WITH UK virus deaths close to 100,000, higher than the 70,000 UK civilian deaths in World War Two, government management of the virus over now twelve months is of the deepest concern.

Our deaths per one million population at 1,400 in UK is higher than US at 1,300 (which could hardly be worse), Spain 1,200, Germany 620 (over twice their fatality rate), and all the other large countries in the world.

To an extent it beggars belief. That is until you look at the track record of UK government in recent years.

The virus broke in January 2020. The whole word health community was told the outbreak is deeply serious.

We knew in January yet through to July government was telling us “there’s very little evidence of widespread benefit from the use of masks outside of clinical settings”.

At the time, and to this day, I cannot believe this statement was made.

But then factor in in UK we had no stockpiles of PPE and you see then as clear as day why government spun the line “you don’t need masks”.

No masks to issue and so, ipso facto, we don’t need masks.

And now, a whole year later, medical staff are calling for higher quality N95 (FFP) face masks. What they should have had, what we all should have had, from last March.

Infections and deaths would then have been a fraction of what we have ended with.

And PPE apart, our general country-wide preparations, non existent.

In 2016 operation Cygnus told government we were “woefully unprepared for a pandemic”. A report that was never published as it was “too terrifying” to be revealed.

And this on the back of eight years swinging austerity massively cutting-back investment in public services.

Figures from the well respected King’s Fund speak of “32,000 beds being lost in UK hospitals”.

In Dorset we are still due to lose our A&E and maternity in Poole, with the loss of 440 beds, and four community hospitals.

As matters stand now, after a year of Covid, you can only hope millions more in the country wholeheartedly support our doctors and nurses, and teachers, and police, and carers, and social workers.

We have surely learnt in dire emergencies there is much we can manage without, if we have to.

But we cannot exist without essential public services, our retail and wholesale food supplies, and transport, or we will have no society at all.


Jubilee Road, Parkstone