And how about Ruth, who says hospitals have been told to ensure there is extra paediatric capacity this winter “as they are expecting an influx of babies and children with severe respiratory infections. Not Covid, but other respiratory infections – eg flu, RSV.” The severity of these infections is down to children having been isolated from normal bugs for most of the past 16 months. So natural immunity will not have developed. “The time to build up their general immunity is now, not keep them restricted until flu season when they are more likely to get severely ill.”
Are the children who will be gasping for breath in paediatric units this coming winter not “people” the Prime Minister will do whatever it takes to keep safe? Or are he and his tunnel-visioned scientific advisers really only bothered about patients with Covid?
It’s those who are trying to postpone normal life indefinitely who are the selfish and irresponsible ones. I reckon that it’s our patriotic duty to live as freely and boldly as we can. Ironically, that’s what it will take to keep people safe.
Cuomo justified placing almost 20 million people under house arrest: “If everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.” Though his repressive policies failed to prevent New York from having among the nation’s highest Covid death rates, he became a superhero thanks largely to media scoring that ignored almost all of the harms he inflicted. Cuomo won an Emmy Award for his “masterful use of television” during the pandemic. Media valorization helped make Cuomo’s self-tribute book,American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic, a bestseller.
Cuomo had plenty of power-mad accomplices in the governors’ association. Oregon Governor Kate Brown banned residents from leaving their homes except for essential work, buying food, and other narrow exemptions and also banned all recreational travel. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer imposed some of the most severe restrictions, prohibiting anyone from leaving their home to visit family or friends. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti even banned people from walking or bicycling outside. The CDC eventually admitted that there was almost no risk of Covid contagion from outdoors activity not amidst a throng of people. But that did not stop politicians from claiming that “science and data” justified locking people in their homes.
In the pages of this newspaper not so many years ago, Boris Johnson could be found railing against the idea of ID cards. When Tony Blair’s government looked at introducing such a thing, Johnson and others on the liberal wing of the Conservative party insisted that it was fundamentally un-British to allow a situation in which a state apparatchik could demand to see your papers and make you meekly hand them over.
But what the Government that Johnson heads is now suggesting is far more intrusive than that. The creation of “vaccine certification” means that we now face the prospect of having our papers demanded not just if we dare to think about leaving the country for some reason, but if we just want to go to almost any public gathering. Only by proving that you have had the vaccine or a recent negative test will you be allowed to take part in activities which we didn’t even question as among our rights before 2020.
Things are no better in France. A slice:
‘Freedom’ for the French will from now on be loosely defined as freedom to do what you think is best, as long as the state agrees, and if you disagree with the state, there will be consequences for your freedom – consequences the state will decide upon.
As Theresa May, Sajid Javid and Boris Johnson have pointed out, we must learn to live with Covid. As Covid becomes endemic, it will no longer pose the same danger to people that it once did. In its endemic state, there is no point in testing asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic people and obsessing over case numbers (unless the objective is endless panic). We do not test and count every case of flu or the common cold. Epidemiologists should continue to track Covid’s progress, but within reason.
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