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02 December 2021

Opinion from Adrian Leopard & Co

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After an exuberant start, the Covid-19 news has got very glum
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After an exuberant start, the Covid-19 news has got very glum

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The news is not really good and by the end of April the UK death toll is projected now at 157,000

Just a few weeks ago the news of the new vaccines coming on line made everyone perk up and take notice. At last there was light at the end of the tunnel, albeit still quite a long tunnel. But hope sprung eternal.

There are still vaccines, in fact more vaccines are coming on line bit by bit but the general news is not good because it is as if the virus is retaliating. We now know of three variants of Covid-19 – the “Kent variant” which arose in the UK, the Brazilian variant and the South African variant. The latter two happily have not really got a grip in the UK but the Kent variant has basically taken over.

We are informed that the Kent variant is 60%-70% more transmissible which means it is spreading like wild fire – and we only have to look at the figures for January to see how the number of new cases has grown. However, if that was not all, we are also told that it is looking like it is 30% more deadly than the original strain.

What a double whammy – this is terrible news and while we have got through as well as we have with our lockdowns with the original strain, this new variant has changed the safety dynamic massively. No wonder the government is panicking – experts are now beginning to take the view that even our new lockdown arrangements are not going to prove sufficiently robust to stop this disease.

Furthermore, the other two new variants are said to be possibly even worse because the vaccines may be less effective. Heaven forfend that they get a foot in the UK door.

Alongside this bad news comes the now controversial issue on when people are going to get their second dose. Moreover results of vaccinations already given are suggesting that the vaccines may not be as effective as was originally thought.

Triple whammy?

If the vaccines fail us, then life as we know it really has gone for a very long time indeed, if not for ever because the new normal will be based on a very different size and style of society which will constantly be looking over its shoulder to see if the virus is still hovering like the Sword of Damocles. The economy will take years to survive, if indeed it can.

What can we do? Bluntly there is only one thing that the general populace can do – and that is follow the rules rigidly – in fact do more than follow the rules. People need to protect themselves in every way possible to avoid getting into the pathway of the virus.

You may not die if you contract Covid-19 but if you live you have to be prepared for the effects of long covid or what has officially become known as post-covid syndrome. Many people are suffering continuing illness months after the event and it has also been noted that there is a significant number of deaths within the months following recovery from Covid-19.

This is why the government has started a new publicity campaign to try and shock people into not breaking the rules. Unfortunately there are still far too many people who have a total disregard for the whole thing. The government has stepped up enforcement but is it all too little and too late?

And here is a little update on some of the statistics. World recorded cases today exceed 99 million. World deaths exceed 2.1 million. UK cases now exceed 3.6 million and deaths 97 thousand. It will be only a day or so when a new watershed of numbers occurs – 100 million cases world wide and very soon 100,000 UK deaths. Moreover the current projection for deaths in the UK by the end of April is now expected to be 157,000. Sadly it looks believable. The vaccination programme is not expected to affect the figures up to that point materially – that is very worrying but vaccinations take time to click in.

In times of adversity such as this in the past when things have got really bad there has been a tendency to turn towards religion for hope and salvation. Our society gradually becomes more secular but maybe in their adversity the people may decide it is worth trying this line once more. At least social-distancing is a lot easier in a nice big cathedral.

Adrian Leopard 23-01-21

Photo Michael D Beckwith

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