It is now becoming clear. There is only one way to deal with Covid. Attack it. Go after it. Root it out. Extinguish it. The two countries best known for doing this successfully are New Zealand and China. The majority Western policy of defend by lockdown of varying degrees of severity, offers only respite and at very great economic, social and personal cost. But the pandemic returns as soon as restrictions are eased. So everything depends on treatment and vaccines. Until then we carry on in the twilight world social distancing, bubbles, curfews and closures. Nobody knows for how long, nor what the cost will be. In every sense.
There is an apt analogy from the war, any war in fact. Maybe it springs to my mind because of experience in shelters under falling bombs as a child. When the enemy is overhead or his guns and missiles attack, you can go down into a deep shelter and survive. But when it is safe in a lull to come back to the surface, the enemy has not gone away. It is a matter only of time before the next wave. And every time you return to the surface there is less and less of your world standing. The only way to end the nightmare is to go after the enemy and destroy his ability to bombard you.
The failure of track and trace to fulfil the many promises made by its leaders and promoters in the government, is the single greatest disaster in this sorry UK Covid tale. Yes we are conducting loads of tests, but we are fumbling the results and the follow up. And we have to put this right. £12 billion has been blown on the project already, but we have to press on. And we have to go after the virus. Lockdowns are a shelter, but they are not a solution.
We saw recently how the government in New Zealand locked down the whole country after a second wave of a handful of cases developed. Less well publicised was an outbreak of a dozen cases in one of the Chinese provinces. There was an immediate lockdown and over two weeks the entire affected population of 9 million was tested. All the positives were treated and isolated, all their contacts isolated and repeat tested. The outbreak was stopped. Critically 75% of the positive cases showed no symptoms. Testing only those with symptoms is to be forever playing catch up. You have to test everybody.