Sunday Blog 27: Covid Crisis: Confidence Falters

Suddenly the back to normal by Christmas theme has vanished. While yet far from a wave, there is certainly a Covid surge in parts of Europe and in England, mainly in the North. Boris, minus some of his bounce, cancels at little more than a moment’s notice, most of the extra restrictions which were to be rolled back yesterday. This caused confusion, upset and hurt as plans at every level had to be cancelled, including the reopening of businesses on the edge of survival without revenue. The Chief Medical Officer warns that we may now be at the edge of how far we can go in reversing lockdown until an effective virus is universally available. There is even talk that pubs might have to close in order to guarantee schools can reopen as planned.

At the heart of this mess lies the Boris machine of government of unsuitable people, who most of the time barely know what they are doing. They locked down far too late but opened up too early. Now they are caught in a maelstrom of rising R-rate, regional and local spikes, mounting economic pressure and fear of a no deal Brexit. The trumpeted track and trace, inexplicably led by someone with well known form on failure, is exasperating local political and health leaders for its delays and being slow to share meaningful data. Moreover instead of building a programme on the excellent foundation of the local and regional public health structures, for whom tack and trace is part of their daily agenda in normal times, the government has gone down the crony road to the outsourcing conglomerates, whose ability to deliver quality outcomes on time and on budget is tantamount to nil.

Boris is now in trouble. It is his own fault. People have stopped believing him. Starma stalks him down the political corridors. Too many of the public, especially the young, are now ignoring him. The vagaries of his presentations and their lack of critical detail are beginning to jar. Putting his friends in the House of Lords, including his brother and a Russian Oligarch, has hardly helped. Boris may once again bounce back. But then again he might not. If you observe him closely, most of the bounce has gone.

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