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If you tolerate this…

18/10/21 . Blog

If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.

The lyrics from The Manic Street Preachers jolly little ditty from 1998 came to mind when I was thinking about where we now are in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here on the Forum website I’ve stopped updating the death statistics because nobody is looking at them any more. Sometimes it’s as if some people, especially government, think it’s all over. Of course, we wish it was all over - but that’s not the same thing.

Quick Covid quiz:

1. which of these European countries has the highest death rate from Covid-19?
France, Germany, Spain, UK (Source)

2. which of these European countries had the highest death rate from Covid-19 last week?
France, Germany, Spain, UK (Source)

3. which of these European countries had the highest Covid-19 infection rate last week?
France, Germany, Spain, UK (Source)

4. which of these European countries has the smallest proportion of its population vaccinated against Covid-19?
France, Germany, Spain, UK (Source)

The answer to the first three is the UK. The answer to the 4th is currently Germany but come next month, it will probably be the UK. Yes, the UK had a massive head-start in vaccines thanks to its science and its NHS but that’s all gone.

Oviously the biggest Covid caseload in Europe is affecting hospitals - 1,000 Covid deaths a week is one of the main reasons why hospital waiting lists are at a record high (5.7 million people were waiting to start routine hospital treatment at the end of August).

Which raises the question: can you tolerate this? Can you tolerate this level of infection with all its implications for new potentially more dangerous variants? Can you tolerate this level of daily deaths? Or do you think we should be doing far better by now? (ie more like comparable countries in Europe)

And if we do tolerate this, will our children will be next? That may be a bit melodramatic when it comes to Covid deaths but, with the virus now common, there ought to be concerns not just about the creation of new variant factories in our schools and colleges but also about long Covid. The world’s largest study on long Covid in children and young people suggests up to one in seven children and young people who have the virus still have symptoms linked to it 15 weeks later. That is a long time when you’re a kid - a massive hit to your education.

This is a men’s health question because it’s more likely to be us who make the policy decisions, more likely to be us who don’t practise Covid precautions and more likely to be us who don’t get vaccinated.

At the current rates we’re looking at annual deaths from Covid-19 of around 40,000 - four times the annual death rate from flu. The Brits are renowned for their stoicism - our capacity for putting up with all sorts of crap is famous on the continent - but is this really OK with you?

Jim Pollard,
​Editor

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