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There is so much going on in this fast-moving situation it is difficult to keep up. We are in this very messy situation, much worse than we should be in because of decisions taken in January which meant that Britain was slow in responding to the forthcoming crisis. This was due to a flawed policy of relying on herd immunity in a situation, which to this day, we still do not understand how immunity to this virus works, we can’t even develop a reliable test to check this immunity but it had already informed the government’s decisions in January to “Take it on the chin”. But the decisions were not only ill informed there was even complacency when the decisions were half-heartedly changed to start social isolation. To this day there are gaps in the policy. But then complacency turned into negligence as it became apparent that there were no proper contingency plans for this epidemic, with absence of even basic needs such as the provision of appropriate PPE for front line staff. This went on for a couple of weeks after the start of the steep rise in the number of cases. Then there was this lack of planning and seeing through what social isolation means and how to make it more effective. As shoppers started panic buying, supermarkets were inundated with shoppers before appropriate planning to prevent crowding in supermarkets took place in the second and third weeks of March. In fact it seems that the supermarkets have better ideas about supplying the nation with food and prioritizing, than the government.
Widespread testing, something that should have been started from the outset, is still a bridge too far.
So just a few developments to consider:
“Coronavirus: UK will have Europe’s worst death toll, says study”
World-leading disease data analysts have projected that the UK will become the country worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, accounting for more than 40% of total deaths across the continent.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle predicts 66,000 UK deaths from Covid-19 by August, with a peak of nearly 3,000 a day, based on a steep climb in daily deaths early in the outbreak. The analysts also claim discussions over “herd immunity” led to a delay in the UK introducing physical distancing measures, which were brought in from 23 March in England when the coronavirus daily death toll was 54. Portugal, by comparison, had just one confirmed death when distancing measures were imposed.
So, this model is much worse than the Imperial College model and quite clearly states that this predicted worst outcome in Europe is due to the delay in implementing social distancing because of early reliance on herd immunity. They do say that the model is dynamic and needs to be revised, and we can only hope that this is revised downwards for the sake of the nation.
The second main problem is the developing power and decision-making vacuum. It has been discussed by some that we now have effectively a new PM in the form of Dominic Rabb. It has been commented that his performance has been less than ideal, and he appears to be ill informed and hesitant. It also underlines something very important that unfortunately was started by Margaret Thatcher but strengthened by Blair and that is the major dilution of the principle of collective government. The PM has now presidential powers, and this is compounded by the manufactured ’landslide’ the Tories had in the last elections partly because of possible vote rigging, MSM deceit, faulty FPTP system and a divided opposition. So, a party that won 43.6% of the votes has an overwhelming number of parliamentary seats. Even so, parliament has been disbanded, apparently indefinitely. But more importantly the win was translated to a personal mandate and King Boris was crowned in all but name, being able to ask Lizzie to sign any legislation without the least scrutiny. There is a fault at the heart of such a system that will require an urgent revision of our electoral system when this crisis has blown over. Another point to note was that in the leadership elections for the Tory Party, Dominic Raab was not even one of the top 5 contenders left in the race, but now he rules supreme.
“The UK government’s chief medical officer has conceded that Germany “got ahead” in testing people for Covid-19 and said the UK needed to learn from that.” So, this is an admission that we were slow on the uptake. But still Vallance, the scientific face of the government’s ‘herd immunity’ policy seems to be unrepentant.
“Sir Patrick Vallance, gave a more circumspect reply, saying: “The German curve looks as though it’s lower at the moment, and that is important, and I don’t have a clear answer to exactly what is the reason for that.”
When in doubt, bury your head in the sand.