Worse, there could, and arguably should, have been one, but Bozo flunked it. He - and, it seems, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak - had been told by the members of SAGE that there needed to be a full lockdown of at least two weeks, probably even longer, what has been termed a “circuit breaker”. But like rabbits caught in the headlights, they became paralysed by inaction. Why that might be is not hard to understand.
We now have a “three-tier” system, where any area currently judged at highest risk is placed in Tier Three. Right now, that only applies to the Liverpool City Region, but has nothing to do with the area declining to vote in Tory MPs, honestly.
Cheshire East, and Cheshire West and Chester, being in Tier Two, are allowed to carry on very much as before, which is mystifying, given the steeply rising infection rates in both areas. Yes, there is less social mixing permitted, but schools remain open, as do pubs and restaurants. And it is restaurants where transmission is more likely to occur.
Worse, even in the Liverpool City Region, restaurants may remain open. So another opportunity to arrest the increase in infection levels is missed. Worse still is that Bozo and his pals are repeating the mistake they made in March: they are delaying and dithering.
We know this as more than three weeks ago, SAGE made a series of recommendations which have largely not been acted upon. These were “a. A circuit-breaker (short period of lockdown) to return incidence [of infection] to low levels … b. Advice to work from home for all those that can … c. Banning all contact within the home with members of other households (except members of a support bubble) … d. Closure of all bars, restaurants, cafes, indoor gyms, and personal services (eg hairdressers) … e. All University and College teaching to be online unless face-to-face teaching is absolutely essential”.
There was (b) and some (e), and now we’re getting a little (c) too. But this is too little, and once again, it’s too late. And while Bozo prevaricates, the virus just keeps on taking every opportunity to spread. While business lobbyists moan “what about the viability of our sector?”, more people are infected, more are hospitalised, and ultimately, more die.
Our Government was too slow to lock down in the first place. It was too easily blustered and bullied into opening up again - which in the case of many areas in the North and Midlands came before the fire of the first wave of infections had been properly put out - and now has been too slow, way too slow, in putting on the brakes and locking down once more. What has been done won’t avoid another lockdown. It will merely delay it.
And we still do not have a properly functioning test, trace and isolate system in place. A whole seven and a half months later. Perhaps our free and fearless press, and broadcast media, will finally get on the Tories’ case. Because this state of affairs is not good enough.
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