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A headlong rush back to offices… September 15, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Interesting to see Prof. Neil Ferguson (an epidemiologist from the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis) argue that:

…the government should “maybe pause at the headlong rush to get everybody back into offices” in England, as a minister admitted there was not yet a certified on-the-spot Covid test available.

He couched his critique carefully:

“I’m still working from home, many people I know are still working from home and I think we should hesitate and maybe pause at the headlong rush to get everybody back into offices. But some people have to [go to] work and I completely understand the concerns in many quarters that everybody working at home has an economic impact, particularly on city centres,” he said.

It’s not that the British government is unaware of the problems. It’s just that they don’t seem to be able to join the dots. For example:

On the new restrictions, which mean from Monday people in England will not be allowed to gather in groups of more than six, Shapps rejected the suggestion that young people should be exempt, despite the fact that very few of them die or need hospital care after getting Covid.

“Though unlikely to die, [young people] can be ill for a very long time – we have a lot of evidence that young people can suffer from coronavirus for months. It can be quite debilitating,” said Shapps, adding: “I think it would be quite wrong as a society to let this virus run rampant in part of society and everyone else has to run away and hide like hermits. That’s not a way to run a society.”

Which is true, but… what does that mean in practice? Indeed that seems to be a part of the problem. That there are so many curiously contradictory messages. Thankfully a headlong rush doesn’t appear to be part of the process on this island, at least not quite – though as noted during the week there are voices who are sort of kind of raising that as an issue.
I’ve noted before that my place of work is adamant that people should work remotely for the moment – where possible. But, and I know people in other employments who have faced similar – some people have been told to return despite those guidelines, in contexts where their presence in the office is completely unnecessary.

That’s not a good way forward.


1. CL - September 15, 2020

“Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has rejected claims the public is confused by new Covid-19 restrictions.”- Aug 19

“The Department of Health has hired a private company to handle PR after being accused of creating confusion around Covid.”- Sept 11

“Labour TD Ged Nash says that there was no clarity given by the Government in its announcement today.
He said that there is “absolute confusion about what’s happening in Dublin”.


CL - September 15, 2020

“Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson has described the Government’s plan for Living with Covid-19 as “incoherent”.
Speaking to RTÉ News, David Cullinane said the plan is confusing, and appears to leave Dublin in “limbo of between level 2 and 3”.
The Waterford TD said without a rapid testing and tracing capacity the government’s plan “is not worth the paper it is written on”…..

Róisín Shortall, co-leader for the Social Democrats said, “The new plan was supposed to provide clarity about the five different levels of risk, yet on the first day of the announcement this was muddied by having Dublin at ‘level two and a bit’.”


WorldbyStorm - September 15, 2020

Haven’t had time to read the details of it yet but from the way it was trailed the last few days it was clear that if this is a roadmap one would wind up not necessarily close to ones chosen destination. And really, given that the lowest level is still pretty far from normal you’d have to wonder what the point is.


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