There was always going to be this outcome. The lifting of all restrictions in January this year was bound to lead to a surge in coronavirus infections. The man in No.10 knew this even as he gave the order on Thursday 27 January. Faced with the Partygate challenge to his leadership, he needed to keep onside that coterie of Brexiteer Tory MPs committed to opening up the economy, whatever the human cost.
|My thank again to Gary Barker for this brilliant cartoon - depicting a ruthlessly ambitious and morally bankrupt man who, like all narcissists, thinks only of himself.|
The 'i' headline on p.4 in the Wednesday 9 March edition reads:
'Covid hospital admissions rise among elderly as immunity wanes'.
There is some truth in that statement but it is an explanation which ignores the fact that if there are no restrictions, there will be a rise in infections, regardless of waning immunity and the vulnerability of the elderly.
|A Getty image used with permission - SARS-CoV-2 is a killer virus|
As the dozens of you who follow my blogposts know, I keep a record of the figures issued by the National Office of Statistics.
On Thursday 27 January this year, the day Johnson lifted all restrictions - to the alarm of many in the scientific and medical communities - the 7-day average for daily new coronavirus cases was 90,900. There were 1,651 new coronavirus admissions to hospital and 16,510 patients in hospital with coronavirus; 561 such patients were on ventilation and there were 338 deaths with a 7-day daily average figure of 263 deaths.
For a couple of weeks, this position remained largely unchanged - and then during February the number of new cases began to decline. But so too did the number of tests!
By Tuesday 1 March, the number of new cases of SARS-CoV-2 had reached a 7-day daily average low of 33,139 people - still quite a shock for all those testing positive. Hospital admissions werenow averaging 1,100 a day and the number of patients in hospital with coronavirus was 10,551. Deaths from such infection were averaging 106 people. So still around a thousand people testing positive and over one hundred people dying a day.
Since the beginning of March, there has been a steady increase in cases and in admissions. In time, there will be more people on ventilation and more people dying.
Yesterday, Friday 11 March, the number of new cases had reached over 57,000 and hospital admissions were now over 1,350. The number of hospital patients with coronavirus had risen to 11,954. The 7-day average for daily deaths is recorded as 104.
|The awful reality of drawing the short straw in the coronavirus lottery|
This is a story that will get more coverage in the national media, even as the Ukraine crisis dominates. There will come a point when restrictions will have to be reintroduced to prevent the NHS from cracking completely. Oh my! What a way to run a country. This is misgovernment of the first order. This is social murder.
Here by way of postscript is my personal account of yesterday's excursion by foot into Fore Street in St Ives, Cornwall, my home town. I needed to go to the post office at the far end of the street, the Crypt Gallery end. My mask was firmly in place. As I turned the corner into Fore Street, I passed a woman who said in a loud voice: 'You don't need to wear that anymore. The virus has gone off to Russia!' I said nothing and carried on. Not one of the scores of people I passed going to and from the Post Office - nor inside it - was wearing a mask, bar one who was putting her mask on as I approached.
When will we ever learn?