Thursday, 17 December 2020

Ten things that I simply cannot understand about government covid policy

 I know Boris has the worst job in the world at the moment. The last thing in the world I would want right now is to be responsible for the decisions he's making. But the awful truth is that he is getting it completely wrong and the decisions he's making make no sense at all. I will outline the areas that make no sense to me and I will outline how I think they should deal with it

 1. How can schools still be open if families are being encouraged to get together for Xmas? This policy should be renamed "Kill Ganny for Xmas". The schools should have closed 14 days before the relaxation, if that was what they were going to do, and restrictions put on mixing. Schools are driving the virus and that is where the circuit breaker lockdown was needed.

2. Why are theatres, pubs and other venues being closed if they have made themselves 'covid safe'? If there is no evidence of transmission, why on earth are these businesses being penalised? Councils should monitor venues and close ones that are not observing rules.

3.  Why are people still being allowed to use public transport in a non covid secure manner. Masks should be compulsory unless someone has a medical exemption and they should be made to demonstrate this. There should be large fines. It should also be compulsory to sanitise hands before and after entering mass transport systems. These are no brainers. Strangers are forced to mix, so make it safe. They should also take temperatures at busy stations. There are loads of people on Furlough who could be recruited to do this.

4. Supermarkets are making a fortune. They have made minimal efforts to make themselves covid safe. Large establishments should be forced to ensure that baskets, trolleys etc are sanitised and that only people with valid exemptions enter them. They should also take temperatures. 

5. Why are we still not testing people entering the country? This is where it started and this is where it will keep coming from. It is insane that temperatures are not taken. 

6. The tier system is highly flawed. Areas with low transmission are in high tiers, areas with high transmissions are only raised when the whole region is high. Tiers should be by neighbourhoods. They should be far more stringent where there is high transmission and local authorities need power to decide whether schools, pubs and other places can open. They know their own people. They should publish full risk assessments to back up any decision.

7. We should have descrete covid clinics. This should be completely seperate and ring fenced from the rest of the health service in high transmission areas.

8. The assistance for business is completely all over the place. In the early days, it was fair to cut Boris and Rishi some slack, but the whole process is arbitary. It isn't helping the people in real need. 

9. The way that test and trace, PPE contracts and vaccine procurement has been performed is highly dodgy. This should be done through the NHS and local health authorities and the whole process should be transparent. If things need doing urgently, then the reasons must be given and there should be openness. It appears that far too much money has been spent with 'friends of Boris'. This may be fine, but without transparency, how can we possibly know or trust them.

10. The selection criteria for early distribution of the vaccine is insane. We have 800,000 doses of the pfizer vaccine for a population of near 60 million and 8 million vulnerable people. This doesn't scratch the surface of either. The vaccine should have been given to those most likely to spread the disease to the vulnerable. This would massively leverage the effects, but there has been no mention of this at all. You kill a contagious disease by removing transmission vectors, not by randomly vaccinating vulnerable people.

I would appreciate some sort of answers, if anyone can explain to me what I am missing. These are all perfectly reasonable questions and I beleive that addressing them would keep us far safer.

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