Overall, the Nordic countries are doing especially well, particularly Norway. But they are not alone in bettering the UK on the metric shown, which is “Reported cases per 100,000 in the 14 days ended October 14”. Italy, where Covid-19 took hold so alarmingly earlier this year, has no area where that figure has reached 200. The UK has several.
Greece, so often ridiculed as an economic basket case, has no area reporting more than 100 cases per 100,000 people. Why that should be is not hard to understand: the Government there locked down early and put clear rules in place, including not allowing direct flights from places like, er, the UK for some time - until our situation improved.
Look how well we're not doing ((c) FT)
Also recording significantly lower infection rates than the UK is Portugal, at least in its central and southern areas. This is in large part down to simply applied rules: wearing of face coverings on all public transport, occasional restriction of movement with clearly defined limits, and strict observance of maximum numbers allowed in retail premises, a concept which is not always being adhered to in the UK.
But it is Germany, a country with a far higher population than the UK, and many areas of high population density, that stands out from the FT map. The reason for that is multiple instances of one letter, and that letter is T. Testing is available not merely at the end of long and arduous road journeys, but (for instance) at transport hubs. What happens when a positive test diagnosis is received is clearly defined and understood.
Guess who's doing better than we are
Track and Trace was implemented well before the UK, an app was rolled out well before the UK, and successful implementation of the policy was achieved, well, before the UK, where the rates of track and trace have fallen well below target. But at least they have fallen well below target consistently. So the UK is at least consistent in its failure.
The only mystery is that the UK population does not appear more ready to hold its Government to account for multiple failings in tackling the pandemic. This week’s stand-off between alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his pals, and the increasingly combative Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, suggests that Bozo’s easy ride may be coming to an end - among yet higher infection rates.
He's right to kick off with Bozo
This is not rocket science. If Greece can get it right it, so can the UK. But the UK has a terminally inept Government, led (along with his chief polecat) by a charlatan and congenital liar who doesn’t care about anyone except Himself Personally Now, and a cabal of advisors who couldn’t advise their way out of a paper bag.
That is why people like Burnham are kicking off right now. Because it’s not good enough.
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