Monday 21 June 2021

The UK: Funny if you believed today was COVID-19 Freedom Day

A promise they couldn’t keep

Lest we forget, today, the 21st of June 2021 was supposed to be our Freedom Day, the day when all lockdown restrictions would be fully eased, and we can return to a new normalcy according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This was announced as part of a roadmap published on the 22nd of February and I had no confidence in the expectation that this government could pull it off.

Blog: A roadmap of potholes

This was two days before I took my first Pfizer / BioNTech jab and whilst we were ahead of Europe by a long mile in the vaccination stakes, the idea that the vaccine would be a talisman or a panacea to the rampaging effects of the pandemic in the UK was a farfetched as it could ever be. The greater pandemic afflicting us is government hubris, policy inertia, prime ministerial indecision and executive incompetence.

Everyone but the one

The breakdown of order that is redolent of this government ably and valiantly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory started from the end of March when a variant first discovered in India, now referred to as the Delta variant was one of concern. By the 2nd of April, it was concerning enough for the UK Government to immediately put the neighbouring countries to India of Pakistan and Bangladesh on the red list of countries requiring a mandatory 10-day assigned hotel quarantine, but leave India off where the virus was festering at rates higher than the red list countries.

With pernicious Brexit thinking in the fray, Boris Johnson was planning to visit India to negotiate a trade deal and hoping not to annoy Narendra Modi, the Indian leader, our government inadvertently, if not deliberately and carelessly, allowed traffic from the Indian subcontinent whilst he vacillated for weeks on whether the trip was possible whilst affirming there was nothing that indicated Freedom Day should shift.

Come on in with variants

It was not until the 19th of April, after the impending trip to India was cancelled that India was put on the red list of countries with a 4-day notice before the enforcement of the assigned hotel quarantine requirement. In which time, there were 20,000 arrivals from India with no scrutiny of their status or conditions, some of whom might have contracted the Delta variant prior to arrival and seeded community transmission that it ranks as the most prevalent infection in the UK today.

Obviously, as this government is wont to do, they will accept no responsibility for this debacle, but it is not oblivious to neighbouring countries that this matter has been badly handled that the UK is on the red list of some countries and Scotland has banned travel from Manchester or Salford which apparently now boasts one of the highest Delta variant infection rates in the country. [BBC News: Covid: Manchester-Scotland travel ban comes into force]

Well done for 4 weeks more

Anyway, this is what informed the government to shift Freedom Day back another 4 weeks to the 19th of July and going by this government’s record, I will believe it when it happens, because their penchant for bungling with bombast for excuses can never desert them. They have credit and accolades for that ability to lie barefaced with no sense of embarrassment and utter lack of shame. They are reprobate to the core and their maleficence has cost many lives.

In the numbers game, whist we have moved down to 7th in the death rate from the pandemic, and apart from Russia that straddles Europe and Asia, we are still ahead of our erstwhile EU partners even though they caught the waves first and are still behind in the vaccination stakes. It should be obvious to anyone by now that the excuse for this situation being unprecedented is weak, all countries faced the same pandemic, some just handled it better especially in saving human lives. [ Coronavirus]

Abandon hope with this lot

We instead trying to save the NHS and lose people in the devastating spread of the virus in care homes, and whilst we needed to save or store up NHS capacity to handle infections, the focus should always, always have been on people and not institutions with vacuous slogans deployed to distract us from pertinent matters.

For how much longer we can endure this murderous cabal in government, I cannot tell, but let history note that at the time of our greatest existential crisis this century, we are cursed with the most incompetent hands to ever hold power in the UK. I dare say, we are in the unconscionable grip of a mendacious kakistocracy. It is scary if it were not damningly so true.

Blog: The UK: On easing the lockdown, we're being taken for fools again

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