80,868 dead from Covid and no sign of slowing down.
3,017,409 infections (worldometers.info)
The masquerade is still economy before health, which appears to translate as, ‘keep going to work, keep getting paid, then we Your Betters, can put in as little support as possible to look after you during the pandemic’.
(‘You can revive the economy, but you can’t resurrect the dead.’ John McDonnell).
Theresa May’s government (in which de Pfeffel held senior positions) failed to prepare for the pandemic. ‘Exercise Cygnus’ was a three-day, pandemic preparedness exercise conducted in October 2016. Based on an influenza pandemic, it nonetheless highlighted shortfalls within the UK healthcare system: not enough doctors, nurses, beds, ventilators or PPE. A senior former government source, who had direct involvement with it said the findings were deemed “too terrifying” to be revealed (bylinetimes.com, 11.4.20). The findings were also buried because Our Betters needed to hide the devastating effects of their ideological championing of austerity since coming to power in 2010. The findings of Exercise Cygnus were not acted upon neither by May nor de Pfeffel’s governments, so Plague Island entered this pandemic with those precise shortages. How this alone was allowed to slide, I do not know.
Our Beloved Leader delayed the first lockdown in March 2020. This directly contributed to the initial spread of the disease here. He allowed major sporting events to happen as the virus was taking hold. He said on national television (the ‘This Morning’ show) that the virus should sweep through the UK population and that we should ‘take it on the chin.’ There was the idea of herd immunity floated around as well, but that was supposedly canned after scientists projected that we could see 250,000 deaths from Covid. (I say ‘supposedly’ because as you are about to see, the pandemic here has been handled horrendously; a cynical mind could suppose that the pursuit herd immunity never actually got knocked on the head).
Despite what he, or Matt Hancock, Plague Island’s Health/Death Secretary says, a ‘protective ring’ most definitely was not thrown around care homes for our elderly residents, care workers and those deemed most at risk from Covid. 20,000 dead there so far.
An abysmal test, track and trace system that has cost, in all, around £22 billion so far. It started. It stopped. It started again. It is still not good enough. It is so mistrusted by the public that it had to be rebranded as NHS Test and Trace (that’s how it is referred to here on Plague Island), but it is actually run by Serco.
Which brings us to crony capitalism: billions of pounds-worth of contracts are given to their mates, often without being tendered. The Independent reported that a company or individual has a one-in-ten chance as opposed to a one-in-one-hundred chance of getting a contract if the company or individual had links to senior Tories. The majority of Plague Islanders are onto it, believing this to be corruption (The Independent, 22.12.20). For example, Serco is a giant, private multi-national corporation handling test-and-trace. Serco’s CEO is Rupert Soames, the brother of former Tory MP Nicholas Soames (sure that’s just a coincidence). Serco’s governing principle is profit; not what is best for people. It is failing to deliver the kind of testing and tracing system that is necessary to halt this pandemic on Plague Island.
Our Beloved Leader’s much-beloved advisor, Dominic Cummings, broke lockdown rules. Cummings was allowed to give a televised statement from the Rose Garden at 10 Downing Street (of all places! He was officially an advisor – not an elected minister – so this was unprecedented) to explain why: something to do with driving miles to test his eyesight, following his ‘parental instincts’, and having a bit of a play in a private bluebell wood. It was farcical, but Our Beloved Leader lovingly stood steadfastly by him. I think this is when public trust broke, and public lockdown compliance nosedived. You could feel the change.
Constant u-turns and vascillations: go out/don’t go out/eat at home/eat out to help out/stay home/unless you can’t/don’t use public transport/unless you must/schools are safe/go to school/schools are not safe/don’t go to school/leave schools open/close the schools/open to a few children/open to more children if they don’t have online access/but only if they’re over 5 years old/the virus is spreading/it’s your fault for not following the rules.
Governing by a ‘Quad’ i.e. bypassing ministers and local government to rule with just him and four other senior ministers. When the group is so toxic that even Sajid Javid can’t work with them, you know what a bad idea this must be. Former Heath Secretary Jeremy Hunt often sounds reasonable these days. This is how far to the right Plague Island has lurched.
Not supporting the wearing of face masks to slow the spread of the disease until July 2020.
Now, if you’re still with us, please continue to read Catalogue of Catastrophe: Part II.
Thank-you for reading so far.
~ L&A 9.1.21 ~