PRIVATE Eye‘s ‘MD’, writing about what he describes as Britain’s ‘idiosyncratic’ approach to the coronavirus endemic, points out that ‘the elephant in the room in this pandemic is not just our poor public health response, but our poor public health in general’.
MD says the big flaw in the government’s Plan A, to promote herd immunity (which came well after they had ignored warnings and failed to institute the ‘old methods of relentless testing, contact tracing and isolation’ that stopped SARS becoming a pandemic), was the ‘ridiculous’ idea that the 60 to 70 per cent of the population they assumed would get it are fit and healthy.
They are not. Many young and middle-aged people, MD goes on, have a full house of chronic disease because most people don’t follow doctors’ advice, from general health care to following drug prescription protocols (only a third do) so ‘they were never going to get Covid-19 “mildly” but would die with octogenarians in an overwhelmed NHS.’
Humans can resist everything except temptation, and our public health disaster is a real test for Boris Johnson who, MD remarks, ‘by nature is very socially permissive’.
Given the limits of government planning (and the excess of government hubris) is the dire state of our national health a bigger problem than the virus itself?