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Monday 18 May 2020

Taste And Smell - UK LATE AGAIN

The UK’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic has been a long-running saga of having the information, and the opportunity, but constantly missing the moment and chasing the game. The Government was weeks too late banning large gatherings and closing down pubs and restaurants. It was weeks too late implementing social distancing measures, and then locking down. Now it has been caught being weeks too late once more.
As the BBC reported this morning, “Loss of smell or taste have been added to the UK's list of coronavirus symptoms that people should look out for and self-isolate with … Until now, only a fever and cough were triggers for people to shut themselves away in self-isolation in case they had and could spread the infection”. Then came the admission.
Ear, nose and throat doctors had been warning for weeks that more symptoms should be included”. And when the news broke, many out there had a moment of déjà vu. Like acting leader of the Lib Dems Ed Davey: “Am keen to know from ministers why this wasn’t done months ago when the distinguishable symptoms of loss of smell & taste started to be talked about”. Months ago? Anyone else reckon it was months ago?
Rachael Venables of LBC reckoned so: “We’ve been hearing anecdotally for months now about how Covid-19 affects a patient’s smell and taste”. The Tweeter known as Devutopia reckoned eight weeks: “Finally the UK adds loss of taste and smell to its list of key #COVID symptoms 8 weeks after being identified. Thousands may have had these symptoms and unknowingly passed on the virus”. There was more.
The Tweeter known as Mr Malky reckoned longer: “It has been nearly 3 months since the loss of smell/taste was reported as a clear symptom of Corona virus. How far behind the curve are we?” And with the lack of evidence to back up the “Get back to school” efforts from the Government, there was significant scepticism out there.
So let’s see how far back the taste and smell alerts go. Here’s Health Express, on May 7, tellingHealth organisations across the world have recognised anosmia - the loss of smell - as an indicator of COVID-19, following a wave of reports from patients and clinicians about rapid onset of smell loss, even in the absence of other symptoms”.
And in The Lancet, back on April 15, is a journal titledSmell and taste dysfunction in patients with COVID-19". That’s more than a month ago. Two days before that, we find an article in Science Daily, titled “Loss of smell and taste validated as COVID-19 symptoms in patients with high recovery rate”, from the University of California at San Diego.
Going back yet further, to April 1, and from the King’s College London news centre, we find “Loss of smell and taste a key symptom for COVID-19 cases … The latest analysis of data from the COVID Symptom Tracker app, developed by ZOE, suggests losing your sense of taste and smell may be the best way to tell whether you have COVID-19”.
And way back on February 8 - well over three months ago - an article in the Guardian tells “What are the symptoms this coronavirus causes? … Some people report losing their sense of taste and/or smell”. Yes, the UK is behind the curve again. By over three months.

Is our Government useless, or is it useless? Y’know, it might just be useless.
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Anonymous said...

Not MY government.

Not ever.

Tim Clark said...

Please encourage your readers to download and participate in the Kings College/ZOE app, mentioned in your article above.


Derek said...

Dear Zelo ,
At a certain point I become unconvinced by ‘incompetence’ excuses and for me that point has been passed in the Govts handling of the pandemic crisis . I suspect ‘bad faith’ , that’s where a Govt is trying to achieve some desired result(s) without articulating what those result(s) are , probably because they are fearful of the public’s response .
My cynical suspicion is that the Govt is desperately trying to pull a stunt contriving a sticking plaster rescue of our failing neo Liberal state , which has been limping crippled since the 2008 Credit Crunch . Globalism , ‘just in time’ , the ‘race to the bottom’ and the impoverishment and powerlessness of the Western state’s working classes , so as to create an underclass , has met up with the pandemic ‘tiger’ demanding National Borders , supply chain resilience and an emphasis that the state clearly has responsibility for the Public’s Welfare . Difficult to face down but I suspect our establishment is determined and malicious enough to try . I think concentration of ‘fine tuning’ on improving the NHS structures and meaningfully fighting the pandemic on behalf of the British public is not the honest objective of this Govt . Unless the public stop ‘clapping for our carers’ and demand competence and honesty from them , the muddle is set to continue ,

Anonymous said...

I would like to self-identify as a fatalist and therefore qualify for exemption from some of the current restrictions. perhaps cafes,restaurants and pubs could open for a few hours for myself and fellow fatalists and thereby saving innumerable small businesses. Obviously some form of documentation or an app might be needed but shouldn't be a problem. Though Union members too scared to go to work must be prevented from enjoying our fatalistic freedoms. And we promise to go straight home without using public transport. Such a scheme I reckon would have much support among the general public. Should we get the Chinese lurgy we will self-isolate and not bother the NHS, though giving us an empty Nightingale hospital, would be the Christian thing to do. Whether we will be flocking to Chinese restaurants or drinking Corona beer is open to question.

Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!

AndyC said...

I remember those being said to be symptoms to look for months ago.