World News – UA – You don’t need perspective to see Boris Johnson made the same mistake twice


Sir Ian Diamond, the UK’s mild-mannered chief statistician, made a joke six weeks ago that roughly summed up Britain in 2020

« It is becoming a nation of 58 million epidemiologists, » he said unmoved, « And the vast majority of them – unlike me – benefit from hindsight »

Boris Johnson has the same problem: everyone is suddenly an expert And unlike the first wave of coronavirus, where unity was strong and rule-compliance high, wave two comes with deep division on the balance between health and the economy

The rapidly worsening epidemic is set to eclipse the first, which has killed 60,000 people There are at least 50,000 new infections every day and intensive care units could be inundated by the end of November Johnson didn’t want a new lockdown, but he had no choice on Saturday given the poor forecast

The month-long shutdown for England will go into effect on Thursday after a parliamentary vote early next week This only applies to England, as healthcare elsewhere in the UK is managed by the decentralized governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

The restrictions will result in the closure of pubs, restaurants and non-essential businesses, including barber shops and gyms People will only be able to leave their homes for specific reasons such as education, work ( if they can’t work from home), exercise and buy food

Many of the criticisms leveled at the Prime Minister in recent months are unfair and ignore that tightrope leaders must navigate the era of pandemic politics He was right, for example, to repeatedly remind a public satisfied that a second national lockdown would be a « disaster » and inflict widespread « misery »

This misery is often invisible: the London Ambulance Service responds on average to 37 suicides or suicide attempts per day, up from 22 last year Some 42 million children already live in poverty and hundreds of thousands of others may join them The other day the owner of my local cafe said she should lay off her loyal staff and shut down permanently if the restrictions are increased

But Johnson has raised his hand to lead and it’s his job to make the tough calls Tens of thousands of lives depend on decisions made in Downing Street and there is little room for hesitation

There’s a strong sense of déjà vu in the fall air right now Great Minds warned in March that the longer Johnson waits to lock down, the more the death toll increases and the harder it will be to lighten up restrictions

This first wave killed 60,000 – Europe’s worst another 85,000 could be lost in the second This warning – along with the alarming forecast of overwhelmed hospitals in late November – has outstripped Johnson’s resistance

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You don’t need to step back to see the government made the same mistake twice Johnson once again waited too long The signs were there for everyone to see

At the end of September, the government science advisory group for emergencies suggested locking the « circuit breaker » for two or three weeks to interrupt transmission and give contact tracers and hospitals a chance to shut down. beat in winter

Johnson disagreed He couldn’t have even if he had, as the rapidly growing number of Tory MPs fundamentally opposed to the concept would have unleashed hell on Johnson’s leadership and provoked chaos when the measure was passed in the House of Commons

Instead, he opted for a three-tiered set of restrictions for the worst affected areas of England On the same day Johnson announced it, his own chief medical officer said even the most difficult level would fail to reduce the spike in the infection rate.

Finally, in mid-October Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer publicly urged Johnson to embrace the circuit breaker The PM scoffed at the idea and called Starmer « Captain Hindsight » – a jibe that did not age well at all

Johnson caved in on Friday when presented with an apocalyptic forecast warning that infections were well over 50,000 a day and that the healthcare system could be overrun by the end of November More than 1,000 people would die every day from early December, according to advice

This trajectory is not only morally and politically intolerable, but an evil outcome for the workers and business owners that Johnson naturally sought to protect But by trying to protect the economy by delaying a lockdown, Johnson has likely inflicted even more harm on it

Lockdown, Coronavirus

World News – AU – You don’t need to look back to see Boris Johnson made the same mistake twice



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