IN the UK, as I write this, we have crept slowly and silently into week 4 of a 3-week lockdown of the UK to protect the public from Coronavirus, well, we are told that the lockdown is to protect the public, but in reality, the only thing the lockdown has been engineered to protect is the NHS and in turn the Conservative parties reputation.
One of the most common searched Coronavirus questions at the moment is “how many care homes in the UK have coronavirus?”, and annoyingly this is one of the statistics which the UK’s Department of Health seems dead-set on hiding from the public. (The ONS stats do not provide this information).
We were told that the UK’s Lockdown was put in place to protect those most at risk, yet there are reports (sky news) that as much as half of the current COVID-19 deaths we are seeing reported in the UK are actually happening in care homes, yet due to the Governments questionable reporting method, which only counts people who have died from Coronavirus “while hospitalized” and not those who have died in care homes or within the general population.
But why is this even happening, how can the Coronavirus be reaching its nasty viral fingers into the thousands of care homes in the UK? How can this be possible when we were all told we were being locked up to protect these people? How can the virus still be spreading through society and reaching our most at risk?
While a large amount of the UK’s 65-66 million people are in a slightly nicer version of house arrest albeit with the authoritarian boot hovering over us, ready to squash us with the law, millions of workers from NHS doctors, posties, amazon delivery drivers, bin men and most other services needed to maintain the world we live in are still out and about, all day every day, without any form of protection.
The group with the biggest latent risk of catching and spreading Coronavirus at the moment are those who have placed themselves in the firing line for our safety, the NHS doctors, nurses, technicians, consultants ambulance drivers, carers and really anyone else who ‘s job involves caring for people.
It is NHS and care workers are on the literal ‘front line’ of this war yet these people have still not received the correct PPE, infact it was only 3 or 4 days ago where I saw 2 ambulance drivers in Aberdeen wheel a patient out of a home and into an ambulance and to my absolute shock, the only PPE that these 2 ambulance workers were wearing, was black disposable rubber gloves!
For me, seeing St Johns Ambulance workers with no PPE was an alarming wakeup call as to how little is being done to protect those on the ‘front lines’. If people working within the NHS are being supplied with and told to use the correct PPE, AT ALL TIMES, then it stands to reason that those health workers are putting themselves into an enormous amount of personal risk to protect the health of the public. The lack of any solid assistance and guidance from the Department of Health is turning the people who are meant to protect us, are being turned into ‘super spreaders’, stemming from an incompetent response to a global pandemic by a Government with no cohesive plan.
It is here where in my opinion, the massive flaw in the UK’s lockdown plan becomes most apparent.
Not only are the UK’s NHS workers and carers not receiving the correct guidance and PPE to help stop the transmission of Coronavirus, but the majority ‘keyworkers’ in society, who much like the NHS are putting themselves in the most risk of catching COVID-19, receive little to no guidence on protecting themselves other than tips on ‘social distancing’.
The guidance from the Department of Health on how citizens should protect themselves, is shockingly sparse, with our politicians, and surprisingly even the BBC, advocating that the “WHO has NOT advised us to wear masks to protect ourselves” and that all we need to do “is stay at least 2m apart” and “wash our hands!”, Which could not be farther from the truth!
The WHO’s guidence on masks was clear that the general public do not need to wear the kinds of surgical masks (n95 grade) that we would see in hospital. The reason for this advice from WHO (from what I could ascertain) was due to the global lack of surgical grade (n95) masks and PPE. The WHO did not advise that these masks could not help us.
Many (including myself) were quite baffled at the BBC’s spinning of the WHOs guidence on mask use by the public (13th April – afternoon live – BBC News). The BBC took the WHO (World Health organization) guidence on the general public using surgical grade masks and spun what was said into a message that perversley advocated that NO ONE really needs to wear a mask in public, going as far as saying “the WHO has not advised that the public wear masks” and asserting that masks would not protect the general public and potentially give them “a false sense of security”, which seems.
We have to remember that this potential Misinformation from the BBC is crafted to lend credence to the current Governments advice, which was originally presented as part of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings now infamous (and widely denied) “herd immunity” plan, in which Conservative politicians and ‘experts’ predicted we would see over 200k British people die from COVID-19.
(The UK is one of the only 1st world countries who have not told people to cover their faces and coincidently we now have one of the highest death rates in the world and an average of 9% new positive cases every day!)
In the USA, the Governments CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has recommended that EVERY American make use in some story of cloth face covering to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The CDC, and the WHO are both very clear on cloth face coverings, they will not provide a massive amount of protection from Coronavirus if the droplets which contain the virus were to become aerosolized, although this is rare outside of Hospitals (ICU, where breathing apparatus is used).
What a cloth face-covering does do, is it stops people from touching their face and it can stop large droplets of saliva from coming out of your mouth, which in turn means it can also stop big droplets of saliva from going into someone’s mouth (yuk!).
In a battle against a pandemic, we have to use every weapon we can to fight the spread, no matter how marginal its protection may be.
The lack of any guidance on PPE, whether it be medical grade protection or something less medical, like covering a face with a scarf, is one of the biggest missteps taken by Government on the UK’s lockdown, as without keyworkers, NHS workers and the general public receiving proper guidance on how to protect ourselves and each other, we are simply not being allowed a fair chance of fighting Coronavirus. As we are now, the moment the UK lockdown is ended we will see a massive ballooning in cases, as there will be nothing in place to stop the virus from spreading through society worse than it is now, and this is one of the main reasons why it is virtually impossible for the UK Government to end the UK Lockdown any time soon!
Ending the UK lockdown now would be like a blacksmith removing their leather gauntlets, throwing away their pliers, and working with red-hot iron with their bare hands! Total wreckless stupidity!
Without a proper testing program, to isolate and kill off the Virus, and proper PPE for the millions working in the NHS, social care and all the smaller jobs which keep society running, any ending of the UK lockdown will lead to more cases and even more deaths, in a way that would create a wave of critically ill patients, that we know the NHS simply would not be able to handle as they are already struggling during the lockdown and the slowed spread of the virus.
Ending the Lockdown now would be like blowing up a dam that we all live behind! We would have nothing left to protect us.
We cannot be kept in lockdown forever! UK Government needs to start thinking very hard and being pro-active about how they can prepare the country to end the UK Lockdown.
Every day longer the lockdown stays in place the less it feels like something that was put in place to protects us, and feels more like a form of house arrest, with society being punished for the inaction and mistakes of Boris Johnson and his useless Government!