Does Boris plan to turn the population in England into an army of virus slayers?

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Fatality rates

By Russell Bruce

The new message for England speaks in nonsense riddles. Stay alert? Control the Virus?

As the stats in our headline graphics show England is in no position to rush ahead in loosening the lockdown strategy. Johnson’s Brexit government is obsessed with ideas of control and totally unable to grasp that they have no real control over future European cooperation or any ability to face down a virus on a relentless mission. Herd immunity could become herd slaughter. A stiff upper lip doesn’t do it.

The message from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is always clear. It is always honest because she and the epidemic specialists advising her are making it clear that despite the huge amount of research being carried out around the world, a great deal is still not known about a highly sophisticated virus that seems able to target particular weaknesses an infected individual might have.

The idea that people should go out to control a virus that is on the hunt for them is preposterous. There is no normal until the pandemic is finally seen off and there is no conclusive sign of that, especially in Europe and the US.

We know people can have the virus and are therefore infectious before they actually show symptoms. Health professions are increasing concerned that this pre-symptom period appears to be the time when they are most infectious and most likely to pass the virus on with serious potential for the R rate increasing. This is not the time to ease restrictions unless new controls are put in place to allow for modest changes.

Europe is ahead of where the UK is. There has been a massive cost in terms of lives and to the economy to this point in time. The lockdown strategy, certainly in Scotland, is showing some small encouraging signs. It indicates a trajectory we need to see consolidated before lifting some restrictions. Taking chances with people’s lives is not an option for a government that cares for the well-being of the population.

Newsnet backs the First minister in the use of face coverings and advocates more use of masks for essential workers in the supply chain and also for those out for exercise and essential shopping.