This has been quite a week -and it's not quite over. The Tories under Johnson and Cummings continue their appalling misgovernment of this country. I am exploring the theme of misgovernment, along with much else, as I write my third book: 'Dying to Know' - my pandemic journal as a hill runner. More on that, another time. For now, thanks to SKWAWKBOX, the latest updates on what's going wrong:
'At least 620 schools now infected with coronavirus as official daily infection count passes 3,500 and government data page still in chaos
In reality, number of infections believed to be at least double
But the public will still struggle to discern this from the government's official data page, whose charts continue to show conflicting and outdated information weeks after this was exposed by SKWAWKBOX.
At the same time, more parents are coming forward to say that they have been denied testing for their sick children - while even the sickest and most vulnerable children are being denied home tests and offeredappointments at testing sites many miles away:
The daily number of cases in the UK - according to the government's own numbers - was 3,539, an 81% increase on a week before. But the ONS and other experts say that the real numbers are far higher.
In spite of the mounting evidence, the huge toll in needless deaths so far, the confirmation of pupil-to-pupil transmission and widespread warnings from scientific experts and unions, there is almost no Westminster or media voice raised against the wilful blindness of the political elite that 'schools are safe' and that indoor hospitality venues - known to be another major driver of an increased 'R rate' of infection - should remain open. One of the few to do so has been former Shadow Education Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, whose clarity on the issue showed why Keir Starmer sacked her a few weeks after he secretly promised Boris Johnson his support for the school return.
* Figures compiled from news reports, NHS updates and school websites by @ToryFibs.'
And now evidence of the inevitable consequence of a second surge, long anticipated by those in power whose policies have helped lead to this next stage in our pandemic experience.
Pandemic deniers have challenged rise in cases by asking 'where is the increase in hospitalisations?' As was always clear, it just lagged behind cases
A hard core of people who want to deny the significance of recent exponential rises in the daily number of infections have demanded to know where the corresponding increase in admissions to hospital with COVID-19.
As was always obvious, there is a lag between infections and admissions - and recent admissions numbers now also show a sharp increase and has already risen beyond the level seen in mid-July:
|Chart compiled by @ToryFibs|
The national 'R rate' across England is now above one and the number of cases is said to be doubling every week.
The increase in hospitalisations comes against a backdrop of a rocketing number of schools hit by the virus - and the government rationing or even withholding coronavirus tests from children, while it stubbornly refuses to reconsider its back-to-school plan.
We are heading into uncharted and dangerous waters, once more - and the BBC is not helping our understanding, yet again. Over to SKWAWKBOX for the last word:
'The government has today (Wednesday, 9 September 2020) admitted the seriousness of the situation - and in effect that its easing of lockdown measures has caused it. But the BBC has not reflected that reality in its reporting.'