Corona Thoughts 3

 

More 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.

 

Apologies for entries not being in chronological order. I've deleted quite a few names.

 

For more Covid comment see:

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

 

16/4/21

Only ethical issue in compulsory vaccination of care home workers is protecting the lives of residents. Would have saved many lives if done in January. Must be done immediately.

 

16/4/21

Travel to and from UK must be kept to an ABSOLUTE MINIMUM at present, only permitted for urgent personal reasons. Danger from variants poses a real risk. We must learn the lessons from last summer.

 

7/4/21

I just ask those who protest at their loss of liberty because of restrictions, or possible Covid certificates, to think about the ultimate loss of liberty suffered by 150,000 plus people who have died and the loss of liberty suffered by hundreds of thousands of their loved ones.

 

10/3/21

Chris Whitty absolutely right to warn of dangers ahead.

Only way to prevent future carnage and get society back to normal is to aim for Zero Covid. Totally realistic. If other countries can do it so can we. See:

https://www.quercuspublications.co.uk/thoughts_on_56_-_60.html

 

3/21

All teaching/non-teaching staff heroic and good that schools reopen. But long overdue that we rethink what the purpose of education  should be. Surely schools should be more than exam factories and child-minding centres.

 

4/3/21

Government is making a huge mistake by saying we should treat covid like flu and learn to live with it. This will kill even more people and will not restore the economy or normal everyday life. See:

https://www.quercuspublications.co.uk/thoughts_on_56_-_60.html

 

4/3/21

Chancellor is right to continue support for individuals and businesses suffering because of covid.

But we need to do much more to become a fairer society. Min wage of £15 an hour would be a good start.

He is wrong about living with covid. See:

https://www.quercuspublications.co.uk/thoughts_on_56_-_60.html

 

18/1/21

We will never get back to normal life by learning to live with the virus. This is abject surrender. It needs to be virtually eliminated as it has been in N Z, Aust, Singapore, etc. Only answer is ALWAYS to go in HARD and FAST against it.

https://www.quercuspublications.co.uk/comment_4.html

 

10/2/21

Thousands dying each week. Unimaginable carnage and suffering.

We can’t wait for more vaccine rollout. Only answer is complete shutdown of all non-essential economic & social activity.

Govt must act NOW. See:

https://www.quercuspublications.co.uk/comment_4.html

 

5/2/21

To stop the carnage NOW we need even more restrictions IMMEDIATELY alongside vaccines. Just waiting for more vaccine rollout is killing people.

See:

https://www.quercuspublications.co.uk/comment_4.html

 

2/21

For goodness sake, Boris, do something to stop the carnage now. Stay at home strategy is failing because people are still going out to work.

All non-essential economic activity must be stopped for a month. This has to be done alongside vaccine roll-out. See:

https://www.quercuspublications.co.uk/comment_4.html

 


2/2/21 

Stay at home undoubtedly the right message. But to work we need to stop all non-essential economic, as well as social, activity. Present lockdown not tight enough. 4 week complete shutdown is only way, alongside vaccine, to stop carnage.

https://www.quercuspublications.co.uk/comment_4.html

 

30/1/21

I urge all footballers and other sportspeople to set best possible example by resisting temptation to hug each other when celebrating or at the end of a game. To beat the virus we need self-discipline as much as the vaccine.

 

30/1/21

ONLY WAY TO STOP CARNAGE is to have a 4 week SHUTDOWN OF ALL economic and social activity not essential to fighting the virus. Present lockdown not tight enough. Johnson & Starmer must announce shutdown together.  

 

28/1/21

Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne responds to accusations made by Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner that he has spread misinformation on Covid: "We are getting very close to thought crime... I believe in freedom of speech. Perhaps the Labour Party doesn't" @JuliaHB1 | @DesmondSwayne https://pic.twitter.com/QdTEwwF1S5

 

Replying to @talkRADIO @JuliaHB1 and @DesmondSwayne

 

I can't think why, but unfortunately some people listen to his ill thought out views on lockdowns. If this has contributed in any way to absolutely ESSENTIAL restrictions being relaxed then he has played a significant part in the appalling and tragic carnage we have suffered.

 

28/1/21

Rollout of vaccine is a reason to have more restrictions not fewer. We need a massive assault on virus on every front to prevent more carnage in short, medium and long term. Only chance of normal life is zero covid. 

 

?/1/21

BIG HEAVE AND BIG SHUTDOWN for a month is ONLY WAY now to save lives and NHS. Any economic, personal, social or leisure activity not essential to fighting the virus must stop including work in construction, manufacturing and financial services.

 

2/1/21

Let’s forget the idea of normal life for the next few weeks and be 1000% focused on controlling the virus to prevent more carnage. Only way is a UK wide TIER 5 LOCKDOWN. Hugely painful but absolutely vital. 

 

 

Excellent Sky News at 9pm on 11/11/20. Showed the reality of suffering and dying from Covid plus clear factual information about the virus. Outstanding contribution from chair of BMA.

We need more broadcasts like this across the media.

 

 

Only way to halt the carnage and restore the economy is to DESTROY THE VIRUS with:

Determination

Plus

Behaviour Behaviour Behaviour

Discipline Discipline Discipline

and

Kindness Kindness Kindness

See: https://www.quercuspublications.co.uk/how_to_destroy_the_virus.html

#destroythevirus

Retweet to spread message

 

18/11/20

Hoping no farmyard noises at PMQs today. Immature at best of times but totally inappropriate at present. Tribal politics not the way to bring the country together to fight the virus.

A minute's silence to remember the 600 people who lost their lives yesterday should be held.

 

21/11/20

Saving lives is infinitely more important than a normal Christmas. Christmas will come round again, lost lives will not. Far too much hype about the subject. Quiet Christmas in one household may turn out to be better than the usual frantic affair.

 

22/11/20

@JuliaHB1

23h

A total of 37,470 people in *England* have died with a Covid+ test

96% had a pre-existing health condition

54% were over 80yrs old. 92% were over 60

The total number of people under 60 with no underlying health problems who died with Covid this year: 339 @UKCovid19Stats https://pic.twitter.com/FtX4l91oIr

 

Replying to @JuliaHB1 and @UKCovid19Stats

And your point Julia?

We shouldn't be concerned about over 60s and over 80s and even over 90s like the Queen, D Attenborough and Sir Tom Moore?

And we shouldn't worry that people have diabetes, cancer,

MS etc?

What you imply is truly appalling.

 

FAO: *** and MPs who support relaxing restrictions

 

We are all on the same side. We all want to save lives and protect the economy. Because each life is precious and lost lives cannot be restored the former must be the absolute priority. Logic, ethics and human compassion refute the argument that there is a balance between saving lives and restoring the economy. This being the case there is no need for the sort of cost benefit analysis you are seeking about the sort of restrictions that are necessary to reduce infections.

Nobody wants the restrictions but they have been proven to be effective. Our own first lockdown reduced infections and mortalities dramatically and I would have thought this would be sufficient proof for anyone. Lockdowns in China had the same effect and the state of Victoria in Australia has had no infections for three weeks as a result of its lockdown.

Restrictions are crucial now as once again we have the most appalling and tragic carnage which has brought terrible suffering to thousands of people. We did not need computer projections to tell us this was going to happen. It was always obvious from the increase in infections and mortalities.

I really do urge you to reconsider your position and get behind what the government is doing which is supported by 76% of the population – a very high level of support. By constantly issuing statements that undermine measures to control the virus you are encouraging disunity and tempting people not to comply with the rules.

The only way to get society back to normal is to defeat the virus not learn to live with it as the Swedes tried to do, sadly to their cost. Hopefully a vaccine will help achieve this but in the meantime everyone, especially politicians, must be determined and disciplined in the fight against it. Giving in is not the answer.

I know that, understandably, you will be under pressure to call for a relaxation of restrictions from the leisure and retail businesses in your constituencies. However, I urge you to act in the national interest and support the present approach. We must all care for each other and be patient.

 

23/11/20 PM

Advice should be to allow 2 or 3 households to mix only if it is felt this is absolutely necessary. Vast majority of us should spend a quiet Christmas at home with our immediate families. No reason why this shouldn't be enjoyable and loving.

 

25/11/20

Government should advise everyone very, very firmly NOT to have mixed households at Christmas unless there are exceptional circumstances such as risk to well-being. No reason why a quiet time with immediate families shouldn’t be enjoyable and loving. Let’s all be patient. 

 

2/12/20

Johnson, Starmer, Hancock and Ashworth all made very good speeches in the tiers debate. And they were all saying more or less the same thing. So why not a government of national unity? See why we should have one at:

https://www.quercuspublications.co.uk/thoughts_on_56_-_60.html

 

2/12/20

FAO: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Excellent speech yesterday to wind up the debate, Matt. Very strongly agree with the points you made. I'm saddened that the MPs who voted against the tiers still cannot see that however regrettable the tier system is, saving lives must always be the priority. Unfortunately they have been given too much media coverage which only serves to encourage some people to their point of view.  As I have said many times we must not allow the hospitality industry to govern the country.

I hope you can perhaps persuade the government to put across very firmly, but gently, and repeated regularly, 2 messages:

One, that everyone should be advised not to mix households over Christmas unless there are exceptional circumstances such as mental health issues.

Two, that everyone should be very, very careful when they do their shopping. If they are not there will undoubtedly be a surge in infections and tragically many more deaths.

Personally I think a strong case can be made for further lockdown measures over Christmas when schools, colleges and universities are more or less closed and there is a natural extended holiday period.

Best wishes

 

9/12/20

UTTERLY INSANE now we have vaccines to let Christmas cause a third wave

From mid Dec govt must INSIST on:

No household mixing unless exceptional issues

Minimal going out

Only essential economic activity

Plus DISCIPLINE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS

REWARD: economy restored, LIVES SAVED

Let’s use the seasonal break to have a strict Christmas covid-chaser, circuit-breaker:

Schools to break up a week early, return a week late

No household mixing unless exceptional reasons

Minimal going out

Plus DISCIPLINE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS

 

12/12/20

The virus is totally out of control again and we have the most appalling and tragic carnage.

Infections in schools are alarmingly high and all schools should be closed for 4 weeks from Monday.

Effect on pupils' education will be minimal.

 

Once again covid is bringing the most appalling and tragic carnage – more so than ever before. To bring the virus under control the govt must, immediately and regrettably, introduce VERY STRICT MEASURES however unpopular they will be. No household mixing, stay at home unless shopping for food, and only essential economic activity.

REWARD: ECONOMY RESTORED, MANY LIVES SAVED.

 

15/12/20

*** – my latest thoughts on the virus are that the whole of the UK should move into Tier 3 plus immediately and the government should advise in the strongest possible terms there should be no household mixing at Christmas unless there are mental health reasons. We should take advantage of schools, colleges and universities being closed, and the usual seasonal slowdown in economic activity, to have a covid-chasing, circuit breaker until mid- January.

To save lives and restore the economy we must still strive to eliminate the virus as much as possible. If they can do this in Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries surely we can do the same.

We have to be much, much more determined, disciplined and single-minded than we have been.

 

Best wishes

Alan K

 

18/12/20

FAO: Matt Hancock

I've come to the conclusion that the only way to get on top of the virus now is to have the strictest possible UK wide lockdown over the winter - stricter than last spring's. Perhaps not use the term lockdown but something like a "stay-at-home".

We desperately also need a government of national unity. If Sinn Fein and the DUP can work together our political parties ought to be able to do the same.

 

21/12/20

MH and BJ

Very strongly support latest measures. Excellent.

Would strongly support a Tier 5 for the whole of the UK.

 

29/12/20 BJ, MH, KS, JA, ED

To prevent further large-scale loss of life there is no choice now but to have a UK wide, Tier 5 lockdown without delay. It must be more stringent than the lockdown in the spring and require strict stay-at-home and curfew measures and no household mixing. Schools, colleges and universities must be closed as must non-essential retail and service outlets along with leisure and entertainment venues. Pubs, cafes and restaurants must also be closed, and preferably, for the moment, not be allowed to offer takeaway facilities.

People must continue to work from home and only essential businesses must remain open.

It will be very difficult for everyone but these restrictions are absolutely vital if we are to avoid further carnage.

   

9/10/20

 

Dear ***

 

Thank you for the chat last week. I reflected on it afterwards and thought I was not forcible enough in emphasising how serious the situation has now become. It is absolutely imperative that the government does not repeat the mistakes it made in March and delay taking decisive action. This tragically caused the loss of tens of thousands of lives unnecessarily and must not be allowed to happen again.

Infections, hospitalisations and fatalities are rising at a dangerously rapid rate, not only in hotspots but all over the country. I notice that the North Somerset numbers for infections have risen considerably.

It is because the national situation is so serious that, regrettably, the only way to reverse the position is to have an immediate national circuit breaker of 2 or 3 weeks, or possibly a mix of these timescales. To be effective this must be highly restrictive and observed by everyone. It should include: no opening of hospitality outlets; no non-essential retail including on-line; travel restrictions; no household mixing; possible closure of schools and universities; minimal social activity and closure of leisure, entertainment and sporting facilities. This will clearly be unwelcome for many, and very uncomfortable, but it is the only strategy that will work at the moment. I am reluctant to repeat the point but sadly my analysis of the crisis so far has by and large proved to be correct. Financial support must continue to be given to the many people who are having difficulties.

We must come together as a country and not accept that the spread of the virus is inevitable. It has not been inevitable in the many countries which have been successful in managing it – Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, Nigeria and plenty of others.

All rules and procedures in the circuit-breaker must be followed meticulously and enforced gently but very firmly. I am sure the majority of the general public would accept the use of the military to monitor this enforcement, and behaviour generally. I am sure, too, that the vast majority of people would prefer to see a government of national unity than to witness the immature, unintelligent and frankly pathetic display of tribal party politics that is getting out of control.

The economy will recover and social activities will be resumed but, as I have said many times now, lost lives cannot be restored. This time last year 70 lost lives in a day, about the average for the virus at the moment, would have been considered a national disaster and a cause for national mourning. Now it is just a statistic.  

The government needs to take decisive action immediately and, on behalf of your constituents and the country as a whole, you must persuade it to do so.

 

Yours sincerely

 

30/11/20

 

***                                       

 

May I urge you to vote in support of the present system of tiers. It is the best way at the moment to bring down infections and the unimaginable number of deaths, and therefore voting in support is the only rational and moral course of action.

We all sympathise with individuals and businesses that are suffering hardship and they must continue to be given financial assistance. However we must not allow the very vocal hospitality industry to govern the country.  It must always be lives before livelihoods for the reason I have previously stated.

 

Date ?

 

*** MP

House of Commons

 

Dear ***

 

A while ago you kindly replied to an email I sent you and said something to the effect that you tried to consider issues thoughtfully, and on their merits as you saw them.

May I, then, urge you please to consider carefully your position regarding the government’s latest proposals to control the spread of the virus. It is always difficult for any of us to change our minds on an issue but I would like to ask you to have another think about what you have said.

In my view the latest restrictions are absolutely essential and therefore a justifiable infringement of our liberty. Communities and societies of whatever size, from the family upwards, require restricting the liberties of some, in order to preserve the liberties of others. The greatest liberty people wish for at the moment is to be protected from the virus – shown by evidence from opinion polls.

We have not taken the Corona threat seriously enough as I have said in various comments that I have written over the past six months. As a result tens of thousands of lives have been lost and we remain among the worst countries in the world in terms of pro rata mortalities. We have suffered the most appalling tragedy which would have been avoided with a Wuhan or Melbourne style lockdown six months ago.

It is the first duty of any government, acting on behalf of society as a whole, to protect people’s lives. We cannot risk further large-scale loss of life in the UK and for this reason the government must do whatever it takes to halt the spread of the virus. It must be lives before livelihoods and, within reason, lives before liberty. The temporary loss of liberty can be restored, lost lives cannot.

I really do hope you may be able to reconsider your position and, if you do, perhaps persuade other colleagues to do the same. Every life is precious and we must not return to the black days earlier in the year.

With best wishes

Yours sincerely

 

Date ?

 

Dear ***

 

Hope you are able to find a moment to read the thoughts I send you. 3 quick ones in response to comments I heard you make yesterday,

One, it’s not just the elderly who are vulnerable – over 50s don’t do as well as younger age groups.

Two, how do you actually protect the vulnerable and older people when they are integrated into society the same as everyone else? I was shielding because of underlying conditions and when  infections and mortalities were low a few weeks ago I thought I would be less restricted in my activities. Like many others, because of the huge spike in numbers.  I’m having to rethink this – which of course is a far greater removal of my liberty than having a drink in a pub after 10pm.

Three, if you saw someone who needed help because they’d been in an accident or something similar I am sure you’re the sort of person who would go to their assistance. There is no difference in doing this and helping others at a societal level by accepting a few temporary restrictions to control the virus.

Sadly, it seems to me that the attitude of those who wish to carry on with life as normal, has a touch of “I’m alright Jack” about it which is something I know you wouldn’t wish to be associated with.

Hope you can perhaps abstain in the vote on the curfew.

Best wishes

 

1/10/20

*** MP

 

Dear ***

 

I agree with you that there needs to be scrutiny of government decisions but not being the greatest fan of our system of parliamentary democracy I don't think the amount of time spent debating issues in parliament is always very useful. I imagine that all MPs are well aware of the arguments involved before a debate begins. What is needed is serious, objective and thoughtful consideration of the factors that pertain to the decisions that are being made. Sadly MPs were not alert to the factors in the virus situation over six months ago and allowed the government to delay bringing in the necessary measures to control it. This probably contributed to the deeply tragic and avoidable deaths of tens of thousands of people.

I share your concern about the loss of jobs. We are all concerned about that but not being able to have a drink after 10pm is no great loss of liberty.

I recently wrote to *** on the subject of liberty and have copied an extract below which I hope you can perhaps spare a moment to look at.

 

 

Date ?

 

Rt Hon Oliver Dowden, MP

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

 

Dear Oliver Dowden

 

For a number of weeks now I have noticed footballers embracing each other at the end of a game. It is common practice. May I urge you please to contact the premier league and football association to insist that this sort of behaviour ends immediately – insist not advise or encourage. I don’t know whether the players are in bubbles or have match day tests but, whether this is the case or not, it is setting an appalling example when we are all being asked to keep our distance. It also adds to the false sense of normality that has pervaded society and which is responsible for the huge rise in infections.

It may well be that other sportspeople engage in this behaviour and may I also urge you therefore to contact all sporting bodies to insist that this does not happen.

Behaviour is the key to controlling the virus and, in my view, virtually eliminating it. I am sure you agree. I would like to see strong and regular messaging from sporting and other celebrities putting across the message that everyone, whatever their age, should exercise self-discipline, accept imposed discipline and do everything to look after and protect each other.

Yours sincerely

 

 

30/11/20

 

Dear Oliver Dowden

 

I wonder if anyone in your department managed to follow up the thoughts in the email letter I sent you quite a while ago. ( copied below) The problem is worse now than it was then and I'm sure it contributes to the lax behaviour in society as a whole which has probably been the single biggest factor in the appalling and unimaginably tragic death toll of recent weeks. May I therefore please urge you once again to contact football and other sporting bodies and insist that they do not permit physical contact when participants are celebrating or congratulating each other - this to include non-playing staff also.

On the messaging point I would now go further and believe there should be a massive public information campaign along the lines of the suggestions I put into my email letter to the party leaders about the imperative of forming a government of national unity.(copied below) May I request you to consider the points I have made, highlighted in red, as they even more necessary now.

Hoping my thoughts are helpful.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Date ?


Hope you can please spare a moment to read my note to Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer and persuade all your colleagues that this is the course of action that must be pursued.

 

FAO: Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer

 

The virus is out of control and so is party political hostility. There is no place for party politics in the fight against the virus – we all want the same end result. We need a disciplined, determined and united approach from everyone which will only come about if our political leaders present a united front in persuading the whole population that the situation is now extremely dangerous and we must all follow the rules.

I appeal to both of you to come together to form a government of national unity with a small cross-party council or executive which would concentrate solely on fighting the virus. All votes in parliament on measures that need to be taken to reduce infections and mortalities should be free votes with MPs expressing their personal views and listening thoughtfully to the views of others. Moreover, there is absolutely no place for the continuation of PMQs which I have long regarded as a ritual which encourages immature behaviour.

Tragically we are now seeing a repeat of the carnage we had earlier in the year and firmness is required to reduce the death rate. I happen to think a highly restrictive national circuit breaker is the best answer or even the sort of lockdown that Ireland is introducing.

Whatever measures are decided upon they will have maximum effect if they are seen to come from a unity government acting in the interests of the whole country. I urge you to take up this idea immediately for the sake of every inhabitant in England and the UK.