Thoughts on ...                                                                        23/12/21


Nano Covid 2    


Update 13/3/22


Cases and hospitalisations are rising and the reason is obvious: Johnson's stupidity in lifting all restrictions on Surrender Day has led too many people to believe the pandemic is over. It's not. Covid remains a merciless killer here in the UK and gobally. 

We must not surrender to it.


See more updates after main post, including comparison with 2nd World War deaths



Nano Covid 2


The situation with Omicron is very dangerous. We do not yet know how dangerous but many, many lives will be lost because it is spreading so rapidly. Everyone surely agrees that each human life is precious irrespective of how old a person is or whether he or she has existing health problems.


It has been my view, and that of many others, that the only way to save lives as well as return to near normal daily life, is to defeat the virus not learn to live with it. This has been my view since the start of the pandemic and one I have expressed in posts on my website, and in emails and tweets to MPs, advisers and the government.  


It is still my view – more than ever. Like most people my knowledge of how viruses behave is limited to what I have learned over the past twenty-two months. Despite this limitation what is very clear is that, notwithstanding the outstanding efforts and brain power of brilliant scientists, the virus is outwitting us at every turn and causing the most unimaginable carnage. In just 22 months deaths in Britain have reached the horrific level of 173,000, each death bringing untold suffering and anguish for loved ones.


We are on at least our fourth variant of Covid in the UK, a higher number globally, and this is sufficient evidence for me as a layperson to believe that it is reasonable to assume that unless it is virtually eradicated more variants will follow. Some of these may be even more virulent than those we have experienced so far and some may be able to resist vaccines. This is common sense not catastrophic thinking. Ultimately, sooner or later, the virus may have a lethal effect across all age groups and we could be heading towards Armageddon.


If this is the case, climate change would no longer be a problem, nor Downing Street parties, nor energy prices, nor who wins the Premier League, the Ashes or Strictly Come Dancing.


So what can we do?


Both nationally and globally we can come together in a spirit of unity to defeat the virus. We can come together whatever our age, ethnicity, political views or religious beliefs. We are all human beings and what unites us is far greater than what divides us. Moreover we are born with a biological imperative, a deep human instinct, that drives us to care for our loved ones as well as those we do not know.


No one, therefore, should disagree with the notion that we should do our utmost to protect each other from harm. It is the mark of a civilised society that we do this and it is, of course, the reason why we have the NHS.

In the ongoing discussion about the best way to defeat the virus we, myself included, must resist the temptation to insult each other or use offensive and angry language. Instead we must calmly listen to other points of view and strive to make our case logically and rationally with compassion and kindness.


How do we defeat the virus? We chase it down to an absolutely minimum level, Nano Covid as I call it, a term we can use to acknowledge that zero Covid may not be possible but that this should not stop us aiming for it. In the UK this should require us to aim to reduce deaths from the virus to less than one hundred a year.


This will involve a change of strategy – one that I and many others have argued for over the past twenty-two months. Central to the strategy must be making it an absolute priority to save lives and a collective determination to do so. There must be no acceptance that we should learn to live with the virus if this means tens of thousands of people dying from it.


The “learning to live with it” strategy hasn’t worked because we have been led to believe that vaccines have provided the miracle that has saved us. They have certainly been miraculous and everyone must be fully vaccinated here and throughout the world. But on their own they are not enough and may never be. At the moment they have introduced a dangerously false sense of security and, with the encouragement of the government, persuaded us to lead relatively normal lives and drop our guard.


It is clear that vaccines alone simply do not afford us sufficient protection against Coronavirus. They are unable to prevent transmission, their effectiveness reduces over time, people who have been fully vaccinated with the booster are still dying and there is no guarantee they will be successful against new variants.


A change of strategy from mitigation to suppression is required immediately. Our politicians must have the humility to acknowledge that a change of course is essential. The rapid rollout of third doses of vaccine must be maintained but this must be accompanied by individual and collective protections that will stop the virus spreading. We must be reminded calmly and gently why these are needed and urged to see them not as restrictions but as weapons in the fight for freedom. 


We know what these protections are and clearly no one wants them to be part of their daily routines. They range from keeping 2 metres apart and wearing a mask, to restricting the amount of household mixing and limiting attendances at events. Everyone should constantly be reminded of the greatest protection of all, namely, that if contacts are kept to an absolute minimum, transmissions will be massively reduced.


We also know the personal qualities required to implement these protections. They include resilience, determination, self-discipline, patience, generosity, unselfishness and kindness. We must try to put them into practice as never before.


The best way to bring the virus under control would be to have an almost complete shutdown not a half-hearted lockdown. Notice must be given of when this would take place and the detail of how it would operate planned meticulously in advance. Only essential services such as the provision of food, energy supplies and, of course, health and social care, would be allowed to function. We can never thank enough all those who work in these key services.  


In order to chase down the virus properly we must, however, accept that sensible protections will be necessary for some time to come and that we will have an obligation to comply with them. It will be an obligation based on our compassionate and caring instincts and the way a civilised society operates. If as a result of these precautions people suffer financial or any other form of hardship they must be given all the support they need.


Our politicians must lead the country in a spirit of national unity by forming a cross-party coalition government which is committed to defeating the virus –  something else I have been advocating throughout the pandemic. There is no place for immature tribal politics in the most serious peacetime crisis in our history. The Queen should use her constitutional authority as the head of state to persuade the government to implement this course of action without delay.


With the vaccines and medical therapies now available, with our testing capacity and, above all, with disciplined and determined behaviour from everyone in complying with protections, Nano Covid is entirely realistic and always has been.


To have allowed 173,000 of our fellow human beings to have died already in the UK clearly indicates that we have been badly let down by our decision-makers in the Covid crisis, and that collectively as a society we have let ourselves down.  The carnage cannot be permitted to continue and the way to stop it is by having a strategy of Nano Covid.


We shall never surrender said Churchill. We must defeat the virus not surrender to it. It’s the only certain way to save lives and get society back to normal.



For Nano Covid 1 click here. For all previous Covid comments – there are a lot of them! – click here



Update 23/2/22


Johnson, Javid and others may have capitulated to the virus but many of us will continue the fight and say: NO SURRENDER


Update 13/2/22


Cases and deaths are still appallingly high but thankfully are coming down gradually. Which is all the more reason not to surrender to the virus but to keep chasing it down to a minimal level – Nano Covid. If we can get daily deaths down to 7 a day in May 2021 we can easily achieve this again now we have vaccines and better testing. 


The phrase “learning to live with the virus” is meaningless and unintelligent unless we know the number of deaths and the amount of suffering it will cause. The death toll is now over 180,000 which is unbelievably horrific and unimaginably tragic.


With determination, discipline and kindness, and with sensible protections at home, at work, at school and in daily life, we can get to Nano Covid whilst leading a relatively normal existence.


It would be sad if the heroic efforts of our key workers in health care and essential services, as well as the endurance of all of us through lockdowns, ultimately resulted in Johnson and Javid surrendering to the virus. This is yet another disastrous blunder they are about to make.



Update 1/2/22


Omicron has brought horrific death and suffering which, tragically for so many, still continues. It is not a mild variant, it is lethal,vicious and utterly merciless.


1,838 people died of Covid last week – equivalent to 10 planes with 180 people on board crashing with no survivors.  Each death brings anguish and grief for loved ones.


Most of the deaths would have been prevented if Johnson and Javid had shown compassion and leadership. Instead of foolishly encouraging everyone to believe that vaccines and testing meant it was safe to return to almost normal life they should have done the opposite. They should have kept Plan B, brought in further sensible protections, explained why they were necessary, and put out strong, clear messages about behaviour.


Above all, instead of continually bleating about learning to live with the virus they should be saying we must strive to defeat it. It is insane, immoral, and definitely not heroic, to wave the white flag and surrender to a savage enemy that is killing 10 planeloads of innocent people every week.


It is the first duty of any government to protect its citizens. The Johnson government has failed to do this by allowing 177,000 people to die of Covid, two and a half times the number of civilian deaths in the 2nd World War. How Johnson and his supporters can hail this as an achievement is beyond my understanding.


He and his government must go and be replaced with a government of national unity determined to defeat the virus by bringing the country together in this shared endeavour. It is the only way to save lives, reduce suffering and return life properly to normal.



Update 11/1/22


Covid deaths UK: 173,000; average annual death rate of 94,364.         Since disastrous decision to relax protections in July death rate of 21,486.

Comparison with 2nd World War: 67,000 civilian casualties, annual average  11,000; military casualties 384,000, annual average 64,000.

Deaths from Covid in UK currently 8.5 times greater than civilian deaths in 2nd World War, and approx. 1.5 times greater than military casualties.


Living with the virus won’t work. It must be chased down.

Not difficult to do with vaccines, medication & treatments.




Always keeping 2m+ apart

Always wearing a mask

No household mixing

No car sharing

No non-essential leisure

No non-essential face to face contact

Determination, discipline, impeccable behaviour, thinking of others

Financial support for all who need it