Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Laissez-faire pandemic management - nudge fudge

The UK government has engaged in a series of psychological games with the population, instead of actually taking effective action.

Early on, an attempt to get people to socially distance was offset by the failure to enforce the shutdown of large gatherings at sporting events such as the Cheltenham Festival or football and rock music venues. Eventually, the footie community, as well as hotel chains and theatres, voluntarily closed before the government made it mandatory, presumably out of respect for their staff & customers. This may have cost them dear in some cases, as the insurance companies may decide that since it wasn't legally enforced, cancellation costs may not be covered in many cases. Similar attempts to assume it was someone else's problem - The NHS will get its own PPE and ventilators as if by magic; someone else will decide if people maybe should wear masks in public; perhaps the evidence on what constitutes early onset warning symptoms like loss of taste and smell aren't necessary to list just yet; sure, care homes will have their own safe procedures and equipment, just like hospitals, no? and sending people there from hospitals makes total sense.

Then there was the drift into an increasingly ill-specified lockdown, with many vectors for infection (e.g. London underground&busses, all international airports) completely open - i mean for heavens sakes, if the infection isn't spread by people packed into trains and planes like sardines, when not in their own homes or workplaces, how do they think it got from Wuhan to Wolverhampton? Or Downing Street to Durham?

On that last point, the latest nudge was clearly an underhand means to break lockdown early, without bothering with the unseemly debate between  people that actually care about the loss of life due to a second wave of infection, and the people who care about loss of revenue because of the economic slowdown that lockdown has imposed.

Ironically, the economic damage was mostly caused by the total failure to show any steel will power and take early action, which would have not only saved a lot of lives, but meant we could have been cleanly, honestly, and safely out of lockdown weeks ago.

The government have become the enemy of the people, both for our health and for our wealth. Given their alleged politics, that is quite an achievement.  I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I think it is because we have a system of finding elected representatives that selects for the utterly inadequate.

No comments:

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home