There were some sobering reports emanating from France today of Covid-19 infection rates increasing significantly. Dunkirk I read, has 901 cases per week of new infections per 100,000 people and Nice similarly hit, occasioning a couple of weekend lockdowns for the Riviera.
This feels reminiscent to me of past events here in the UK, in particular the ‘second wave’ which with the most recent lockdown has felt and been experienced as so damaging.
The UK is further on down the road than France in terms of vaccination rates and that will arguably be it’s saviour. by comparison. It is a sobering thought though regarding the amount of people still likely to be milling around for a little time yet, unvaccinated, accompanied by cries for more rapid easing of restrictions, (I’m as tired as anyone of them) regarding what potential this can feasibly have.
I recall an extremely popular view +around the end of the first lockdown was that ‘the country couldn’t be locked down again’, it was too expensive, too damaging etc. Respectfully, I didn’t agree with that point of view. Two lockdowns (and months of tiers which in effect were essentially lockdowns) later here we are.
Fatigued, impoverished, out of work, de-socialised, young people missing their education and myriad mental health problems (believe me, I hear those every single day and the faint-hearted would be slightly terrifed to hear them). None of this, desperate though it is, and it is, overrides the fact that if we do this easing too quickly we can still be back in a maelstrom of anxiety and uncertainty at very short order. Recent history has shown us that and we would do well to learn from it.
I’M SURE the thinking that some people become increasingly drunk later in the evening and less observent of social distancing measures is a logical and reasonable point. However, significantly, it’s a moveable feast.
I wouldn’t particularly argue one way or the other regarding closing times in pubs in particular but certainly, someone who wants to get innebriated won’t allow an early closing time in public houses to change that. They’ll go out earlier, go on to homes afterwards, drink stronger drinks or drink them faster to achieve the same effect.
These things are indicated to me through treating drink dependent people for a good while. A top down, directive approach rarely works that well in these things beyond a certain point. Far better that people become educated and actually want to exhibit these behaviours without being ‘forced’ or ‘blocked’ into doing so.
There are strong suggestions from scientists and health experts that the Government have not consulted with them regarding the likely benefits or otherwise of adopting this latest policy. So much for ‘following the science’.
Unfortunately, many of the general public have stopped listening to or wanting to acquiesce to the UK government’s constantly changing instructions. They have no faith in them, nor do many trust them due to their incompetence, weekly u-turns and abject failure as much as anything else.
The genie is already out of the bottle I’m afraid.
Contrary to popular opinion, we don’t live on a small island. Less than six per cent of our land mass is built on. An issue is rather density of population, and we’re not even the highest in Europe for that.
(Image: James Mylne/PA)
The real issues are that the UK didn’t lockdown that population effectively and clearly, didn’t do it remotely quickly enough, that we lacked testing, a tracking and a tracing ability, The mixed messages sent out for the entirely of the outbreak are UK Conservative government decisions.
These are the real reasons the country has ended up with approximately 36,000 of our loved ones dead according to latest data. Some estimates put the figures as high as 53,000. Another is the highly infectious disease which the government under-estimated. Headed by another virus, our ridiculous cavalier Prime Minister, Johnson.
It’s no surprise that people seem not to understand the lockdown rules, let alone the section of people who seek constantly to find loopholes. The government’s communication strategy appears to consist mainly of anonymous leaks to the media, which are then reported and subsequently partially denied. Witness the drip-drip of information this week.
The government are totally directionless at this point. Prime Minister Johnson, who previously couldn’t manage to stay out of the media has become a recluse in hiding with the politicians appointed to speak in his absence appearing to know next to nothing. The UK is constantly missing targets for testing – even with transparently artificially massaged figures, it is ill equipped with PPE which NHS employers are gagged from talking about and has refused technology from established industry leaders in favour of providing a ‘nice little earner’ for a track and trace app being created by a crony of the detestable Dominic Cummings. Would you really trust that? I’m struggling.
The UK now has the appalling record for second most Covid-19 deaths in the world after the USA. This government did NOTHING as it watched the experiences of other European countries ahead of us in this pandemic and an opportunity to learn.
I can’t imagine many other countries will want to accept people from the UK in the future which will hopefully satisfy the Brexit brain-dead at least. They can stay at home resplendent in their blissful ignorance.
The UK is proudly now the greatest virus pit in Europe.