Our ministers do one thing and instruct us to do another. They have become ‘yes’ men in the respect that they no longer consider things thoroughly and continue to behave a certain way regardless of the hypocrisy of their actions.
So I’m more than a little confused by covid19 advice and strategy here in the UK and Ireland…and I’m not the only one. The death rates are still rising but we are in lock down, essentially and our death rates are some of the highest in the world. The current death rates reported do not include the hundreds of people who have died in the community only those who have died in hospital.
In the UK we have a national health service. As citizens we contribute to the NHS when we work. The government takes some of our earnings to put towards the health service. However, the service, rightly so, is available to those that need it. As a consequence a nation of 63 billion has a health service which services over 100 billion patients.
The strain upon the service is severe. It has been struggling for decades with mismanagement, badly informed and implemented policies as well as chronic under funding, lack of accountability and massive preferential programs amounting to discrimination.
That being said there is a strategy in place to combat flu. Every year, before flu season (Dec-Mar) those in need get an anti influenza vaccine..fondly known as ‘the flu jab’. This year this program was rolled out to children. Those under five were given the vaccine as they were referred to as ‘super spreaders’.
Now historically this vaccine hurts after you’ve had it. I have it every year. Historically, this jab will make my arm swell and be painful for a week, sometimes longer.
However, when I got my flu jab for this season, several things were different.
I’ll explain, one reason was that the needle and vial weren’t the same. This time it was very small and came out of a multi-pack and triangular in shape. Previously it was a cylindrical syringe and large needle type, coming in it’s own independent packaging.
The second thing was that it didn’t hurt as much as usual and I wasn’t asked which arm.
Third, it was done communally. All patients due the jab attended one Saturday morning, We queued up in a row and went in one by one, one after the other. Just like getting a school inspection. So, I was able to see all the other people having it.
And the fourth, most striking thing, was there was not a sign I’d had it. No swelling, no pain throughout my injected arm, no little lump under the skin, nothing at all. It struck me as odd and I mentioned it to my daughter, who is a health care worker.
“Ah”, she said, “They’ve just given you the weak one.” She went to explain that for some patients now they only get the strong one every five years, the one which combats pneumonia. I looked into this and couldn’t find a policy for this, I did find this though…
Now our ministers are just as capable of reading as I am and it is their job. You’d think they would do the research. However, they are following WHO guidelines, so they say.
But I have come across realms of evidence from nhs doctors and consultants saying that the new strains of corona viruses coming up in 2017 and 2018 were putting strain on hospital resources and vaccination was failing. The media also reported several stories over the last few years….2019 was worse for flu deaths..it was going to be before covid19.
So it begs some questions, namely, “Why didn’t they listen and invest? Why didn’t they work on making sure we had the resources to cope with the coming pandemic?Why did they give the whole nation less protection against flu than they usually do?
The situation is still unfolding in the UK. I live near an ambulance response unit site in Greater London and can tell you that they are busy. I personally have known people who have now died from covid19.
Last week I was telephone support for someone who witnessed a man in his forties dying in a bus stop. She was distraught. She had tried to help. He was on all fours gasping for breath. She said it looked like he was drowning on the pavement. He was so blue, with lack of oxygen, she couldn’t see what race he was.
We know in England and across the world that illness is not a joke. Health is not something to be played around with. Vaccines are not like money on a waste sheet – clinics and hospitals are not banks and businesses.
The news this morning that our Prime Minister is out of intensive care, having been a victim of covid19, is welcome. We are all glad that he is looking like he will recover from his infection.
Some, myself amongst them, would say he is lucky. He got a covid19 test and the best support and advice. He knew what he was dealing with. Most NHS care workers and staff have not yet been tested and are working without knowing.