Thoughts on …                                                      2 December 2021


Nano Covid


Why do we need it?


What does it mean?


How do we reach it?


Is it realistic?



This post was first written on 26/9/21. I have now updated it, sadly with a far greater number of mortalities.(12,000 more) If the Omicron variant proves to be more dangerous than Delta then a strategy of Nano Covid will be even more essential than at present. It will probably need to involve national and global shutdowns, planned in advance, in addition to 100% vaccination.

Update 9/12/21: I support the protection measures reintroduced yesterday but would like to hear much stronger messages from politicians on all sides about not having parties and reducing social contacts as much as possible. 


Why do we need Nano Covid?


We need it to save lives and to get life back to normal. The huge death toll from Covid in our own country and globally has been unimaginably horrific and unbelievably tragic. It has also been largely avoidable.


So far in the UK we have suffered over 169,000 deaths and at present (2/12) the mortality rate is 854 a week. With the virus being totally out of control since restrictions were foolishly lifted in July infections are currently running at 300,000 a week.


What does Nano Covid mean?


It means getting deaths and harms from Covid down to an absolute minimum – almost to the point of elimination but acknowledging that complete elimination, or Zero Covid, may not be possible globally. In terms of numbers and percentages the absolute minimum will vary from country to country. The aim for the UK should be less than 100 deaths per annum.


How do we reach Nano Covid?


We reach Nano Covid by doing three things: changing our mindsets, having the best possible behaviour, and making use of all available health care.




From the outset of the pandemic there have been far too many politicians and others who have mistakenly sought to minimise the seriousness of the situation and who believed a balance could be struck between protecting the economy and saving lives. The deaths of 169,000 people have shown how disastrously wrong this belief has proved to be.


The vaccination programme, however, which has been an incredible scientific and logistical achievement has allowed a return to a more normal life in terms of socialising, work and leisure. Unfortunately, despite the vaccine rollout, the virus is still out of control and we must not delude ourselves into believing otherwise. The present death toll and infection rate are alarming and tragic. This time two years ago, before the pandemic, these numbers would have precipitated a national emergency with severe restrictions on individual behaviour.


It is imperative that we not only compare the present situation with the peak of the pandemic but compare it with the pre-pandemic position. Doing the latter enables us to put our situation into a proper perspective and not to accept it as either inevitable or normal.


The government, politicians and all of us must keep the devastating number of mortalities in our minds much more than we do, however uncomfortable this is. Although, understandably, people wish to live their lives as normally as possible we must not allow ourselves to be deceived into believing the virus has gone away. For the next few years it will probably be necessary to keep an awareness of the menace of Covid alongside our other thoughts, actions and expectations.


We must not listen to the siren voices who say Covid be should be treated like flu. We must not accept that it is inevitable there will be a high level of mortality. And we must not carry on as normal and ignore what is happening here in the UK and globally. These mindsets are the sign of surrender – giving in to the virus, not fighting to defeat it. This is not the mindset evident in New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan or China.




A change of mindset must be accompanied by a change in behaviour. This must take two forms: one is a significant strengthening of personal qualities we all possess. These include determination, self-discipline, patience, generosity, unselfishness and kindness.


The other is our behaviour in daily life which will require us to be fully compliant with mandatory rules and following all non-mandatory advice and guidance. Certain mandatory restrictions will need to be restored amongst which must be mask-wearing in certain settings, 2 metre social distancing in particular spaces, a reduction in numbers at big events, and Covid certificates.


Non-mandatory advice will be in matters such as household gatherings, car sharing, foreign travel and hygiene.


The government must constantly, and strongly, reinforce messages about behaviour, the personal qualities we must act upon, and our coming together in a spirit of national unity to fight the virus and reach Nano Covid.


Health care


All available health care measures must be deployed in order to reach Nano Covid. The aim should be to vaccinate virtually everyone over the age of 5 throughout the world. Governments must find much more effective methods of talking to those who are vaccine hesitant and persuading them it is the only course of action to protect society, their loved ones and themselves.


Testing, tracing and isolating must continue and needs to be implemented rigorously.


More funding should be made available for research into new treatments for those who are seriously ill.


Is Nano Covid realistic?


Yes. Totally. In fact it need not be difficult. Other countries, such as those already referred to, have been incredibly successful at keeping mortalities to an absolute minimum. And we ourselves have almost achieved Nano Covid on two occasions without being in lockdown: in August last year and June this year death rates were extremely low. As soon as infections and death rates fall again we must not squander the opportunity to chase down the virus.

With the measures outlined above we can and must reach Nano Covid. Unless we do, life will not return to normal. And, unless we do, more precious lives will be lost with all the suffering and anguish that brings.


From now on the message, and the mantra, must be: we will not surrender, we’ll fight the virus together, we’ll go for Nano Covid.


Let’s do it.


For more on Covid please see: