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28 November 2021

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SAGE professor not happy with relaxation of holiday rules! Time for organisations to adopt their own safety measures!
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SAGE professor not happy with relaxation of holiday rules! Time for organisations to adopt their own safety measures!

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The important measure is protect yourselves even when things look stable; don’t leave it too late!

It’s always the way – you cannot please all of the people all of the time and the relaxation of travel regulations seems to fit the bill in that respect.

This morning on television we witnessed an interview of Professor Stephen Reicher who is a member of the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours which also feeds into the SAGE committee which of course is principal advisor to the government in relation to covid matters. The interview was interesting and helped give a current day insight into how we as citizens should be moving forward at a time when the government has made a decision largely to leave it us to sort out our own safety.

We still hear about social-distancing, masks and ventilation as being important factors in assisting to keep the disease at bay but of course the safest move is to ensure that we mix with people who are vaccinated if possible and who certainly are prepared to take lateral flow tests.

The professor was not in favour of PCR tests being abandoned but these generally are not so easily available to the man in the street as it involves a trip to a local testing station and then a delay while you wait for the result for a day. What is available is the lateral flow test and what the professor described as very valuable because the lateral flow test picks up asymptomatic cases.

When groups of people get together, those attending whatever event it is think they do not have the disease; this is a fundamental belief – they feel well and have no reason to suppose they are carriers. Some people will go through the entire period of being infectious and not realise that they have had the disease at all – what lucky people! But those people, the asymptomatic ones, are the ones who carry the disease and can easily transmit it to others.

So the clear answer is that in order to reduce the transmission of the disease, take a test a day or so before the meeting so that you can go to the meeting feeling confident that you are probably not going to be a carrier. This is not a guarantee because the test is not 100% effective and in any case, depending on when you take it, the disease may become infectious after you have taken the test and before you get to your event.

Professor Reicher was strongly of the view that it is better to take reasonable precautions along the way when things are not going too badly than wait until a crisis arrives and then find that far stronger measures now need to be taken.

And the even better news The lateral flows tests are available free of charge on the NHS. Just go here to order your kit:

https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

This is where the man in the street can really play a part in helping to contain transmission of the disease. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Test test test!

Adrian Leopard     19-09-21

Photo Jeff Cleveland

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