This summer, the government has done absolutely nothing to prepare schools, the NHS and communities for the coming autumn COVID wave nor has it got any plans for the subsequent winter COVID wave, a health expert explains.
First published: August 2022.
Dr Stephen Griffin, Virologist at the University of Leeds, Member of Independent SAGE:
“I heard recently that “marketing” boosters this autumn may be scaled back... It’s September in a few days and English schools are back next week... already in Scotland.
“It’s reassuring that summer was spent wisely, preparing for a winter of COVID and flu, with extra support for the NHS? (sic)
“Guidance at present seems limited to use of additional 70s wool-based garments in lieu of a sustainable energy policy... What will happen when a resurgent BA5 variant, or the next COVID instalment, plus the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), hit schools and deprived populations unable to pay for heat? Clapping won’t cut it... 🤬💔😢
“Again, as with all things, those least able to cope will suffer most. Clinically vulnerable, socio-economically vulnerable, all far lower on the list of priorities than squabbling over votes from an insanely polarised minority of the UK population... Democracy, anyone?
“The total lack of any planning communicated by the government to safeguard against both infectious and other challenges, or to increase protections for children in school while they trade insults is just pathetic. Why isn’t there a plan for the winter? ANY ideas? I expect the recalling of SAGE might be interesting... 😱
“Without sounding too “powerful” (🤪), a reminder that prevalence will pick up again as behaviour changes, that it takes time to both roll out and make a response to a vaccine, and over 20% of the population, mainly children, remain unprotected... and then there’s the flu.
“If the NHS can survive its fourth and potentially fifth “winter” of 2022, then I will be in even greater awe of healthcare workers than previously... if it cannot, we know who to blame...
“If Europe can control energy prices and inflation, why can’t we? Almost as if we’re somehow outcasts for some reason... 🤔🤦♂️”
— AUTHORS —
▫ PMP News reporting
- Text: This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 30 August 2022. | The expert writes in a personal capacity.
- Cover: Flickr/Number 10. (Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)