- COVID again -

:: Posted :: 2020-12

When writing this Spring, I significantly underestimated the likely impact of the virus. We've already had three times as many UK deaths as 'flu would claim in a typical year, while being only three-quarters of the way through a full year of the pandemic.

So, aside from noting the lateness of lockdowns, the muddled tier guidance, the dubious ministerial advice, the pathetic performance on testing and the appalling waste of money splashed around without regard to normal tendering practices - do we now have something better to offer, with the benefit of hindsight?

During the past nine months in the UK we've learned to our surprise that:

We haven't heard much lately about the UK's 'world-beating' response to the crisis - which is perhaps understandable given our poor performance to date on almost any measure.

It's down to the vaccines to save us

Mercifully, post-SARS and -MERS some medical researchers saw the writing on the wall and started investigating accelerated approaches to vaccine creation and production. The Oxford/Astazeneca mRNA-based vaccine[6], still awaiting final approval, holds out the additional promise of being inexpensive and straightforward to distribute. Two Chinese vaccines[7] are already being used in the Middle East.

A worldwide problem

It's encouraging the learn of the thought that's been given to how developing countries will manage. The World Bank's discussion[8] of the scale of response required is heartening, but ultimately the proof of their sincerity will be in their actions.

For a rapidly-self-isolating Brexit Britain, the inspiring spectacle has been the worldwide cooperation and even - in some cases - a genuine suppression of the 'profit ethic' in the interests of humanity. Long may such compassions prosper.


  1. BBC News
  2. BMA: Outsourced and undermined
  3. The Conversation
  4. Royal School of Medicine
  5. Telegraph
  6. Guardian
  7. Nature
  8. World Bank

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