The Issue of Schools

SUNDAY 3.1.21

Our beloved leader said schools were safe and to send our children. We were to ignore the teaching unions, scientists and scientific organisations (including SAGE), who had been warning about the risks posed by children mixing in classrooms. 

MONDAY 4.1.21 

Our beloved leader confirms all schools are to close* as children are acting as vectors to spread the virus. 

Now, there are two explanations for this change: 

  1. He and his cabinet are so isolated from facts and science that he did not know of the dangers posed from schools until Monday, despite all the data that has been publicly available for weeks. 
  1. He knew on Sunday of the dangers, but not wanting to be seen to agree with, or bow to the pressure of the unions, decided to take the risk with our children and families by sending them in for a day before making the call to close.  

I am not sure which of the two options I am more fearful about. 

What were told in the months leading up to this most recent UK lockdown had little, if any, foundation in scientific evidence. This is terrifying. The recommendation for a two-week ‘firebreak’ was implemented too late, and then restrictions didn’t go far enough to contain the spread. The Tier System was created so we could simultaneously have a lockdown and not have a lockdown. It’s like living in Orwell’s 1984. Schools had already been identified as driving the spread of the virus (UK curve began rising for a second time from September 2020), but they’ve only just been closed.  

We’ve just had the Christmas break, where families from two households were able to ‘bubble’ on Christmas Day, after being promised for weeks before that 5 households could bubble, which was changed literally days before Santa came to town. The rules often change rapidly – this is the only thing Johnson’s cabinet actually do quickly. It’s the only thing they do consistently. Everything else, everything important, is done late, is u-turned, or not made clear and is even contradictory. Everything carries a caveat: ‘with a world-beating track and trace’, ‘with a fair wind in our sails’, ‘when the moon is highest …’ 

Just constantly empty, meaningless, broken promises. The more cynical part of me would think this is deliberate.  

Most disturbingly perhaps, is that Johnson and his government have been entrusted with our safety and well-being. He is the Prime Minister, who is supposed to look after the inhabitants of the country. With telling parents “there is no doubt in my mind that schools are safe”, he insisted that we send our children to school. The very next day he closed all of them* until mid-February at the earliest.  

What could have changed so much in those few hours? I can’t think of anything except Boris Johnson has deceived this country. It’s not the first time (Brexit; “oven-ready deal”; Operation Moonshot) and it won’t be the last time. What could be more serious than this? 

*Not nurseries and early years settings. 

~ L&A 5.1.21 ~ 

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