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Today, the UK entered its third national lockdown

Today, the UK entered its third national lockdown

Happy New Year!

Many people will say the UK government are inept, irresponsible, slow to act, incompetent, ideologically illiterate, morally bankrupt and negligent in their handling of the pandemic – an unprecedented health crisis which has ravaged the globe, with 1.87m worldwide deaths.

Personally, I believe Johnson is wholly complicit and conscious of his acts. It’s been a deliberate protracted campaign to protect the financial interests of those who made his assent into power possible. As a public servant he is only serving his corporate backers, the political elite, right-wing lobbyists and press media. Over £21.1 billion has been pissed away and given to friends in high places, in closed procurement contracts, for faulty equipment, a dismal track and trace programme and other hospital supplies.

I will go as far to say that his management of the virus is a form of Medical Culpable Homicide. His inactions to date have resulted in 2.39m cases, and 66,626 deaths in England alone (2.77m and 77,305 respectively across the UK), the highest by far in Europe, and by proportion of population, the highest in the world.

This is Genocide!

51,000 new cases were registered in a single day, the highest since the pandemic started. After pressure applied by unions, teachers, scientists, activists, medical professionals and the government’s own SAGE advisors, it still took Boris Johnson over a week to act, shutting the country down again – after sending children back to school (‘vectors of transmission’) for one day!

Moreover, with all exams cancelled, there must be an alternative to the fiasco of predicted grades, teacher assessments and coursework as a measure of academic performance, for those due to sit GCSE’s and A Levels this summer.

A new variant strain of the COVID-19 virus B.1.1.7, was identified in late November 2020, with a higher transmission rate, and more severe symptoms, affecting a greater proportion of the under 20’s – with the potential to overwhelm the NHS (i.e. a level 5 threat is on the horizon). Its safe to assume that those Nightingale Hospitals were just a pricey PR stunt, as insufficient staff means no workers to nurse any over-flow in patient numbers.

Community testing

Around 1 in 3 people have coronavirus without symptoms so could be spreading the virus without knowing, so community testing has been designed to identify these people and make sure they self-isolate.

The tests are Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests, which need to be sent away to a laboratory for analysis.

The test involves a swab from the nose and mouth, which is conducted at home, and performed for each family member. The kit is then returned to your local testing site. You must register your test online, with results known within one to three days via email and text.

Even if you test positive with no symptoms, you should stay at home and self isolate – this applies to all members of your household.

Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. This means that if, for example, your symptoms started at any time on the 15th of the month (or if you did not have symptoms but your first positive COVID-19 test was taken on the 15th), your isolation period ends at 23:59 hrs on the 25th.

Image courtesy of NBC News

Economic impact

As the nation stays at home, barring essential, key and critical workers, the government must act to support businesses, the self-employed, the unemployed, and low income families. In order to avert more poverty, a deeper recession and job insecurity, both the Conservative and Opposition Party must work together and agree a stimulus package that is fit for purpose. Specifically, we need a fiscal plan that will lead to the economic recovery of the country. Thus:

  • A minimum income guarantee i.e. basic universal income for all (financial incentive to stay at home)
  • Statutory Sick Pay commensurate with Living Wage levels
  • Use vacant hotels, hostels and properties to house rough sleepers
  • A laptop, broadband and free data usage for all who qualify
  • Free school meals to all who qualify
  • Maintain the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift
  • On the 4th, the ban to evict tenants came to an end. This must be extended
  • Later this month, applications for the the third tranche of the Self-Employment Income Support grant and Bounce back loan scheme comes to an end. A financial bailout (cash flow injection) should be rolled-out again
  • 31st of January sees the end for mortgage payment holidays. A further extension must be granted
  • Continue the Job Retention scheme beyond April.

Moreover, many industries have been promised financial aid, but to no avail. Firms and supply chains are trying to get to grips with Brexit, and SMEs are trying to figure out how to make workplaces secure once the restrictions are lifted. The ripple effects of the pandemic is being felt by everyone, except Johnson and his degenerate band of delinquents. You can’t have a buoyant and robust economy, if the workforce required are all sick!

There cannot be a choice between health, politics and the economy. All three must be addressed simultaneously.

The new lockdown restrictions come into immediate effect, and must be complied with fully.

Leaving home:

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • Shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • Go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • Exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
  • Meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • Seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • Attend education or childcare – for those eligible

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until the end of the February half term (19th). Early Years settings remain open.

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work

Meeting others:

You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).

You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

Final words

We are still in the woods. Cronyism and corruption has infected our government to no end. The calamitous and reckless way the government has ‘dithered and delayed’ to act responsibly, will be one for the history books. The country is in free fall. The welcome arrival of the vaccine is promising, but we know the roll out will be grueling on the health service. All vulnerable groups, care residents, teachers and NHS staff should be first in line to be immunised. Time will tell if we continue to repeat the mistakes of last year.

Take care, stay home and stay well.


Header image: Johnson getting his temperature taken. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/WPA Pool/Getty Images

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