The pandemic, one year on

From: J WhitlockDuke’s Quay Eastbourne

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 12:51 pm

It is now for just over a year that the virus has been active. We have all been impacted in one way or another, mainly in restrictive and frustrating ways, and, for very many people, finances and careers have been affected.

It can be helpful to sit back for an hour or two and reflect on what might have been learned .

My thoughts on the subject are as follows .

OLDHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 24: A man wearing a protective face mask walks past an illustration of a virus outside Oldham Regional Science Centre on November 24, 2020 in Oldham, United Kingdom. England is continuing its second national coronavirus lockdown. People are still permitted to exercise with one other person, takeaway food is permitted but bars and restaurants are shut for sit-in service. Schools will remain open but people are being advised to work from home where possible and only undertake necessary travel. All non-essential shops are closed with supermarkets and builders' merchants remaining open. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) NNL-201124-145747001

Firstly , the government has been determined, persistent under duress and has generally done well in an unexpected crisis. It has provided massive financial support (though to some it may never seem enough) . It has, however, stuck to the task and its vaccine programme, very nicely accelerated, should largely resolve things . The opposition Parties have been basically irrelevant . The government’s success has , by comparison, shown up the ineptitude and plain nastiness of the EU, an organisation which is failing and should be let to go down the pan .

Secondly , the National Health Service leadership seems ineffective . Britain’s population level has been allowed to rise inexorably to a massive 67 million. NHS leaders have never engineered sufficient spare capacity at the best of times: with coronavirus , its staff are therefore plunged into massive working over-drive, to the detriment of their own well-being. A review of health service senior management effectiveness is clearly indicated .

Thirdly , people described as scientific advisors must surely now be regarded as among the most inept imaginable in terms of motivation . Those people have put forward such a negative, terrifying scenario to the general public. The reality is that the vast majority of people getting the virus do recover from it . Through the ceaseless drip-feed of frightening messages for over one year, those people have crushed the British spirit of optimism and positivity. Just why the government has continued to employ such demotivating people is something I shall never understand .

By contrast locally , our MP, Caroline Ansell, has remained up-beat while such negativity has been beyond her control, and kept to an optimistic and encouraging line in her messages, which has to be the way because the virus was always going to be overcome one way or another .

Lastly , it is time to accept that all the aforementioned has happened, that life goes on, and we all have things to be getting on with. Beyond all of our day ago day duties, another very valid challenge exists which is far more important than some transient virus will ever be: it is the state of the natural environment on which we all rely for survival. Encroachment and the desecration of wild places and nature has to stop , and If there is one issue on which we can all agree, it has to be the need to get our environment and conservation act together.

We should, therefore , support the government’s new ‘green’ initiatives to the full with enthusiasm and willing participation.