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Covid-19, An Update

It’s been a number of months since my first observations on the possibility of Covid-19 becoming a pandemic. I won’t dwell on my earlier comments about the ineffectiveness of the UK Government in dealing with what is now a way of life for everyone across the UK. However, I feel I must comment of what appears to be a growing sense of panic driven reactions to growing numbers of infections.

 

Without a doubt, the Covid-19 virus is here to stay for a long time, until an effective vaccine is found. None of the past, current or future methods being used by the Government to restrict the growth in infected numbers have any logic based in day to day reality and to date have any lasting effect whatsoever. The initial universal ‘lock down’ was only a delay, the virus was simply always there, but growth was limited by the fact that one of the prime movers of disease and infection, education (at all levels), was closed. The continued blaming of the hospitality and leisure industries by the government and the subsequent restrictions actually had little, if any impact on infection numbers. All the difference this seemed to make was to drive businesses out of existence, and contribute to a rise in stress and isolation based mental health issues. Basically, the infection rates had dropped to manageable levels over a few months, and the country looked like things where returning to normal.

And then suddenly, massive growth in infections and spikes in specific areas. And the cause? Strangely enough, allowing Universities and schools to reopen lead to hotspots such as Bangor, Wrexham, Cardiff and Swansea (using Wales as an example). The link? Returning students bringing infection in to the area from all corners of both the UK and in some cases the world. As an example, the infection rate in In Cardiff University has risen nearly 4-fold on campus over the past week, with 1,983 students self-isolating. If you take these numbers out of the overall picture, the actual local rise is not that drastic, and could easily be attributed to this major population influx.

 

Basically, the decision to open education across the UK has caused the entire population to go in to localised, and probable country wide, lockdown. However, even with lock down, there is absolutely no chance that this will prevent the further spread of infections once the lock down finishes. The main reason lock down is happening is to reduce the strain on the NHS and hospitals. Well, if the Government hadn’t been consistently wasting OUR money on non-working attempts to put the genie back in the bottle (£12 BILLION for a non-working app based on an Excel spreadsheet? Really?) they could have used that money to build the extra hospitals we obviously desperately need for an aging population. Or is it actually the reason they don’t want to increase the care level for the elderly, and see the Covid-19 virus as an opportunity to reduce the demands on state pension in future? That would be too much of a conspiracy theory, I just put it down to incompetence.

 

And now, no one has any real idea about what the plan is for the future, travel restrictions, closing of pubs, gyms, etc. are once again knee jerk reactions when supermarkets, factories, HMO’s (houses of mass occupation if you didn’t know) and many other establishments that large numbers of people gather in remain open. Once the restrictions end, the number will inevitably grow again. Even a 2 week lock down is pointless, as Australian scientists have shown the Covid-19 can live for up to a month on surfaces such as glass, so unless we sterilise the entire world, its just waiting to jump back in.

 

So, what is the answer? The chance to have really dealt with this has long gone, isolating China would have greatly reduced, but not totally removed, impact. There should be an internationally funded priority effort to sort out a working vaccine, I have no doubt this is achievable, the human race has proven over many centuries its capability of destroying any forms of life, whether intentionally or not. In the meantime, a simple regime of self-isolation for anyone who regard themselves, or are regarded as, vulnerable to the virus, with everyone else taking simple precautions such as proper masks (not the fashion items that seem prevalent) proper hand washing, social distancing where possible and really most of what is happening now. Prepare temporary hospitals for the winter ahead, because the ‘normal’ illnesses (which may or, may have not been apportioned to Covid-19 so far) will make their presence known. Is there any point in further testing for the virus if we assume it’s already infected the majority? It does sound like ‘herd immunity’ as Boris Johnson first hinted at before being shot down, but because of the lack of direction at that time, that is exactly what we have as a future solution in most countries of the world.

 

We cannot succumb to social isolation for much longer, society will simply either crumble or rebel, so a clear direction has to be taken. It has to be logical and independent of the need to look ‘popular’. If only we had leaders that weren’t looking to preserving their standing rather than the self-sacrifice we should expect from our elected representatives. We still have hope.

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