We’re racing time – let’s ride this second wave to safety!

Taking with my son yesterday, he mentioned that for first time since the return of the Italian ski set back in March 2020, that the pandemic was impacting  young middle class people in South West London.

He mentioned various friends who’s families were Covid positive and mentioned he’d been for a precautionary test himself- we’d had an outdoor meeting a few days ago.

Before Christmas, catching the virus was something that happened because of specific issues (trips to Northern Italy), right now it’s on the doorstep and the increase in infections generally is extraordinary. My infection was not big news to him -“it’s everywhere Dad”,

These numbers show that the new strain of the virus has almost totally taken over and is responsible for the exponential growth in infection – especially in London and the South East.

We are now witnessing what has been predicted by the Covid-19 actuaries throughout 2020, a second wave with greater impact than the first.

The Covid-19 actuaries assess the strain on the NHS is calculated with reference to R on hospital admissions

Perhaps the one crumb of comfort from the ONS data is that fewer of those hospitalised are likely to die (with better treatment and more resilient patients this time around.

What this amounts to is a “rescaling” as John Roberts graphically puts it!

The new normal?

Though the scale of the immediate crisis is even worse than in March/April 2020, the prospect of protection of the most vulnerable through vaccines makes this time around less a passing of time than a race against time.

As Mark Carney’s third Reith lecture made clear, the primary duty of the state is to protect its citizens and in that I am with Mark Carney (and Stuart Macdonald) in regarding all lives as equal in terms of social capital. So preserving life by rolling out the vaccine from the most vulnerable down is surely the right way for Britain. Queue jumping for special interest groups such as politicians, elite sportspeople and business leaders) will be met with intense social opposition. The roll out of the vaccine through the NHS may yet become its finest hour.

Meanwhile, the stoicism among everyone, from the chattering classes of West London to the BAME congregation of my East London church, that we must comply with Government strictures is going to be put further to the test between now and Easter.

Just as the roll out of the vaccine could be the crowing achievement of our healthcare system, solidarity between the differing sections of society impacted by the second wave, could lead to a new social cohesion -not just across London but between different parts of England and the four nations of the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom started this pandemic badly but we have it in us to end it well.

And we are “world class” at seeing the bright side of everything!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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