Saturday, June 06, 2020

Reflections on the Pandemic

For many, reflections on the Covid -19 are quite straight forward in the UK, simply blame the government, under Boris Johnson's leadership. 

Sadly however, such "reflection" is simplistic if not also purely political.

The UK to be sure, has published  the highest number of  tragic deaths in Europe and I believe the second highest number in the world to date. However that begs the question of whether other countries such as China are being honest with their publications. 

Furthermore, the media in the UK pushed hard for the million or so UK citizens around the world who had been travelling abroad, some even after the risks from Covid -19 were becoming apparent, to be flown home by the UK government.  Whether or not that pressure should have been acceded to so readily is not for me to judge.   Nonetheless, those million people returning to the UK from around the world, would have included many who sadly, were  already affected by the virus, which then spread to locals who had not travelled abroad. 

Naturally the media does not accept that it added to the government's pressure about this though whether the government should accede so readily to media pressure, is another question.

I appreciate that many other countries assisted in their nationals returns home, but a million?

At the time of the outbreak many wealthier UK citizens were enjoying skiing holidays in Italy where the virus was already hugely affecting people. The UK citizens naturally returned in droves to the UK thus again accidentally spreading Covid -19 here.

As one who suffered from Hong Kong 'flu in the 1960s, I recollect that the illness was very unpleasant. Nonetheless the country was not closed down during that tragic time. Of course Hong Kong 'flu bad though it was was not as bad as the current Chinese 'flu.

In my view, compulsorily shutting the country down was and is anti democratic and should not have been forced upon free citizens in the UK, or anywhere else. 

Instead, in  the UK strong advice  should have been given especially to the elderly and vulnerable, to remain at home but otherwise people should have been left freely to get on with their lives.

Care homes, hospitals and nursing homes  could have instituted their own non-visiting arrangements or insisted on masks, based on the  individual centre's circumstances but blanket changes and rules for every centre everywhere seem absurd. 

Perhaps the fear that the NHS would be overwhelmed without a lock down was understandable but since then the UK Nightingale hospitals have been set up with thousands of beds for the sick yet so far, hardly used. There is no need for the lock down to continue. People should be advised as suggested in the preceding paragraph then lock down rules  should be abandoned.

Covid-19 deaths are tragic indeed but are natural, despite being unexpected at this time. 

By reacting in the ways this country and others have, many young people are being deprived of education, employment and normal lives which tragically may result  in illnesses and deaths, including suicide or self harm for years to come, which could and should, have been avoided. 

The country's finances will have been pushed beyond overdraft limits and will take years to be brought back to an even keel at no doubt the cost of huge tax increases again falling heaviest on the young.

I note that in France, commentators have said that if Covid -19 cases and deaths increase there again, which by some accounts is beginning to happen, there will be no further national lock downs as the people would not obey second time around. 

Doubtless the same could be said of many other countries but should there have been a first round of lock downs at all?

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