Wednesday 30 September 2020

Touched and violated by the incompetence of my government

Bullshit is just shit

When the grime minister of the United Kingdom and I do mean grime rather than prime stepped up to the podium to front a press briefing on the Coronavirus pandemic this evening, his voice was a repulsive grating sound to my hearing and probably to many others around our country.

The hollow unconvincing rhetoric with the attempt to stir and rouse us to a national cause to defeat this pandemic rang hollow with an unerring absence of sincerity or conviction. Anyone would commiserate with us on how this great country could have been afflicted with this impersonation of an atrocity too mean in its deathly grip of the notion, principles, and history that had made this our country a beacon of hope, power, and force for good.

The Coronavirus showed up this government in ways that no other event could, it did not come out of the blue, it was evident that it could be devastating from what was seen when in started in China and for weeks as we saw it sweep through northern Italy. Yet, we were caught flat-footed.

The walk must match the talk

The tools of bombast and bluster that had served this cohort of shysters and confidence tricksters were just hot air in the face of a pandemic, words had to be met with action, optimism was no substitute for facilitation and operational efficiency.

When Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was required, it had to be properly sourced to meet our requirements ordered and delivered to the individuals who needed the protection to save themselves from contracting the virus and many health personnel died because the government’s weasel words of assurance met anything but the stark reality.

The same is the case for testing, for contact tracing and for knowing how far the testing is available to those who need it as a matter of urgency or criticality. The whole mission has been a catastrophic bungling that has left the UK with the highest death toll in Europe at 42,143 and the 5th highest in the world.

They gave the gift of death

As a proportion of our total population, that statistic is more damning, because the UK rises to the 3rd position behind Peru and Brazil. To match the UK death toll, only Spain is close, with 262, all other countries except the first 2 will have to record thousands of lost lives. That is how bad things are when it comes to the UK and the comparison in the top-10 countries in the numbers of the dead from this pandemic.

Figure 1: COVID-19 Statistics

COVID-19 data from and population data from U.S. and World Population Clock.

What makes this situation most compelling and personal for me is that South Africa is opening its borders for international travel from the 1st of October; Brian and I were looking forward to meeting up there as soon as it was possible as we were last together in January.

As a result of the mishandling

We obviously need to see how things pan out, but my reading of the situation is quite bleak because the Foreign Minister released a statement that leaves me quite deflated and worried. “South Africa has developed a risk categorisation model for different international travellers. This model classifies international travellers according to a scale of high, medium and low risk.  High-risk travellers are those who come from countries with higher numbers of COVID-19 infections and reported deaths compared to South Africa.” This is the issue, “Leisure Travellers from high-risk countries will not be permitted.” [South Africa Government]

South Africa has only suffered 16,667 deaths due to the COVID-19 compared to the UK at 42,143, and that puts us in the high-risk country category and one can only wonder for how long. There are 12 countries above South Africa with a higher number of deaths, and that includes the United States, Italy, France and Spain.

It reminds me of a scripture, ‘For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.’ Hebrew 4:15 (KJV). Wherefore, in the UK, we have been touched by the magnitude of our government’s rank incompetence and ineptitude at the handling of this Coronavirus pandemic, part of the consequence is we might not be able to travel to countries where we were once very welcome.

I cannot be more pissed off with Boris Johnson and his cabinet for the situation in which we find ourselves. It is damning and it should have consequences, sadly, they might just get away with it too.

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