The Tories will blame our kids for COVID

So education secretary Gavin Williamson, the Tories answer to Frank Spencer has been putting it out there that kids mustn’t get carried away when they return to school, in order to be able to return to normal, get their education and not promote another COVID surge. Has he ever met a child?

This is buck passing on an industrial scale by Gavin Williamson – if COVID cases rise then it’ll be the kids fault according to him. Nothing to do with the fact he has removed all mitigations in schools ahead of their return despite still being in the grip of the pandemic, still being Plague Island and cases already on the rise around the country. 300 under 18’s are getting hospitalised each week, 14,000 kids are getting infected daily, thousands developing long COVID with little understanding right now as to the long term consequences of developing this additional complication.

Schools have been closed for 6 weeks, that’s 6 weeks that the government could’ve been implementing ventilation measures, air scrubbing measures, all ahead of kids returning to school. They could reintroduce mask wearing, social distancing, but no, we’re back to the whole hand washing routine again, once more skirting over the fact this is an airborne virus and with the more infectious Delta variant now dominant, this is an even greater issue than it was before. The biggest hand washing exercise is the Tories washing their hands of this issue, to our detriment.

Williamson has also laid the blame at the feet of parents if they send kids in ill. Well, the tests we do at home are not particularly accurate anyway, so relying on them is asking for trouble full stop, but besides that, if kids have to be kept at home and families have to isolate again, what financial support is there to help people stay home? Your government is removing it all! There’s no more shielding, furlough is due to end at the end of September, it has already been reduced. No more additional measures for the immunosuppressed, no more special measures or support for those most vulnerable. No more contact tracing, no bubbles, no isolation for close contacts. You’ll literally be better informed if there’s an outbreak of nits in a class than a case of COVID. There’s a complete abdication of responsibility for this pandemic in government right now. The ONS is reporting that 1 in 40 school age children are infected.

Mask wearing and social distancing should never have been rolled back on, we’ve seen 160,000 people in this country die since the pandemic began and still it doesn’t seem to be enough for the Tories. Johnson has decided a 1000 deaths a week is a price worth paying and with Delta infecting younger people more readily, we are already seeing this demographic driving infection and yes, we’ve had 2 individuals in the age 10-19 bracket tragically die of COVID in the last week. Other countries are vaccinating over 12’s, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is still dragging its feet over this, they’re still not committed to offering a second jab to 16 and 17 year olds, which I’ve still seen no evidence to support, given we’ve all known from the start these vaccines are given over 2 shots. But the fact remains we’ve a government still set on herd immunity rather than zero COVID, still believing its better to try and live with this virus rather than invest in ventilation and vaccination in the biggest vectors of transmission we have – our schools.

Given they’re already pushing blame onto others they know what is going to unfold. I mentioned Johnson’s 1000 deaths a week before, but with English schools still to open, we’ve seen over the last 7 days there have been 805 deaths. We’re already nearly at that point. The schools reopening without any mitigations, I daren’t contemplate how bad things will get this time around. Talk in recent days has already turned to the need for vaccine boosters because we know on their own the vaccines are not enough, they aren’t 100% and with each variant that pops up, another variant of Delta has been identified off the back of the recent Boardmasters Festival in Newquay for example, the vaccines become less effective at blocking transmission and preventing serious illness. Yet we’re now being advised if we’re double jabbed, we don’t need to isolate.

When this all blows up again over the course of the next month, do not let the government get away with blaming others, with blaming you or your kids. They want to move on and get back to normal, but without dealing with COVID properly, as other nations have done; without a proper plan for Zero COVID, we’re never going to be able to return to normal because we cannot live with this virus. We’ll be playing catch-up permanently as it continues to evolve, locking down every few months, our kids education being messed around still and no, it will not be our fault, or our kids. The blame must sit squarely with the Tories and their fault refusal to do what they need to and put people before profit.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

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New hospital lies from the Tories

Earlier this week we had the spectacle of new health secretary, Mr irreversible, there’s no going back Sajid Javid, a man with an attitude of ‘if you get covid just walk it off’, a chap with all the empathy & bedside manners of Skeletor, sat on a train to Cumbria saying he’s off to open one of 48 new hospitals. Except he wasn’t.

The whole opening new hospitals schtick that the Tories have been whittering about for a long time now has always failed to materialise and even the additional Nightingale Hospitals opened to deal with increases due to COVID were a scam with no additional staff to run them, they were a political stunt and nothing more. Sadly, PR is more important to the shambles running the country than actually running the country and so Javid’s stunt was readily exposed – by doctors at the very hospital Javid was heading for – a hospital that has very much existed for the last 20 years!

What Javid was off to open was a new unit, a new cancer unit. State of the art yes, a great thing for the hospital and if they’d been honest about it, would have reflected well on the Tories, but instead they went with the enormous fib that it’s a brand new hospital! Worse, when the lie got exposed people will naturally have dug down into the detail and it was quickly picked up on by left wing Labour MP Jon Trickett that the unit was actually ordered in 2017, so actually had nothing to do with Johnson or his team whatsoever.

Trouble is, this is just one example of a very dishonest set of claims regarding new hospitals. Hospitals who have had their layouts changed, had a unit replaced, had a refurb, been merged are all being called new hospitals when that is anything but the truth and most damningly, the government is demanding the NHS implicate itself in this lie by backing the government up and saying they are new hospitals too – they’ve issued guidance on it!

The guidance demands that, and I quote ‘the schemes named in the announcement are not all identical and vary across a number of factors, however they do all satisfy the criteria we set of what a new hospital is and so must always be referred to as a new hospital.’

Now there is a paragraph doing some exceptionally heavy lifting! They vary across a number of factors, yes they do, they are all changes to existing hospitals, but therefore still not new hospitals. ‘They satisfy the criteria we set of what a new hospital is’. Well what criteria is this then? The criteria of, we promised in our manifesto that we’d build 48 new hospitals by the end of the decade and of course we lied about that, we are Tories after all, so lets try and spin our way out of this one! That is essentially what this all is, an exercise in spin to make it look like they’re doing something they actually aren’t and as for the criteria?

Well here you are, here’s a box of plasters, lets call it a new hospital shall we? Here’s a tubular bandage, another brand new hospital, here’s some hearing aid batteries an other hospital there and look, I’ve got my very own NHS trust!

This is literally as honest as any of the claims the Tories have just made and the saddest part of it is, is they’re getting away with it because this story has been woefully underreported because most of our mainstream media, particularly the right-wing rags have not picked it up. Once more it is small, alternative media outlets that have exposed this.

The thing is, for all these supposed new hospitals, many have seen bed reductions, where mergers have taken place, services across the board have been reduced, our health service capacity has been reduced over 11 years of Tory rule and its all happened at the worst possible time. A report out today published via the Lancet Infectious Diseases Medical Journal – so not Tory spin, but proper scientific research, has shown you’re twice as likely to be hospitalised by the Delta COVID variant, than the original alpha strain. We’re already seeing cases of COVID rise, particularly in places where schools have already returned and where there have been large gatherings, Newquay for example here in Cornwall is riddled with COVID right now off the back of Boardmasters, Deaths are already back above 100 a day nationally and apparently Johnson considers 1000 deaths a week an acceptable number to keep the country open. How sick of him to put a value on human life – you can bet he wouldn’t value his own as such. If one of these 1000 a week was a member of your family would you consider their death to be for the good of the economy? The vast majority of schools haven’t gone back yet, the government has put no mitigations in place in them despite them being shut for weeks, so you know what is going to happen next.

If you voted for the Tories on the back of their promise to build 48 new hospitals, you were lied to. They want the NHS gone, the pandemic is giving them cover to do it since the additional strain its under excuses their claims that it is unfit for purpose. Fact is they’ve underfunded it, underequipped it and understaffed it for 11 years and just as we may all need it most, it’s at its lowest ebb. It’s what the Tories always do, the NHS has never and will never be safe in their hands, so stop voting for them.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

New Zealand lockdown in force.

The New Zealand response to the COVID crisis has been one that should be held up as the gold standard in COVID responses. In response to a single case, now risen to 31, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern once again shuts the country down. Stamping it out at every opportunity has meant that her country has suffered only 26 fatalities since COVID first appeared. Why have other countries, including us in the UK, not learned from what they’ve proved works?

An unvaccinated man from  Auckland, New Zealand had tested positive for the Delta variant. Considered infectious since the 12th August, he was identified on the 17th August and from midnight that night, the whole country was put straight into level 4 of lockdown, the strictest level of lockdown they have. Schools shut, everyone stays home except for medical treatment, exercise or to collect essential shopping. All work ceases except for essential workers. The virulence of the Delta variant means this one identified case has now become 31, which, compared to UK stats, is absolutely nothing, awful as our response has been but given New Zealand has become renowned around the world for eliminating COVID and keeping it that way, how has it got in?

If you want to visit New Zealand these days, you have to jump through some serious hoops. Only New Zealand residents and their families can enter, along with Australian residents who’s main residence in in New Zealand, certain people due to their work – air travel workers for instance and people from places designated quarantine free zones, which basically only covers Australia and a few South Pacific islands.

Everybody else has to go through 14 days of Managed Isolation or Quarantine, their MIQ system. You need to have tested negative before departure. Upon arrival you must spend 14 days in isolation and you have to have arranged a placement in an MIQ facility before you leave for New Zealand too. They won’t let you on the plane without proof of this! It’s not a case of going where you want and holing up, they want to make sure you’re isolating so you go to a facility before you go anywhere else. You get tested repeatedly. If you test positive, you move to a quarantine facility, if you continue to test negative, you do your isolation period and are then free to go wherever you choose. These border controls have meant that despite seeing Delta variants show up at their borders – these MIQ facilities – since June, not until now have they had an outbreak of this variant, they’ve successfully kept the country clear. So what happened?

Well the outbreak has been linked through genome sequencing to New South Wales, Australia. Although Australia is in a quarantine free zone, this was suspended back in July as a precaution due to rising cases there, so its not a clear picture at all as to how this has happened, though the Australian island of Tasmania was not restricted from being a quarantine free zone at the same time as the mainland, so it may have come through there, before that route was closed off as well.

What has happened is of those 31 cases, 19 have been linked, the remainder remain under investigation and 1189 contacts have already been identified, all in the space of some 48 hours.

Compare that to here in the UK. 36,572 new cases on the 19th August. Cases rising again even before schools return for most of us. No masks required, no social distancing, everyone back to work, no mitigations being put in place in schools before they return, so expect cases to rise even further and faster with all the consequences we know that brings as we head into another COVID winter. ‘Oh but the vaccine will protect us’ people will cry. Well with still only 75% of the adults in the UK double vaccinated, still nobody under the age of 16 vaccinated, and we’re only now starting to vaccine 16 and 17 years olds, but only with one dose! We’re still seeing hospital admissions and we’re still seeing people dying. None of the vaccines are 100%, on their own they are not sufficient so if you consider that good enough, then you’re a sociopath in my book. 36,572 versus 31. Jacinda Ardern vs Boris Johnson. Don’t tell me what we’re doing in the UK is good enough.

We could’ve adopted what they’ve done in New Zealand, we’re an island nation too. Just because our population is a lot bigger shouldn’t be an excuse not to, it should be a reason to move faster and its an advantage over nations with land borders we could’ve used to our advantage. One of the most incompetent and stupefying aspects of our COVID response from the start was the sheer lack of travel restrictions. We basically threw COVID the red carpet.

Of course Ardern has her critics – they’re puerile, but they’re there. The most common one is that New Zealanders are prisoners in pursuit of Zero Covid. She hasn’t just pursued zero COVID, she’s achieved it. I have no doubt she’ll achieve it again and once more New Zealanders will be able to ditch their masks, ditch social distancing, go out to eat, to the cinema and socialise in all the ways we used to, but they can do so safe in the knowledge nobody is going to catch COVID. Sounds pretty freeing to me.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.