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I wrote this earlier but did not post it. It repeats and elaborates on what I say in the last post.
Harmful actions taken by UK government
Of course, it is easy to criticise with hindsight, but some actions taken by HMG were bizarre to say the least and, in my opinion, have caused a lot of harm and will continue to do so unless reversed.
The government was slow to announce any decisive measures. The first announcement by the PM was on 11th March a full two months after it was clear that there was a likely major problem. The announcements seem to be advisory and, in many cases, not subjected to detailed reasoning. HMG’s herd immunity model, based on expert opinion, was not published and given in front of journalists with little medical or scientific scrutiny.
When it became clear that many public bodies and organisations were going to go against the government’s simple recommendations to ‘wash your hand’ and self-isolation for the elderly, football matches and public events were voluntarily cancelled, and the government then di a bit of a U turn which was not quite a U turn. The next announcement was that they government is thinking of introducing bans, then followed by recommendations to stay home but not clear instructions and with no promise of enforcement. The result was that instead of going home to practice social distancing, everyone went out to the pubs and streets to celebrate the great national holidays. Panic buying then set in and the shops and supermarkets became an excellent breeding ground for dissemination of the virus. Even the PMs father unashamedly advertised his visit to the pub. Next day the nation went to celebrate by visiting parks and open spaces in large numbers also further facilitating the obviously still favoured herd immunity approach. The National Trust kindly obliged by opening all there parks free for all the public.
The instructions about social distancing given to the nation then is even today:
• shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
• one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
• any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
• travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.
This is not a curfew or as they prefer to call it a lockdown, it is a wishy-washy request to stay at home if possible. The instructions about travelling for work purposes do not limit this to essential workers but to anyone who wants to work.
The total lack of preparation translated to the complete lack of a general disaster planning on a national scale, the lack of supplies of essential protective gear for essential workers such as healthcare workers and others, no appropriate protective masks or aprons, and so on. This left the healthcare workers in despair.
The lack of logistic planning has also showed itself in even food and home supplies. HMG announced that it had co-ordinated with supermarkets to ensure supplies something all major supermarkets denied. Then after the panic buying there was no central organisation to coordinate supplies of food to those who are self-isolating. This is happening slowly but a lot of it is being co-ordinated locally by volunteers. Many supermarkets are still unable to undertake home deliveries to existing customers let alone register new ones.
But to cap it all as if all this fiasco is not enough Prince Charles, The PM Boris Johnson the Health secretary and Professor Iain Ferguson and the Chief medical advisor were all announced to have mild symptoms and ‘tested positive’ for the virus. Moreover, it was said that the PM was in isolation 10 Downing street receiving his parcels of food and work in isolation. One of his advisors was seen running away from no 10 when caught by the cameras, evidently because he has been to see the PM, whilst Carrie, the PMs pregnant girlfriend has moved out, a luxury not open to the general public. Yesterday it was announced that Cummings also ‘tested positive’ for the virus.
This little vignette illustrates as to what is wrong with the current UK regime: Do as I say not as I do. Prominent members of those taking care of us supposedly are not even capable of taking care of themselves. Then of course Jo Bloggs would not have been tested and his pregnant wife would have had to self-isolate with him. Of course, the PM being very important can have the luxury of the quarantine in the lavish accommodation of his official residence.
Repeatedly Mr Hancock assured us that PPE was on its way to the NHS frontline but a week later this does not seem to have happened. Similarly, we were promised wider testing and this has not yet happened.
Does the UK have no strategy to deal with major disasters including pandemics, large terrorist incidents with conventional or biological attacks, let alone attacks from an outside power? Do we have two aircraft carriers roaming the oceans but are unable to protect our own people from a virus we have been warned about for two months? Will there be an enquiry as to why things went so badly wrong. Indeed will there be an enquiry as to how the elections were stolen and we ended up with such an incompetent government?