COVID Spike: You Have Been Warned.
Human beings are herding animals, it seems we cannot help ourselves. Take, for example, the UK, despite warnings of social distancing, controlling the spread of the virus, etc, people have gathered together. Don't get me wrong, many people have taken precautions to avoid death and infection, (during the lockdown and the easing of lockdown). However, it seems our herding instinct is stronger than our so-called, common sense. We have had beach gatherings, illegal music events, anti/pro BLM demonstrations and football fans gathering. All of these people have been asked not to gather in huge groups, but, it seems, our primitive instincts to get together (for whatever reason)is stronger than our common sense. So because of these people, the virus was bound to rise again.
Many of the towns in lockdown now like Leicester, Blackburn, Darwen, etc, have large ethnic populations. Large Pakistani Muslim populations (who are a high-risk group as are blacks, elderly people, and, those, with certain illnesses) live in close-knit communities with generations of the same family all living together. So, this will cause a spike in the COVID infection and death rate. Muslims (those of Pakistani/Bangladeshi origin) have been told to not attend mosque, limit family gatherings and celebrate prayer/worship online, if possible. Muslims normally like to gather for Eid for meals, the giving of gifts etc, however because of the COVID spike, this is really not possible now.
The government because of the spike, have had to put some easing of the lockdown on hold. For example, this now means that certain businesses now cannot open for two weeks. In the hope, that the COVID spike will start falling and then they can open again. Whether this will be the case, remains, to be seen.
The shielding of people with underlying illnesses has now come to an end. This means that those with underlying illnesses can now live a normal life again. However, the ending of shielding has put many workers in a quandary. Why, because now these people will have to choose between returning to work or their health (even with PPE).
An open letter to the government written by 15 UK charities (including AGE UK and Macmillan Cancer Support) raises just such an issue (as mentioned above). The government has replied already saying the furlough scheme is still running (until October) plus other financial funding and benefits are available.
The government has also, stated, employers, have a duty, to look after their workers. Especially, those, with underlying illnesses and indeed, all vulnerable groups to COVID.
Meanwhile, is the government handling of COVID coherent? Well, with a record of 45,000 and counting dead, historians will say no, the government could have acted faster (they were warned about the coming pandemic, last December). Some of the things the government have done like the furloughing scheme were good. The relaxing of the sanctions regime with unemployed people was also good (though this evil penalty regime, backing up the evil welfare policy of Universal Credit, is back). At first, it seemed the scientists were singing along to the government's tune (or the government singing along to the scientist's tune) but now, cracks have appeared. Many scientists like Professor Van Tam and even Chris Whitty, seem to be having a difference in opinion with the government over COVID. For example, members of SAGE (the scientific body advising the government, including Messers Witty and Van Tam) strongly advised the government to take it easy over the easing of lockdown.
Certainly, Boris at the podium doesn't exactly inspire confidence, in his demeanour. That perhaps is not his fault, if he is genuine, but it's not for no reason his nickname is a clown. Boris went to Eton and majored in Latin, history, etc, so, obviously, Boris is no fool. However, his bumbling and mumbling and overall buffoonery, doesn't exactly, inspire, confidence, in many. Many feel Boris, would have been better off as a comedian, some seeing Boris, as a harmless loon. Problem is this clown is at the helm of our nation, in number 10. Also, despite his clown-like antics and appearance, no one should ever be taken, for granted, and that includes, Bojo the Clown.
Another area, where the government has fallen down, is over Universal Basic Income. The government had the chance to introduce it (even as a test run, as some nations like Finland have) instead of benefits or the furlough scheme. But no, Chancellor and Tory golden boy, Rishi Sunak, refused to do it. This was a big mistake, that may crop up again and again until it gets the attention it deserves.
2020, has certainly been a year, that many will look back on, not with favour. Advertisements, try to make it look like, COVID is over, encouraging people to come back, like McDonald's. These type of adverts are dangerous and do not tell the real story. COVID has not gone away, just because the economy is opening up, COVID, does not reason, "Oh, well things are back to normal, I'd better go". No, that is not the case, look at the COVID spike now. In Europe, a 2 wave, maybe on its way. COVID, will not be cured or banished or held down until a proper vaccine is in circulation and in the population building a viable immune system. Or, the human population develops an immune system to destroy the virus. Even then, the virus will still be with us, we may have to live with it, for years to come.