Covid strategy in the UK: no hugs, no learning


I

n the 1980s, American sitcoms were almost informally entrenched in the family (although a pretty clear idea of ​​what it looked like) and morality, populated by “special episodes” about the dangers of drink driving and the importance of being nice to your sister.

Seinfeld was the antidote to it all. First broadcast in 1990, its motto was “No hugs, no learning”. Speaking of which, we now turn to the UK government’s Covid policy.

The extension of the stimulus program, this so-called great national effort, announced nine days ago, has not yet come to fruition. Despite the apparent urgency, no one under the age of 40 is yet able to make an appointment.

And perhaps most blatantly of all, after introducing a requirement for day two tests for travelers over a week ago, it is only from tomorrow that those returning to the UK Uni will have to take a pre-departure test – something that SAGE said would be “valuable” a few days ago.

If the Omicron variant represented a significant spike in transmissibility, as now seems likely, then it would always become the dominant strain in the UK, just as Delta outperformed Alpha.

But slowing down to save time is still extremely valuable, especially if you don’t have the capacity to give third doses to everyone.

Ultimately, given that a more heritable variant has long been a possibility, it feels more like it’s not as prepared as it could be. Have we increased sickness benefits to deter infected people from coming to work? What about testing and traceability? Vaccines are good, but they can’t do everything.

No embrace makes any sense in a pandemic spread by airborne transmission. No learning on the other hand is not funny at all.

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