The government seems to be in denial about the continuing high level of Covid infections and deaths. With the ending of free tests, mandatory testing and reporting, it is difficult to know how many cases there are. The Office for National Statistics prevalence survey is the only reliable source of information on the number of cases and it reports continued growth in cases with around 1 in 15 people having the virus. Independent Sage continues to give its weekly briefings and it paints a grim picture (https://www.independentsage.org/). The health service cannot cope, hospitals are full and ambulances have had to be diverted to hospitals which have empty beds. (1) As long as the present level of infection control continues in workplaces and public spaces, this will not change.
Hospitals did not have enough staff to deal with pre-Covid levels of demand. (2) The Pandemic has pushed them over the edge and staff have had enough. The NHS is being set up to fail. The Health and Care Bill, for example, does not include projections of the number of doctors, nurses, midwives and care workers we need to be training to provide safe, effective, timely care. We will continue to experience a failing health service and, perhaps, be more receptive to the notion that private health care providers could do a better job. A completely privatised NHS would suit the ruling class because it owns the private health care providers which could replace the NHS and get its hands on our money.
Demand for hospital care for Covid patients will also continue unabated. Herd immunity cannot be achieved. (3) Covid is not just any old infection. That is why it has reached pandemic proportions. New Covid strains keep emerging and people keep getting reinfected. This will persist until new, catch-all vaccines are developed and new anti-viral treatments become more widely available.
Long Covid remains a threat. (4) Even before the emergence of Omicron, 1.5 million people in the UK were suffering long-term symptoms and over 0.25 million people were so ill that their ability to carry out day to day activities were severely curtailed. This is something else which the government is keeping quiet about. When Johnson is not fighting the Russian bear, apologising for partying or drumming up trade with authoritarian regimes, he is denying the existence of Covid as a threat to public health and telling us to get on with it.
As we keep pointing out: we have to protect ourselves! The bosses are only interested in exploiting us. They will not protect us. We will have to carry out our own Covid risk assessments and refuse to work in unsafe workplaces or socialise in unsafe public spaces.