Andy Richardson: 'Politics rather than science leads as nation relaxes response to Covid-19'
Remember when it was simple? The message was clear: stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
We were led by scientists, those nice men and women who stood next to ministers during daily Downing Street press conferences.
Funny how things change. Politics, rather than science, leads as the nation relaxes its response to Covid-19 and hopes for the best.
Instead of preparing for and preventing a second wave, prevailing opinion in the UK is that maybe the virus will go away.
Perhaps it will – though let’s not forget that mindset in January, February and March led us to the present terrible death rates.
As health campaigners say cutting social distancing from 2m to 1m will double the infection risk, campaigners for business declare 1m is enough. It’s no wonder the public is confused.
Those who work in industry have strict guidelines. People in buildings combining offices and factories, for instance, wear full PPE when they switch from one space to another.
The reason is simple; it reduces infection. But if workers have to wear face masks, gloves and plastic gowns, how can it be safe for kids to go back to school or for thousands to gather at the beach?
UK quarantine rules are a mess. Those who arrive in the UK have to self-isolate – but not until they’ve done their duty free shopping, bought a prawn cocktail sandwich from M&S, used public transport and availed themselves of two different addresses. Anybody fancy another cheap bottle of Chanel?
Track and trace, meanwhile, has spluttered into action, though Matt Hancock’s idea of success is when the workers are doing nothing. Uh oh.
Parliament, meanwhile, continues to be an exemplar of worst practice. MPs from at-risk groups are being told to ditch the remote working and return to London where 1km voting lines will snake through Parliament like the queues at Alton Towers. Mind you, the Government’s response to the pandemic has been as topsy turvy as a rollercoaster.
Still, while America burns and Donald Thump fires tear gas on peaceful protesters in order to use a church for a photo op, at least we’re not ruled by the man who said: “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”
The comedy of errors continues. Carry on up the Covid.