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5 ways the UK Gov fucked up over covid-19

Ash600

Of dust and shadows
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#1
Covid deaths in the UK - 100,000
New Zealand - 25
Taiwan - 7
Australia - 909
Finland - 655
Norway - 550
Singapore - 29

Taken from the following article : https://www.theguardian.com/comment...rnment-could-have-avoided-100000-covid-deaths



Yesterday Britain passed a grim milestone. A further 1,631 deaths from Covid-19 were recorded, taking the official tally above 100,000, though data from the Office for National Statistics suggests the total number will now be nearer 120,000. In a briefing, Boris Johnson has said his government did everything it could to minimise the loss of life, but these deaths were far from inevitable. While the number of UK deaths has entered the hundreds of thousands, New Zealand has recorded only 25 deaths from Covid-19 so far. Taiwan has recorded seven, Australia 909, Finland 655, Norway 550 and Singapore 29. These countries have largely returned to normal daily life.
In the first year of the pandemic, the UK faced three big challenges. Our national government had no long-term strategy for suppressing the virus beyond a continual cycle of lockdowns. Even now we still don’t know what the government’s plans for the next six months are. In the early days of the pandemic, the UK treated Covid-19 like a bad flu. The government halted testing, and the initial plan seemed to be allow the virus to run unchecked through the population (the “herd immunity” approach). Finally, ministers have pitted the economy against public health, instead of realising that the health of the economy depends upon a healthy population.

Those in the anti-lockdown camp mistakenly believe that we could have traded these deaths for a “normal life” and a strong economy. Yet this isn’t how Covid has played out in any country in the world. Either you reopen the economy before the virus is under control, and endure thousands of deaths, or you manage your public health problem before getting the economy going again. Throughout the pandemic, Britain was overreliant on modelling, cynical fatalism and complicated solutions. The challenge was never what to do when faced with this new virus, it was going out and doing it. The complexity was in logistics, human behaviour, messaging and leadership. Where exactly did Britain go wrong?
First, the UK had no border policies in place for months. When introduced, these were lax and unmonitored. Borders are the first line of defence against a novel pathogen and a way to catch new variants and infections before they have a chance to spread. Countries that managed to effectively contain Sars-CoV-2 implemented screenings of new arrivals and 14-day quarantines for those entering the country. Some even restricted travel to national citizens. In March, when the UK went into lockdown, people were instructed to stay home while passengers from any country could arrive at Heathrow and take the tube straight into London without a Covid test. In the summer, we had a window to prevent future infections. Instead, the UK encouraged overseas holidays via “travel corridors” that contributed to the second wave. We paid for summer holidays with winter lockdowns.

The second fatal flaw in the UK’s response happened on 12 March, when the government made the fatal decision to stop community testing, abandoning its line of sight over who had the virus and where it was spreading. Community testing is absolutely vital for controlling the virus. This was later resumed, but England outsourced testing and tracing to private firms instead of using local public health capacity. Isolation – a key part of the test, trace, isolate response – was only ever an afterthought, and there has been little support for people who would struggle to stop working for 14 days. Even now, the majority of people have been refused a discretionary self-isolation payment, while statutory sick pay is a paltry £95.85 a week. By contrast, Finland and Norway offer 100% and 80% of income to people who are self-isolating. The result of the UK’s inadequate support is that many who have tested positive have ended up going into work and infecting others.
Third, the government made another harmful decision in March when it delayed the first lockdown. Though numbers were already running out of control, the cabinet appeared to think that delaying restrictions would make them less painful, for fear that “behavioural fatigue” would set in. Yet the opposite is true. If a lockdown is necessary it is better to do it earlier so that restrictions can be lifter more quickly on the other side. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland seemed to have learned this lesson, unlike England which delayed again restrictions in September and then December when it was clear numbers were taking off.
The fourth error was the lack of appropriate personal protective equipment for many health and social workers who struggled during the first national lockdown in the spring. Many were exposed to Covid-19 on wards, and none had access to testing. At the start of the pandemic, it felt as though health workers were the unprotected goalies on the football pitch; they coped with a massive surge of Covid patients without the necessary safeguards, and 883 health and social care workers have died of Covid-19 since March.
Finally, the UK has continually lacked both clear leadership and messaging, which are vital in a pandemic. Rather than leading from the front, the government seems to only follow public opinion and polling. We spent months debating whether face coverings matter before adopting them and weeks debating whether Covid-19 is indeed serious or just a bad flu. We were encouraged to stay at home, then encouraged to “eat out to help out” in crowded restaurants. We sacrificed seeing our families and were fined for breaking lockdown rules but never heard Dominic Cummings apologise for flouting the lockdown. The result has been a complete breakdown of trust in the UK government.
While it is easy to be consumed by anger, grief, frustration and depression at this moment, we must keep looking forward for a path through this crisis. We must never have a winter like this again, and we need a concrete plan and strategy to make sure Britain does not face a third wave and a fourth lockdown. This must involve suppressing transmission, building a functioning test, trace, isolate and support system, guarding against the reimportation of infections with strict travel restrictions, while trying to reopen schools and as much of the domestic economy as possible.
A country as global and interconnected as Britain faces a particularly painful choice over borders and international travel. It would be a tragedy for the UK to vaccinate the majority of the population by the autumn only to then import a new variant or strain of Sars-CoV-2 that our vaccines can’t guard against. Vaccine companies would need to race to reformulate their jabs, and we would probably be caught in further restrictions to buy the time for that to happen. Let’s learn the lessons of the past year, and not wait for another 50,000 deaths to act.
 

Ash600

Of dust and shadows
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#3
Even WHO is guilty here. This expert claims that if everyone wore N95 masks (not just ordinary face coverings or medical masks) the epidemic would be over in 4 weeks: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/22/...x.html?iid=ob_mobile_article_footer_expansion
There are many governments and organisations that are culpable for the gross mismanagement of this pandemic. It can be argued that some have acted with nefarious intent, hell bent on utilising this situation for their own personal agendas.
 

Lara_C

Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#4
It can be argued that some have acted with nefarious intent, hell bent on utilising this situation for their own personal agendas
When the 650 billionaires in the US have increased their collective wealth by more $1 trillion since the start of the pandemic, it does make you wonder if there's more to it than govt incompetency
 

Ash600

Of dust and shadows
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#5
When the 650 billionaires in the US have increased their collective wealth by more $1 trillion since the start of the pandemic, it does make you wonder if there's more to it than govt incompetency
Opportunism, Chumocracy and Bumocracy. Those three words readily spring to mind.
 

SillyOldBear

SF grey-haired bear 🐻
Staff Alumni
#6
Only 5 ways! US is approaching 500,000 deaths and is an abysmal failure at getting people vaccinated. I am in a high priority group and can't get a shot. There is none available. Yet they are promising to 'jab' teachers and kids by Spring. Ass-holes.
 

Winslow

My Toughest Problem Has Been Solved.
SF Supporter
#8
@Ash600
I certainly sympathize with your ire. Your UK seems to have the Worst restrictive lockdowns. Thankfully in my neck of the woods we are allowed to go to the Parks, also to Restaurants although they are restrictively limited to 50% occupancy. Whereas I notice in the news from the UK that those who violate the stay-at-home get hit by hefty fines.
 

Ash600

Of dust and shadows
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#9
@Ash600
I certainly sympathize with your ire. Your UK seems to have the Worst restrictive lockdowns. Thankfully in my neck of the woods we are allowed to go to the Parks, also to Restaurants although they are restrictively limited to 50% occupancy. Whereas I notice in the news from the UK that those who violate the stay-at-home get hit by hefty fines.
Yes, those in serious breach of lockdown protocols are being hit with fines, such as those who deem it appropriate to hold parties ffs.
But it's not just the lockdown, it's the thinking or lack off with regards to how this gov has responded to this. They just appear to be giving more weight to political advice rather than medical.
To confound this shitshow, there has been intense bickering between the UK and EU over cross border movements of vaccines. They should find a different political football to kick, not one which effects lives.
 

Lara_C

Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#10
Why is so much money being spent on vaccines and not on stepping up the production of N95 (respirator) masks which when properly worn protect the wearer filter out most incoming aerosolized viral particles? Why are we not being told that cloth face coverings and even medical grade paper masks offer only very limited protection to the wearer as they are/were mainly used by health professionals to reduce outward contamination of their environment?
 
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Ash600

Of dust and shadows
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#11
Why are we not being told that cloth face coverings and even medical grade paper masks offer only very limited protection to the wearer as they are/were mainly used by health professionals to reduce outward contamination of their environment?
Because by advising to mask up creates the comforting illusion of being proactive in terms of reducing viral transmission. This reduces the chances of creating widespread hysteria.

As for the vaccines, one question should be asked, should widespread collaboration start and end with Covid? Development was accomplished in months. Why not extend it to fighting other conditions?
 

Lara_C

Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#12
Because by advising to mask up creates the comforting illusion of being proactive in terms of reducing viral transmission. This reduces the chances of creating widespread hysteria.
Nearly everyone I know believes that medical surgical masks protect them from incoming virus, but don't realize that even with the gold standard paper masks used by medical professionals, small aerolized viral particles in the air easily get through the sides unless they're sealed by wearing rubber bands on top, for example. Most people don't even use the right kind of surgical masks. Only ASTM Level 1 and above will filter 95% of 0.1 micron particles. China Standard YY 0469 masks only filter 30% of 0.1 micron particles, and European Standard EN 14684s do not filter 0.1 micron particles at all.

I think the collaboration we want to see depends on truthful information to start with, which isn't always consistent with vested interests
 
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SillyOldBear

SF grey-haired bear 🐻
Staff Alumni
#13
I am frustrated by everything covid related. I am in the age group to qualify for a vaccine. Can't get an appointment anywhere. There is not enough vaccine. But now there are saying vaccine won't work with some of the new variants. And you know more variants are coming. Then they say wear two masks. Hell, many people won't even wear one and you can't get N95 masks anywhere. I do have a few I got years ago, but am saving them in case I go to a really high risk plan. My main frustration is that no one can agree on anything with this virus. Kind of understandable at the beginning, but not so much so now. We have learned a lot about it.
So I work from home all but one day a week; hardly anyone is in office the day I go in. Church services are from car in parking lot. I have tons of cloth masks, try to make them fit as well as possible and can modify them to I can put one of the surgical masks inside to act as a filter. And will continue to TRY and get an appointment for vaccine. But mainly, I just don't listen the authorities anymore (especially our stupid governor), because you can't get honest and consistent answers from anyone.
*rant*rant*rant
 

Lara_C

Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#14
you can't get N95 masks anywhere
You can, but they're quite expensive. I've been paying about £44 for 5 (FFP3 respirators) but you can reuse them if you cycle a used one every 5 days to let any virus die off. Health care workers were being issued with 5 per person, using a fresh one each day, which they recycle after each use by leaving in a paper bag for 5 days. You can wear one continuously for 8 hours at a time, or put it on and take it off as needed as long as you're careful about hand washing when you do so. The mask can be reused as long as the seal stays tight. Alternatively, you can use a rubber band over nose and under chin and attach two more looped over ears to seal ASTM level 1 and above paper medical masks if you have them.
But now there are saying vaccine won't work with some of the new variants.
Yes, I doubt if everyone will be vaccinated before a new mutant strain emerges somewhere in the world which bypasses existing vaccines, and then we will be back to square one.
My main frustration is that no one can agree on anything with this virus.
Right! We shouldn't just believe anything on mere authority, but research the science for ourselves.
 
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SillyOldBear

SF grey-haired bear 🐻
Staff Alumni
#15
Thank you @Lara_C And I did just order a copy masks and extra filters from a company called RZ Masks. Learned about them from church member. They are almost exactly compatible to N95. And they are hand washable. So I ordered two. One can be drying out while I use the other. Got a few extra filters too. They look good and I trust the person who told be about them. Yes, they are expensive, but as more variants come out, a better mask is in order.
 

Lara_C

Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#16
I urge everyone to do their own research on the different kinds of masks and different protection levels they give. Whilst FFP2/N95/KN95 is better than paper masks and cloth coverings which don't give the wearer much, if any, protection, FFP3/N99/EN149/P3 is best. There's conflicting information on the new variants but some reports are saying that they could infect 8/10 people exposed , and be 30% more deadly. There is some concern that the SA variant could bypass existing vaccine, but keep checking. Don't forget to consider eye protection esp if you're in a high risk group - one study showed it reduced infection by 78% even when the people were properly masked up. At this uncertain time, with lots of conflicting and confusing information , Id say err on the side of caution.
 

SillyOldBear

SF grey-haired bear 🐻
Staff Alumni
#17
I'm tired of the whole damn mess and don't believe ANYONE in authority anymore. They all have different stories that change every 5 minutes. And I can't get a vaccine in the county just 5 minutes away because I don't live or work there. And that is where my pharmacy is. And I can't get a vaccine in the county I live in because they decided you have to be 75 not 65 like the rest of the state. And it really makes no difference because there is a huge lack of vaccine everywhere. It also seems so futile.
 

britishbloke

Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#18
Usually I would say in hindsight it's easier to see where we've gone wrong, though, I'm definitely not going to be defending Boris here. He's advised the public to act with common sense but as an ex employee in the hospitality industry, you'd be surprised how much is lacking, on a daily basis. There's far too much trust from him towards the public, I'm not saying the man has to be a dictator either but who are not following the basic rules and I think it stems more from viewing him in a favourable light for when the next elections are a thing, whilst also having his tory views.

Even now we still don’t know what the government’s plans for the next six months are.
And this again is a problem. Boris has been far too open to let his plans slip closer than his chest, that now when we're frozen out of plans of a way out, we feel short-changed. The man doesn't know what he's doing, fucking Christmas day we can mix? The fuck is wrong with you mate? We're in a fucking pandemic. Close the country down, you think anyone actually cares about 1 day that much? The economy is going to be fucked as it is, the only decisions you're making right now is damage limitation, to make sure we're not coming out of this as one of the most fucked. Lock the UK down until at least start of summer before talking about a "plan". Be a prick for the right reasons.
 

Ash600

Of dust and shadows
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#19
The man doesn't know what he's doing, fucking Christmas day we can mix? The fuck is wrong with you mate?
Lets face it. Boris and his cabinet are just a bunch of chancers. Amateurs hopelessly out of their depth, their ineptitude knows no bounds. Their decision making at times appears to be on the toss of a coin. A double sided one at that, with them repeatedly calling tails even though the coin is heads. For them, right through this pandemic it's been a shit and hope policy. So often they have reacted belatedly when the situations clearly demands a more proactive approach.
What's particularly galling is their tendency to obsfucate their failings, and trying to find scapegoats to carry the can.

You're damn right, @BritishBloke this economy is indeed going to be fucked. Combined with the impact of Brexit, the UK economy is going to have the granny smashed out of it.
Be a prick for the right reasons.
For Bojo, that's impossible. He'll only be a prick for one person and that's for himself. Or for Carrie Symonds.
 

Lara_C

Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#20
I'm tired of the whole damn mess and don't believe ANYONE in authority anymore. They all have different stories that change every 5 minutes
I believe you're right not to blindly trust the government which has shown its incompetence at managing the epidemic so far, esp since UK scientists involved in sequencing the virus are saying more new and possibly more deadly variants are likely to emerge and spread before they are identified. Some European countries are now ordering the use of masks which give better protection.
 

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