Their policy gives covid's second wave a helping "elbow"
The sudden "jump" in COVID-19 cases at the weekend to 3,000 a day - the worst figure since May - caused Hancock to reappear in public, earnestly requesting youngsters "not to infect granny". But it seems that those grannies who avoided COVID in the first round, are very likely to get sick in the second round - along with the younger section of the population who now seem to be getting the virus. This week, at least 2 schools in England closed straight after reopening, because of outbreaks among staff and pupils. And new local lock-downs are being declared every day. On Tuesday, new social-mixing restrictions were announced - but only from next Monday!
Of course, with the back-to-work and back-to-school push by ministers and the quarantines slapped on holiday destinations, causing that massive rush back from Mediterranean beaches, this new spike was totally predictable! The civil service union has even threatened a strike because workers are being told to go back to work "or else"!
Ministers say COVID safety measures are all in place, so it's safe. But everyone knows that these measures are contradictory and irrational. In Leicester, where the first local lockdown is being lifted, restaurants, bars and spas will open, but restrictions on gatherings in private homes and gardens will remain in place! Which is scientifically illogical! But for this government, that’s “normal”.
In the end, this latest COVID spike just proves Johnson’s inability to get a handle on anything at all, especially the most basic measure - and the key to controlling a pandemic - effective testing. Yes, the testing regime is falling apart! Slots at drive-in centres are fully booked; you can be told to drive 100+ miles to get a test! Home testing kits run out each day; in August, only 14.5% of tests returned a result within 48 hours.
But workers, students and travellers need repeated tests and their results should be given within at most, 24 hours, so that anyone infectious and their contacts can be isolated. That's the only way to control viral spread.
So why hasn't this happened? Well, the reason is simple: profit. And never mind if there is no public benefit. Today there are at least 125 recognised different privately "owned" tests for sale. The latest, a 20 minute saliva test (it cost £1 and is marketed to the government for £20) is being trialled. "Science" already says it's unlikely to be that accurate. The government has put another £500m into this, among other tests. And like for everything Johnson has and hasn't done, in this pandemic - the question to be asked is: which of his blood-sucking mates is hitting the jackpot this time?