Off course the British government (or should I say the regional English government) is either really at sea with this crisis or are up to something which they are not telling us. The wilful confusion created by each announcement is staggering. Take this latest announcement from Hancock about R, the rate of reproduction of the virus. It seems that the government is now saying that the R value of 1 is OK, but in fact I do not think they know, or will admit to know what the real value is. Suddenly we are being told that the R value ‘overall’ in London is 0,4 but that the value is higher overall because of high rates in care homes and in hospitals, as if those do not matter.
Coronavirus: Suddenly, the government isn’t so sure the R rate is important
Take the words of the prime minister. On 30 April, Boris Johnson told the nation that “keeping the R rate down is absolutely vital to our recovery”.
Or take the words of Monday’s government document, “Our Plan to Rebuild”, which made a point of warning that the R rate was “potentially only just below 1”.
On this basis, the document suggested, the government was only allowing the smallest of lockdown easing to take place in England.On the advice of the government’s scientific advisory committee SAGE, the government announced on Friday evening that the R rate had gone up.
The range, now from 0.7 to 1, means there is now a chance that the rate of infection has stopped declining in the community.
Suddenly, it feels if the government isn’t quite so sure of the central role of the R rate.
Government scientific advisers stress the R is rising because of the scale of infections in care homes and hospitals, not because it’s going up elsewhere in the community more generally.
So now, comparison with other countries is not useful, and also the R value doesn’t mean anything. But in fact the weekend announcement has actually led to many thinking that the lockdown is now lifted. Shops are reopening and some with no obvious attempts at social distancing from my personal experience on a quick drive yesterday. The traffic is coming back and the tube trains, according to the news outlets, are now crowded again.
And meanwhile “Coronavirus: Estimated speed of coronavirus infections rises over past week ”
And this is before the last easing of lockdown.
I am not against attacking the government but I am just pointing out that N_ is indulfing in futile arguments about facts that have long been settled. His persistence in calling this ‘flu’ has no basis and if he concentrates on attacking the government rather than the profession then he is barking up the wrong tree and in fact helping the government’s incompetence and its coverup. Similarly I think going on about Chines culpability is a useful tool for our governments blatant incompetence.