Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted, on Monday evening, that ending the partial national containment, in place since early January and implementing it quickly, will lead to more injuries and deaths.
He was speaking at a press conference in Downing Street after announcing to Parliament a “road map” for the “irreversible” lifting of “recent imprisonment” for the United Kingdom.
Johnson bluntly said: “Anytime we ease the lockdown, whether it’s today, six or nine months from now, we must be realistic and accept that we will deal with more injuries and more hospitalizations. And thus, unfortunately, more deaths, as is the case. With influenza every year ”.
Johnson is lying. He knows COVID-19 is much more deadly than influenza, as his government is already responsible for more than 126,000 deaths. Above all, however, he acknowledges that giving up on containment to the Road Map is an outright embrace of a criminal program of collective impunity.
The first step in relaxation involves reopening schools, public spaces, and outdoor activities. On March 8, all primary and secondary schools will reopen for England’s 10 million students. Scotland and Wales began gradually reopening schools on Monday.
On March 29, outdoor gatherings will be allowed for six people from different families – the now infamous “rule of six” – or two entire families, including in private gardens. Outdoor sports facilities will reopen, and sports for adults and children will resume.
Beginning April 12, non-essential retail businesses, hairdressers, public buildings, breweries, zoos, parks, swimming pools, gyms and self-catering holiday homes are set to reopen. In theory, the rules on social contacts that prevent two families from meeting indoors will still apply.
Effective May 17th, the “rule of six” will be replaced by the 30 cap for outdoor meetings. This will be applied in reception areas that have reopened such as small bars. Cinemas, hotels, theaters and sporting events will reopen through social distancing, and up to 10,000 spectators will be able to visit football stadiums.
From June 21, legal restrictions on social contact will be removed and recent economic sectors, such as nightclubs, will reopen.
These steps will be carried out according to four deliberately ambiguous conditions: that the vaccination program against the Coronavirus continue “as planned”; While evidence shows that vaccines “sufficiently reduce” the number of people who die or require hospital treatment; Infection rates are not “likely” to result in increased hospitalization; And that the new virus variants do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions.
While previous guidelines mentioned an R number less than 1.0 – anything above that indicates exponential growth – these terms do not. “Infection rates” are only a concern if “they are likely to lead to an increase in hospitalizations”. Separating infection rate from hospitalizations amounts to declaring the fact that the Conservative government is pursuing “herd immunity” by allowing the virus to spread widely and unchecked.
This change is justified only by a fraudulent claim of the vaccine deployment effect. There is no doubt that vaccines significantly reduce the risk of developing serious diseases and are an essential part of any solution to the pandemic crisis. But this is a compelling scientific argument for effective health restrictions so that the population is properly immunized. The partial protection currently offered to the British population by vaccination – 18 million people who received a first dose and just over 600,000 per second – means that an increase in infections will always lead to a wave of hospitalizations and deaths.
Johnson’s early partial containment lift would trigger such a wave. The Financial times He notes that current data “show that the vast majority of improvements in health since the start of the year have been the result of containment, not vaccinations.” Israel, which has received more comprehensive vaccines from the UK, has only seen the number of infections drop by only half compared to the UK since January 12, as the two countries have had similar infection rates, due to its less stringent restrictions.
Studies have shown the main role schools play in transmitting the virus within society. However, the Conservative government intends to reopen the schools on March 8, and as explicitly summarized in daily Mail : “Without gradual implementation; not only primary schools. Without alternating days without distributing age groups; without class division.”
Professor Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical officer, is said to have been “extremely dissatisfied” with the decision to reopen all schools simultaneously. But he returned to his room at the press conference on Monday. He said that the Corona virus “will be a problem next winter.”
More children in school means more parents in workplaces that have seen thousands of virus outbreaks and that the government has done nothing to make them safe. These effects will be multiplied by the reopening of retail businesses, hotels and elsewhere.
Any further spread of the virus will have dire consequences. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that one in 115 people in England had COVID-19 during the week of February 12th; At the same rate as the partial containment lift in November that led to the devastating wave of this winter. This rate is more than 12 times higher than in early September, when schools reopened, resulting in school-age children having the highest rates of COVID-19 infection in December.
According to the UK COVID Symptom Study, the R for England was 0.9 last week, and 1.0 in Scotland and Wales. The study indicates that “the decline in the number of new daily cases began to slow. R-values return to 1.0, with most regions at 0.9 … and cases began to increase in the 20-39 age groups.”
The study authors estimate that 14,818 new daily cases of COVID-19 symptoms in the UK amount to 14,818. The British Medical Association warned last week that the National Health Service (NHS) remains “in tatters” and stated that a “growing consensus” exists among medical professionals that the cases should be reduced to 1,000 per day before important steps are taken to reduce containment. Measures.
As the number of cases increases, the threat of new variants of the virus becomes more serious. Professor John Edmonds of the Government’s Emergency Scientific Advisory Group (SAGE) of the Andrew Marr Program told the BBC that the South African alternative – with a mutation that reduces the effectiveness of current vaccines – is “being kept for the time being, like everything else. Imprisonment … the danger really comes from being released from custody. ” So far, 235 confirmed or probable cases of the South African variant have been detected in the UK.
Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, told … guardianWhen we get out of prison, the South African alternative or the Bristol alternative [similaire] Is likely to become dominant, even with high pollination coverage. “
While vaccination appears to be effective in preventing dangerous diseases caused by the South African variant, Hunter warned of the risk of other dangerous mutations. The likelihood of this increases when the virus is allowed to spread to a large number of people while the vaccine applies gradually selective pressure to more resistant variants.
In addition to the risk of dying from COVID-19, there is still a poorly understood threat of “long-term COVID”. It is a series of debilitating illnesses that even affect COVID-19 cases outside the hospital for months after the initial infection. The rate of outpatients who are expected to have this disease more than 12 weeks after infection is estimated between 10 and 20 percent, and these diseases can affect children.
Despite all this, Johnson’s track record has been universally called “cautious” in the media. There is not the slightest political opposition to a government that is endangering the lives of thousands of others, even after the killing of more than 120,000 people.
“Ideally, I would like all schools to reopen on March 8 and for all children to return to school on March 8,” Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said Sunday. The daily Mail He praised his “courage in putting children’s health and well-being above the cynical politics of the left in his party.”
“We need a national effort to get our children back in school,” Labor Secretary of State Jonathan Ashworth said on BBC4’s Today program. “I would like to ask the Minister of Education to contact the unions to inform them of the plans and tell them of the plans he will put in place to mitigate them. The spread of the virus,” Ashworth said, in response to a statement from nine educational federations.
This is what will happen. A deal will be struck behind closed doors between the government and the unions, allowing them to force their members to return to school, as they did last September.
If this criminal policy continues, tens of thousands of people will die needlessly and countless suffer from long-term illnesses. The epidemic can be contained and suppressed, but it requires a massive redistribution of the wealth that is monopolized by the small elite of the very rich. Thus we can finance all revenues and support small businesses during confinement periods. Real safety measures can be implemented in essential workplaces, under the supervision of the workers themselves, and a scientifically planned global immunization program.
(The article was first published in English on February 23, 2021)
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