial of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in children paused amid rare blood clots probe. Now, perhaps, it’s the cynic in me but is it just coincidence that the only vaccine that is being torn apart for possible ‘risks’ – when all vaccines hold potential ‘risks’ – is the only one of the growing number that is being distributed at cost? All the other producers of vaccines (at least those that have so far been produced in the so-called ‘west’) are set to make the killing of their lives in the next few years and, surprise, surprise, there’s been no questioning of their safety. When vaccine programmes get ‘paused’ when the number of cases of blood clots is statistically unmeasurable seems, to me, to be a slight over-reaction – unless there’s a hidden agenda.
Israel and Chile both led on covid jabs, so why is one back in lock down?
…. and worldwide
World Health Organisation chief blasts ‘grotesque’ vaccine inequality as rich nations block speedy end of global pandemic.
A lesson on the efficacy of vaccines.
Merkel and Macron in talks to use Russia’s Sputnik covid vaccine.
Rich countries signed away a chance to vaccinate the world.
How did this all start?
Still no definitive answer. But …. WHO covid-19 origins report says lab leak ‘extremely unlikely’.
Then …. WHO chief calls for deeper probe into laboratory leak covid origin theory. There seems to be a desperate search to find someone (as long it’s not themselves) guilty for the pandemic. If it was a ‘man made’ virus which, I thought, had been discounted months ago, and if it could be blamed on the Chinese all well and good. The probable fact that it was caused by the way capitalism has raped and degraded the planet is the last reason ‘they’ want to accept.
A total of 150,116 deaths have now occurred in the UK where covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate – as of 30th March 2021.
How is it possible that the number of deaths is now so low?
The Buffoon speaks
Buffoon says ‘greed’ and ‘capitalism’ helped UK’s vaccines success.
Covid-19 vaccines are a victory for public research, not ‘greed’ and ‘capitalism’.
AstraZeneca vaccine – was it really worth it?
Where do variants come from?
Virus variants likely evolved inside people with weak immune systems. And many of those will be the world’s poor.
Test, track and trace
Just when the system is looking that it might be able to do what it should have done 12 months ago one of the private companies running the lucrative contract decides to show its incompetence as an employer as well as a service provider. Call centre staff to be monitored via webcam for home-working ‘infractions’.
Secret filming exposes contamination risk at test results lab. Might just be journalists looking for a scare story or …. ?
How do the police act in a pandemic?
From the police side;
Police ‘acted appropriately’ at Sarah Everard vigil – the view of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).
From those on the receiving end;
A criminal record: 10 times Bristol police abused local people. (And that’s not taking into account the fact that it took the Bristol police more than four days to learn that the ‘broken bones’ sustained by some of the uniformed thugs weren’t broken at all. But the ‘rectification’ of the original story didn’t get the same media coverage as the original story following the demonstration.)
Bristol Kill the Bill: The protesters’ perspective – even the BBC seems to be placing most of the blame of the police.
Police watchdog accused of skewing report to back protests clampdown.
Kill the Bill protests: More than 100 arrested in London. What’s interesting about this article is that the police are already attempting to introduce into the public consciousness the idea that demonstrations should be curbed because they might upset and indeterminate section of the public. Commander Ade Adelekan, who led the policing operation for the protest quoted: ‘… as the afternoon wore on it became clear that a small number of people were intent on remaining to cause disruption to law-abiding Londoners.’ (My emphasis.)
All in this together
Perhaps – but not if you spawned the Buffoon. The new travel restrictions for the majority of us don’t include the rich with second homes in other countries. Covid travel rules will include ‘Stanley Johnson loophole’ for second homes.
Penguin Random House keeps furlough cash despite strong sales – on total sales of €3.8 billion last year.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) acquisition
Government facing threat of legal action over PPE links to modern slavery.
Activities that get hidden during the pandemic
UK government threatened with legal action over WhatsApp use.
UK Government ‘forced into major U-turn’ on NHS deal with Palantir – which involved personal health information about all NHS patients being at the mercy of a private company that would kill to be able to sell such information.
Poverty in Britain
Pre-covid-19 death rates should be a warning for the UK government.
Poverty statistics ‘show tenants need more help to clear covid-19 debts’ – in Scotland, but as has been stated earlier, there’s no reason to think the situation is not dissimilar in the rest of the UK.
Call for minimum income guarantee to eradicate poverty in Scotland.
What the first covid-19 lock down meant for people in insecure, poor-quality work – a report by the Rowntree Foundation.
It’s shameful in modern Britain that the ‘National Living Wage’ doesn’t actually pay enough to live on.
Poorest hit hardest by pandemic, according to new figures.
A Government report included data which showed that, even before the pandemic struck, 43% of households receiving Universal Credit experienced food insecurity.
Poverty in the rest of the world
Ted Cruz, Texan Republican – the one who took an illegal (even in the standards of the US covid restrictions) journey into Mexico – stated (without a hint or irony) that poverty ‘has been a part of American life since this country was founded’. Ted Cruz accuses Democrats of trying to cancel poverty – and there’s a problem with that? Definitely for the super-rich.
NHS feels strain as tens of thousands of staff suffer long covid.
Work pressure in covid lock down was shattering, say teachers.
Almost 190,000 UK retail jobs lost since first covid lock down.
Yes, there is structural racism in the UK – covid-19 outcomes prove it.
Who benefits from the pandemic?
Two views on the same topic of how criminals have been able to have a field day due to poor monitoring of the cash handouts. The Buffoon doesn’t worry – it’s not his money they’re stealing.
£34.5 million stolen in pandemic scams.
Hackers have raked in £34.5 million from covid-related scams.
After months of saying no way – the idea gets close to becoming a reality. This is an issue that’s not going away. The Buffoon will use the ‘carrot’ of a return to the ‘new normal’ to convince a sizeable proportion of the population to accept this insidious monitoring. Here are just a few articles that demonstrate how this started out.
Pubs could require vaccine passports.
Fake covid vaccination certificates available on the dark web. Surprise, surprise!
Every customer must sign in when pubs reopen.
Buffoon to give go-ahead for trials of covid passports.
Lessons of the pandemic – year one
What we learned from tracking every covid policy in the world.
Inequalities and anxieties about returning to workplaces are becoming clearer.
How New Zealand’s covid success made it a laboratory for the world.
Preparations for the next pandemic
World leaders call for international pandemic treaty. Just to give the impression they are doing something. But they told us before the end of 2019 they were prepared for such an eventuality and we have seen what that ‘preparation’ has led to.
Where does the World Health Organization (WHO) go from here?
Perhaps the above premature – some are proposing we will never get out of the present one
New covid variants have changed the game, and vaccines will not be enough. We need global ‘maximum suppression’.