Corona Thoughts

 

Letters, emails and tweets - to the government, MPs and others.

I live in hope that if enough people express their views calmly and rationally this will contibute to the decision-making. 

 

 

 

Serious error of judgement                                         20/6/20

 

FAO: Matt Hancock and Chris Whitty

 

Reducing social distancing from 2m to 1m would be a serious error of judgement at present. The infection rate is far, far too high. Government policy must be lives before livelihoods however painful this is for businesses and the economy. Businesses can be restored lives cannot.

I'm concerned to hear that other countries have seen spikes since relaxing lock downs and social distancing.

 

Alan Kerr

 

No reply necessary

 

Keep 2 metre rule                                                          13/6/20                                                                            

To various MPs

 

Could PAs please ensure your MP sees this. It is urgent and vitally important. Many thanks.

 

I urge you not to support changing the social distancing rule from 2 metres to one. There is a lot of pressure to do this from some businesses and from the media and it must be resisted. It is because we have tried to carry on as usual with the economy and normal life that our country has such an appalling, totally avoidable, and deeply tragic mortality rate – the second worst per capita in the world.

Preserving human life must always come before protecting the economy. The latter can be restored, human life cannot. We cannot restore tens of thousands of lost lives but we can at least strive to reduce the existing horrific mortality rate – sadly equivalent to two Hillsborough disasters a day.   

 

People and many businesses are now used to the 2 metre distance and, except for too many idiots, seem to keep to it. Changing it to 1 metre would send out the signal that virtually no social distancing is required as this is more or less the normal distance we keep apart.

The science says to keep it and we must follow this advice. Other countries can choose to be more relaxed about the rule because they have a low infection rate and have not suffered the carnage we have.

 

On the subject of the economy every country in the world was always going to see a huge reduction in productivity and it is totally pointless making comparisons with other financial crises. We all want to see a recovery but it must be to an economy which is designed to deliver a far more equitable society than we presently have and one which is less materialistic and consumption driven. Such a society will bring a higher quality of life for everyone not a lower quality of life.

 

Alan Kerr

 

 

No balance to be struck                                                        25/5/20

 

Sent to various MPs

 

To everyone who believes there is a balance to be struck between protecting lives, protecting jobs, protecting the economy, protecting normal daily life and protecting leisure pursuits:

I hope you will reflect deeply and seriously about this viewpoint for this reason:

Jobs can be restored, the economy can be restored, normal daily life can be restored, leisure pursuits can be restored BUT … HUMAN LIVES CANNOT BE RESTORED.

It is because society and the government did not grasp, and still has not grasped, this fundamental fact and moral imperative, that we have suffered such appalling and tragic carnage – the third worst in the world.

THERE IS NO BALANCE TO BE STRUCK.

I know politicians particularly will always attempt to justify their actions and will rarely admit to being wrong but they will surely know what the objective verdict of history will be on this government. I will not spell it out.

 

PS The main reason Dominic Cunnings, along with his fellow advisers, should go is because he has contributed to this carnage.

 

 

The moral case                                                                        3/5/20

 

Dear Boris

 

The moral case

 

I know you will agree with me that the highest moral duty we have, both as individuals and collectively as a society, is to protect the lives of our fellow human beings. It follows that this must also be the highest moral duty of our government and decision-makers.

I am sure we can save many lives if we have a period of much more intensive lockdown before some of the present restrictions are lifted. We must stop managing the carnage and instead attempt to reduce it dramatically however uncomfortable it will continue to be for all of us, myself included.

I believe you are able to offer the leadership and statesmanship to be able to persuade the British public that it is their moral duty to do their utmost to save the lives of their fellow citizens including, of course, front-line workers in the NHS, care homes, food provision and essential services - all of whom we can never repay enough for the work they are doing.

All non-essential activities and movements must therefore be halted in order to achieve a significant reduction in the mortality rate. It is simply not necessary to deliver chocolates and garden plants to households or to buy a can of paint at B and Q. All the processes involved in being able to do these things are putting lives at risk.

I urge you and your advisers to act in the interests of the whole nation and make the unarguable moral case for a period of more discomfort.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

The only way to reduce the carnage                                    22/4/20                    

 

Letter to MPs                                                            

 

Dear ...

 

The only way to reduce the appalling carnage caused by the virus is to move to an almost total lockdown. Talk of relaxing or ending the lockdown is dangerously misguided.

There should be no discussion of plateaus but the utmost determination to bring about a steep downward curve immediately. This is obvious COMMON SENSE and we don’t need graphs and charts to support it.

Only NHS staff, carers and essential workers in the private and public sectors should be allowed to do their work and move about. Food and provisions should either be delivered or collected from collection points with definitely no more non-essential deliveries to people’s homes such as chocolates or plants for the garden. And we certainly don’t need junk mail or even newspapers.

For my other thoughts on Corona, especially on how to solve easily the gridlocked supermarket grocery delivery system, please visit:

https://www.quercuspublications.co.uk/corona_thoughts.html

Yours sincerely

 

 

Let's have a more complete lockdown                                 12/4/20

 

FAO: Prime Minister, COBRA members, and advisers

 

Surely the best way to reduce the carnage and save lives is to implement an almost total lockdown with just NHS staff, carers and essential workers in the private and public sectors being allowed to do their work and move about. Food and provisions should either be delivered (see previous note) or collected from collection points. And definitely no more non-essential deliveries to people’s homes.

There should be no more talk of plateaus or relaxing restrictions. We need the highest possible expectations of everyone and should be talking about downward curves and dramatically reducing casualties.

As I mentioned previously celebrities and well-known people from every walk of life should be enlisted to urge everyone to accept a more complete lockdown.

Plus all dads and mums should be appealed to for support however old their children - in their forties or fifties even.

Government advice about handling and cleaning items brought into the house should be provided also.

 

 

Latest letter to my MP re the gridlocked home delivery system    3/4/20

 

Solution to the gridlocked home delivery system

 

FAO John Penrose, MP and others

 

Dear John

 

The home delivery system is still totally gridlocked as I’m sure you know. The logistics sections of the military should have been brought in a few weeks ago to sort it out.

But as that has not happened here is a simple solution:

Instead of people going onto a website and bagging the next available slot – if they are lucky enough to be able to do this – everyone should now be allocated their slot by the supermarket or food store they wish to use. This way stores will be able to rationalise their routes by delivering to one neighbourhood at a time.

Stores should be asked to do 5 deliveries an hour from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. We will always be indebted to those who work on these deliveries.

If one van can do 60 deliveries a day then 40 vans can do 2400. I don’t know how many vans are available in Weston from the larger stores and home deliverers but it could well be more than 40. If Aldi, Lidl, the Coop, Happy Shopper and others could find suitable transport it would be considerably more.

However, assuming 2400 deliveries a day that means that every two and a half weeks(18 days), 43200 households can be reached. That’s a lot of households.

If the system is changed to something like this there should not be a problem with home deliveries. I urge you, please, to persuade the government to take action along these lines immediately,

Best wishes

 

 

*************** 

 

This was a letter to my MP expressing my concern about the way the government handled the crisis initially:

 

Dear John

 

Like many other people I am very, very concerned that the government’s approach to dealing with the Corona Virus outbreak is seriously misguided. I acknowledge that I could be wrong but equally the government should acknowledge the same.

 

I have been utterly bewildered at the logic of the discussion about different phases in the spread of the virus and moving from one phase to the next. Common sense, often more useful I suspect than big data and computer modelling, surely dictates that there is only one phase that matters – the overall phase of limiting the spread and eventually trying to eliminate the virus altogether.

 

The so-called second phase we have entered has seen the introduction of the concept of herd immunity to the discussion. I am sure this is an extremely important factor in infection control but in the present context it has appalling implications.

 

If Patrick Valance wants 60% of the population to get the virus in order to develop herd immunity and if the mortality rate is, as I have heard on the BBC news, at least 1%, simple maths tells us that 400, 000 people are going to die of it. Such a strategy is not only totally unacceptable it is insane.

 

I cannot help wondering if some of the thinking behind the policy arises from an admittedly understandable concern to minimise disruption to the economy and to our way of life. Sadly the economy, and therefore individual people, will take time to recover and some people are going to be much more affected than others. This, however, should not be our present priority and in my view having the budget last week was wholly inappropriate except of course for the measures to support those suffering financial difficulties.

 

As for disrupting our normal lives it is already doing this, and more so in other countries. There will inevitably be more disruption but not going to a football match or not having a drink in the pub is not a huge sacrifice to make in order to keep the virus at bay.

 

I hope the prime minister is not misreading history if, as an authority on Churchill, he is thinking back to events from the past. There are two great lessons from the experience of both world wars when the challenge facing our own and other countries was far greater than that of today. One is the incredible resilience and courage shown by those who were affected especially those were engaged in the fighting and who made the supreme sacrifice. The other is the fact that people may have kept calm and carried on – but definitely not as normal. Ordinary life was completely turned upside down.

 

I am encouraged that the British public is not following the advice of the government and is sensibly taking action to limit gatherings at sporting and other events where it must be obvious to all of us there is a possibility we could be infected by those close by at the actual event or as we travel to it.

 

Like everyone else I am not an expert but surely we can do much, much more than just wash our hands however essential this still is. So far government policy has clearly failed to slow the rate of infection so another strategy must be put in place – one that does not involve wiping out hundreds of thousands of people.

 

I suggest everyone should be told to do as much social distancing as possible and only come into contact with other people if absolutely necessary. Everyone should immediately be issued with a supply of effective masks and instructed on how to use them properly. Schools and universities should be closed and if this means exams are cancelled that would be no great loss to anyone. Non-urgent hospital appointments should be postponed.

 

Shopping by delivery should be greatly increased especially to the elderly and infirm. There should be no foreign travel for the moment and anyone returning from abroad should be monitored for at least two weeks.

 

We have to do more now. When we know the cost to the economy we can do something about this such as cancelling HS2 and other infrastructure projects. There would be nothing wrong in putting up income tax to support the economy and those suffering financial hardships.

 

Our absolute prime focus must be to slow the spread of the disease immediately and reduce, not increase, the number of infections. This is what other countries are doing and some appear to have done it successfully. The prime minister is gambling and it is time he changed course.

 

It is time, also, to put aside party politics and have a government of national unity, one which will welcome all constructive ideas about how to deal with the crisis and consider them on their merits.

 

*************** 

 

13/3

If he (Patrick Valance) wants 60% of the population to get the virus in order to develop herd immunity and if the mortality rate is 1% simple maths tells us that 400, 000 people are going to die of it. This is INSANE.

Your thoughts please Evan.

 

13/3

Just off to the milking parlour to give some milk and develop some herd immunity.

 

13/3

Thank goodness football and other sports bodies have more sense than the government.

 

13/3 Mark Mardell

You were not challenging enough with your interviewee who supported herd immunity. Questions should have been: what will be the overall mortality, where is the empirical evidence for it rather than computer modelling and why aren't other countries doing it?

 

 

13/3

Absolutely agree. Thank goodness rugby authorities have more sense than the government.

 

14/3

Irresponsible to have held conference. You are leaders. I despair that you are worrying about exams which are trivial by comparison with what is happening. You should be closing schools, advising on home learning and ensuring students have grasped their ethical responsibilities.

 

 

15/3

Read my thoughts on the corona emergency – why herd immunity is wrong and the action we must take immediately.

https://www.quercuspublications.co.uk/thoughts_on_51_-_55.html

 

 

17/3

Hope you're OK now, Nadine. Good advice but haven't heard it from PM yet. Plus we need advice for surfaces at home, for handling the post and packages, and for shopping items. We really need to know what to do apart from washing hands.

 

18/3

Urgent.

It's time to cancel PMQs. Party politics is the last thing we need at the moment. Obviously still need calm discussion and debate but within a government of national unity.

Boris and Jeremy should sit next to each other - albeit 6 feet apart.

 

 

20/3/20

 

FAO: name of MP

 

I should be most grateful if you could please read my email to John Penrose and also urge the government to enlist the support of the military immediately. Many thanks.

 

 

John

I’m having great difficulty doing an online supermarket order as I imagine millions of other people are. It’s also totally impossible to communicate with the store locally or nationally. Understandably they are not able to cope.

The situation will get worse so could you please urge the prime minister and government in the strongest possible terms to enlist the help of the military immediately.

The logistics divisions of the armed services will be able to bring some order to the supply of food and essentials to retail outlets and ensure that a home delivery system operates smoothly. They will also be able to do the same for medications.

There is no point in delaying what will surely be inevitable so this action must be taken now.

Best wishes

 

John Penrose, MP

John – I wouldn’t normally be communicating with you regularly because it looks a bit cranky. But I’m still concerned that we need to do more immediately and I’m hoping you can use your influence to bring this about.

I imagine that plans are now underway to use the military to help with logistical problems with health care, and supplies of medication and food. I have a feeling they might also be required very soon to monitor travel restrictions and maybe curfews – both of which would be sensible measures.

But the immediate problem for millions of people all over the country is the gridlock in supermarket home deliveries which I’m sure you are aware of. Medication deliveries I suspect are also pretty gridlocked – I have someone who can pick mine up but not everyone will have this support.

I like to think the relevant government departments are monitoring the home delivery situation and making suggestions to supermarkets such as rationalising their routes, finding more vans and drivers and using taxis. I hope that local government is fully involved in giving support too.

However this won’t be enough and the expertise of the logistics divisions in the military will be required to get good systems in place and probably provide manpower and suitable vehicles. Nobody wants to see this but if it is necessary it should happen immediately.

It would be sensible also to have a government of national unity and to declare a state of emergency – although it might be possible to find a better term.

On this occasion could you please send a brief acknowledgement to say you’ve read this email yourself. I know you receive a mountain of stuff but I hope what I’ve written will be helpful.

Best wishes

 

23/3/20

 

FAO Secretary of State, Ministerial Team and Advisors, Dept Culture, Media and Sport

I think we need a massive media campaign about acting responsibly involving as many well-known celebrities as possible from different activities so that all sections of society and all age groups can be reached. Unfortunately a lot of people are not keen on politicians who seem to be the main source of advice.

We need messages to go out from footballers and sportspeople, rappers and popular musicians, film stars, TV stars, You tube celebs etc etc Essential as it is we must insist on more than just washing hands.

Hope this is helpful.

 

Boris Johnson, advisors and MPs  Date?

 

I welcome the direction the government is now taking.

Perhaps you could also consider the following which I believe are necessary immediately:

Proper hand gel, the most effective face masks and possibly disposable gloves issued to every household with instructions on how to use and dispose of safely. All government ministers to set an example by wearing face masks.

Delivery firms to be instructed to hand wash before every delivery.

Everyone involved in the food chain to be instructed to wash their hands at regular intervals – scientific advisors to decide what this is.

Provide information about how virus can spread on surfaces at home, on letters and packages and on items bought in supermarkets. Issue the best spray available to deal with this – scientists to decide on best spray and work on trying to find something 100% effective.

Advise on how virus can be spread through breathing and what we should do. Ensure everyone is aware it can spread asymptomatically.

Use big data to identify how exactly people have picked up the virus and in what sort of locations.

Use military to help with deliveries to households of food and medication; transporting people to hospital; ensuring government advice is complied with by talking calmly to people and explaining why they should comply; assisting with overall strategic planning and logistics; anything else as required.

Declaring a national emergency.

Abandoning party politics and having a government of national unity.

Requiring local councils to suspend any work that is not essential and concentrate on issues arising from the emergency.

Give tax relief to all those who have to continue to work Ensure they can work and travel to work as safely as possible.

Pay health and care workers a substantial bonus and do as much as possible to ensure their safety.

Immediate support for those who are laid off work

Immediate support for those suffering financial hardship of any sort – from those on benefits to those who have had flood damage.

A special national savings issue for economic recovery for people to put the savings they are making by not going anywhere at present and not booking holidays.

 

23/3/20

 

FAO Prime Minister and advisors

 

The home delivery system is gridlocked here in Weston-s-Mare and I imagine throughout the country. Medication delivery is impossible for all but existing users. We must use logistics divisions of the military immediately to sort out systems and their personnel to assist delivering. Plus get more vehicles – vans, taxis etc. Need  action from local government too.

Brilliant that people in shops, NHS and essential services are working so hard for us. We can never repay them enough.