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Is the ONS Survey Only For The Housebound?

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Lockdown Sceptics reader agreed to be part of the ONS Covid survey, but found it a waste of his time.

I got randomly selected by postcode to participate in a Covid infection study for the ONS by Oxford University.

Had my first appointment on August 9th. Nice nurse visited me at home, signed me up for a year  one visit every week for a five weeks, followed by one a month  took swabs and blood.

I mentioned that I’d be going away for a few days, but would be in the country and could easily attend a test centre, or whatever. Apparently no problem.

Had a call while on holiday. Could I be home later in the day? Nope, but I’ll be back in a couple of days, will that do? No problem, someone will call you soon. They didn’t.

A couple of weeks later I had a call to say, could I be home in a couple of hours? Nope, I’m at work, but I can do anytime tomorrow, will that do? Fine, someone will call later. They didn’t.

A couple of weeks later I called the helpline and it promised to call me back. Two days later a lovely person did. Oh dear, she said, that’s not good. I’ll escalate this and someone will call you soon.

A week or so later, someone called. Could I be home at 3pm? Nope, I’m at work, but you can see me here, if you like? Can’t do that –we can only visit you at your registered address. Okay, how about tomorrow? Say, 11am? Ah, well, we only get given our list in the morning, then we phone people and go see them. So, you can’t give me more than a few hours notice before coming to see me and you have to see me at home? Yes, sorry. So, don’t you keep missing people? Er… yes, that does happen a lot…

What I take from this, is:

a. If this is competence, it sure doesn’t look like it.

b. If this is supposed to be a random sample of the population, it’s surely excluding almost everyone who actually goes out to work, isn’t it?

By Will Jones



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