We were first made aware of this irksome little bug, whizzing around Wuhan, China, 5,500 miles away, in late January, writes Erin Wilson.
No big deal, many claimed — including our Tory government. Boris Johnson assured us we could “take it on the chin.”
Italy was in turmoil, but Boris Johnson did not turn up for five COBRA meetings, and they boasted about then denied their ‘herd immunity’ strategy (™DCummings).
Only doctors and nurses seemed to be dying but they were promised their essential Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) first thing tomorrow along with a world beating track and trace tests for us all. It was being developed by ministers’ pals as they spoke.
But tomorrow was taking its time arriving and medics, many returned from safe retirement, kept on dying.
We were officially urged to applaud their selfless sacrifice, just not to mention paying any of them more.
Boris’ most reckless moment came in March with the blatant refusal to lock down, as we were by then besieged by an invisible enemy not a single person on the planet seemed to know how it spread, how to treat, cure or manage.
The one thing the government was sure of was we definitely did not need to wear masks like they did in China.
Finally, to the relief of everyone except a few who denied Coronavirus ever existed, or if it did it was a plot of some terrible kind, science prevailed, and on the 16 March the UK stayed at home, and a new word entered our vocabulary – lockdown, one word not two.
Non-essential retailers, the hospitality sector and our educational institutions, all shut up shop and stayed in to watch lots and lots of telly.
We now know that lockdowns are no panacea, they just gives us breathing space to figure out where to turn next.
In August, the pubs reopened and we were encouraged to “Eat-out-to-help-out” and spend, spend, spend to help maintain the damaged economy. Huzzah!
Infection rates remained steady; oxygen treatment was helping and there was a wonder drug, dexamethasone.
Schools reopened with Boris’ guarantee it was all OK. Our kids would be just fine. Do not worry.
Barely a fortnight later, Coronavirus numbers, now shortened to Covid-19, began a relentless climb again.
Community transmissions soared as infected youngsters went in to isolation.
Thousands of people began to rally online calling for the re-closure of schools but no one listened.
By November and Lockdown II was introduced reluctantly, lasting until 2nd December.
Schools remained open this time and there was a dip in infection figures, but was that because of the half-term break?
With half-term over, numbers are again climbing. Schools and universities have been given an impossible task in and death-rates as bad as before have returned.
Many doubted the predicted second wave would even occur, but here it is, and there is now talk of a third wave. The Government has learnt nothing, other than to deny or ignore its many failures.
As we wait for our shot of vaccine, closing schools etc is clearly necessary. Perhaps remote learning like working may be necessary to salvage what we can, for Christmas as the death toll tops 62,000.
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