COVID

I had hoped to be able to stop posting about this, but … . The Delta Variant is becoming dominant world wide and is 60% more transmissible, and twice as likely to put people in hospital. The 4 main vaccines in the UK are said to be between 92 and 96% effective at preventing hospitalisations. But cases are rising in the UK despite it being a world leader in vaccination. The Delta Variant has raised the bar and it is now thought that 85% vaccination is required for herd immunity to have an impact.

So we have to live with it for foreseeable future? I think the results from analysis of crowds at football matches show a worrying trend. The population of the UK is showing excellent attitudes to vaccination (albeit for selfish reasons of wanting to travel abroad!). But if the 20-40 year olds get vaccinated we would hope to see a fall in numbers. Presumably the government gets to see results before the general public, and therefore the trends will be known in about a week by them. If numbers and hospitalisations are still going up there will have to be some difficult decisions made. Jobs, the economy and mental states will all need considering. In a couple of weeks we will have an opportunity to use the school holiday in England and Wales to possibly vaccinate children. Certainly secondary school age – they are the ones who travel and socialise most? Primary School pupils are more likely to be in a local bubble and the vaccine is unlikely to have been tested for this age group yet. So lots of difficult questions for Sajid Javid to ponder. Hopefully he is brighter than door Matt!

I also guess that having the infection, even if not needing hospitalisation will need a degree of isolation, and time off work/school etc. I think there may have been some government recommendations around isolation in schools – do whole year groups get sent home? What does the data say? Tell the anti-lockdown MP’s to shut up – can we please follow the science. I know some hard decisions will have to be made eventually, but hopefully the costs will be minimal.

Countries like Australia and NZ are also worried. Their isolationist programmes have worked so far, but their immunisation programmes are way behind most other developed countries. So I would advise them to get jabbing! And the same is true for other countries – if we wish to continue to exist in this connected world, we need to ensure all countries are jabbing!

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