In the last few days I have been told I am in the next group to be vaccinated. My initial feeling has been one of elation and excitement. As it will allow me to see my family again and to be part of the new normal society. I am not a huge fan of injections but as a recent documentary said, we all need to be safe before any individual can be safe.
When a virus entered society on such a massive scale as COVID-19 has I wanted to see everything possible being done to get us out of the danger we were facing. As I write this blog the priority of what is needed is getting as much of mankind vaccinated and for the tracing of new cases to get better and better. The nations with COVID-19 records are nations like Israel, New Zealand and Australia where a zero COVID-19 policy in place. Our government has set out a plan it thinks will take us out of lockdown permanently. Sadly it does 9 include a zero covid strategy and it sees the government in hoc to those in the Tory party who were Brexiteers and who now campaign to freedom and the economy before the welfare of the voters and the NHS itself. There is even talk of extra deaths we have to accept. The politicians need to safeguard the public and support until COVID-19 levels are so low it does become like flu.
Thankfully, through incredibly hard work by scientists the vaccine is now a reality and more and more are receiving it each day. The scientific community in certain nations have been very successful in tracking down covid cases and tracing those who they have been in contact with. The question which needs to be asked is why this is not happening in the same way world wide?
When the virus first hit, the UK government told us that we needed to go into a lockdown so that the scientists and medical community could get this under control. When we came out of the first lockdown the number of cases in the community and more importantly in hospital were slowing as were the deaths. The restrictions we faced were reduced and the political leaders started to get us back to work and children back to school and students back to universities. They tried to get pubs and restaurants back working but the juggling act of defeating the covid virus and kickstarting the economy was proving very difficult. Now, we are on lock down 3 and case numbers in the UK are higher than at the end of lockdown 1.
The difficulty seems to be, firstly, that a blue print of best practice worldwide has not been created and accepted. Nations like New Zealand and Australia not forgetting Vietnam, South Korea and Taiwan and Israel have shown a path to recovery but thanks to leaders like President Trump in the US and others in nations like Brazil and Hungary any unified progress across the world has been impossible.
Secondly, the political leaders mentioned earlier within populist governments have either ignored the dangers of Covid or gone down their own paths.
Now President Biden is in place in the US and the end of ‘America First’ we will see pan national cooperation to avoid problems as long as the political leaders do what they said at the beginning of the pandemic namely to follow the science. We have seen what happens when we allow politicians and economists to have control of decision making, levels of cases, hospitalisations and deaths increase.
I may be being naive but surely, as an island nation ourselves we need to be following the best practice of island nations like New Zealand. Why were we not doing so from day one. I hope that we can look towards best practise and end the short-sightedness which has led to an enormous death toll both here in the UK and worldwide. Things like vaccine nationalism has to be avoided because, during a pandemic, none of us are safe until all of us are safe. That means vaccination for as many of humanity as possible and a worldwide campaign to convince those who are against vaccination showing its safety record as roll out moves forward. In the COVID-19 society we all now live in The New Normal for mankind is within sight but it will take co operation within mankind to get us there. We have to have faith in the science that other nations have used to gain control and grab the New Normal future firmly and be part of it.