Where Are We Up T0 - Whatever Next
The subject matter of this article is very clear despite it not being even mentioned in the title! - What else could it be than Covid-19 and the UK Government's shambolic and sometimes criminally inept response.
Following on from his previous article last month since last putting pen to paper, an old friend of unionsafety and a retired Chemist by trade, questions the actions of our Government in dealing with the Covid pandemic.
Having long retired but still known within the scientific community, he wishes to remain anonymous. Nevertheless, his words are no less valid for wishing to remain retired and, incognito, as it were:
Where are we up to - whatever next?
So here we are, 12 months on in a changed world, a world of uncertainty with it’s lockdowns, do’s and don’ts, perseverance on the one hand, and impatience growing by the day- but despite all common sense and sanity appears to be preferred, and is carrying us all through this crisis.
One thing is certain, as the days roll out, and your correspondent tries to keep track with developments and opinions, the long hoped for positive actions together with a host of diverse views from many informed parties, whether medical, scientific and central to this the need for political sense and reason to prevail.
Somehow all of these disciplines appear to use this diversity to the full, nevertheless it should be more than apparent that the salvation or solution in all of this is the best and correct use of the expert voices that are out there.
So we have a certain light at the end of the tunnel, a tunnel of indeterminate length until recently, with the roll out of a vaccine, despite the well discussed pros and cons of testing in whatever form, and contracts for track and test and PPE etc.
A few facts that indicate where we are up to
We are in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, it is not ‘flu, it is a serious virus and serious precautions are required to combat it and prevent the spread of it- and there are variants of the original virus which complicates matters somewhat-12 months on despite social conditions and governmental adjustments here and there - understand that the better your precautions are, the better your chances to remain well, despite any vaccine or other measures, will be - do not take risks - do not cut corners - and until we know better social distancing, masks etc. Are the order of the day.
We have been diligent and successful to date, what an achievement!
Until the proverbial warning lights flash on green as opposed to red for danger, and the advice we get is proved to be reliable - I referred to the React Survey in my last article, which you have all no doubt read by now - I feel that in a pandemic such as this we are better off spending more money than needed earlier on.
In 2009, the then home secretary Andy Burnham spent freely to stockpile supplies of Tamiflu (Influenza) awaiting a major outbreak (not withstanding the findings of exercise Cygnus ‘flu pandemic findings in 2016) together with an outbreak of swine’ flu- but despite all, the influenza tailed off, and the swine ‘flu subsided and Burnham was criticised for the overspend!
Damned if you do and damned if you don’t it seems!!
So that is where we appear to be for now-next time as vaccination and detection continues I think it is time to consider in depth next time, where things did and are going wrong.
In the meanwhile, considering one point already made - that is the easing of any lockdown and leaving those conditions behind-a collective of MP ’s (Covid recovery group ) wrote to the prime minister to suggest that lockdown conditions should be eased in accordance with three topics using 8th March as a suggested deadline.
Click on the image on the right to read it. Alternatively, download it here
This week’s discussion is the contents of that letter; and I offer the following brief appraisal of it:
As it stands if person A (most likely in over 80 plus age group) was vaccinated on 18 Dec 20 (1st vaccine in uk 4th Dec 20), person A waits 21 days as required previously until 2nd vaccine on 10th January 21. But then a second wait of 21 days would mean that ‘full immunity’ would be on 2nd February 21. So 2 injections and a total of 42 days.
However, given ‘medical and scientific’ reasons the virus control agency decided that a 12 week period should elapse between the 1st and 2nd vaccine (they suggested that immunity would not be compromised because of the extended period) so that extends the ‘full immunity’ to 27th March 21.
Now, consider my own case (definitely over 70 age group): vaccinated on 7th February 2021 and using the new 12 week rule including 2nd vaccine etc. That means my ‘full immunity’ is not active until 28th May 2021!
Consider the 8th March date with both dates in the above and furthermore consider the additional age groups and the dates involved.
The only conclusion is that the MP ’s date in the letter, assuming full immunity and the actual dates, do not and would not concur as to be safe in easing the lockdown at first glance.
There are implications from all of this and I shall elaborate more of this in my next article concerning - where did it go wrong and the future of the vaccine.
In the meanwhile good health and safety to us all.