This is my take on the relative merits and weaknesses of the tier system which I voted on earlier this week. Let’s consider what happens when someone contracts Covid-19. Some people don’t show symptoms, others die. Some patients who survive coronavirus suffer from significant and long-term impacts to their health. Spending days and weeks on a ventilator is serious and causes major damage to the lungs. Many people also suffer from the prolonged, debilitating illness that is Long-Covid.
But before any of this, and the reason I support restrictions, is the consequences of no restrictions on our hospitals and how that would impact those who need treatment. Covid patients who find themselves in hospital occupy a hospital bed. Those who need specific help, occupy an ICU bed. And those who sadly die, do so in a hospital bed surrounded by nurses and doctors.
Some people want to take their chances. Some people claim Covid and its consequences are exaggerated, and numbers inflated. Those same people would expect, perhaps demand, their hospital bed if they were unfortunate enough to contract a serious case of the virus. In doing so they could deprive someone else with heart disease or cancer. Those that believe the government has overreacted do so knowing that the same government will ensure that medical help is available to them and their families, should the need arise, and be free at the point of use.
If Coronavirus was left to spread unfettered this would also be damaging to the economy, while hospitals being overwhelmed would further impact people’s mental and physical health. People need to ask themselves honestly what they will they do if they or their family get sick.
While I understand how difficult this is for the economy, particularly hospitality, who would be filling up our pubs and restaurants while Covid patients are filling up our hospitals? I know I wouldn’t and I love going to the pub. We need to support the hospitality industry financially. We need to help tide them over until the vaccine has been administered to a significant proportion of the population. We know now that the end is in sight. We have an approved vaccine and the programme of protecting people will start next week.
Let me make this clear, I am not happy with the Government. I don’t understand why pubs and restaurants are not being supported more if they are prevented from trading. I cannot understand why in church we can have 30 for a funeral, 15 for wedding but only 6 for a baptism. Why can we go in a taxi or on a bus but not in a family member’s car while wearing face coverings? Why do I have to leave the restaurant as soon as I finish my ice cream? These anomalies erode public trust and it is plain for everyone to see that the willingness of the public to comply with the guidelines is reaching its limits.
People throw the word ‘authoritarianism’ around too easily. Even some of my colleagues, who I respect enormously, seem to miss the fundamental issue. When they have finished puffing their chests up and crying freedom perhaps they could at least acknowledge that in a country like ours they know, that whatever they say and however they behave, the state will pick up the pieces – even their pieces.