Tis a pity we had such a ruinously inept and ideologically driven bunch in charge when Covid struck. This, and years of public health neglect, (disastrous meddling, with a fragmented and rundown NHS being readied for privatized decay), meant that the UK was ill equipt to cope with the pandemic when it arrived. April was the cruellest month piling countless bodies on the pyre of a criminally self-confident belief in British exceptionalism and the idea we could muddle through. The locked-in privileges of cronies with fast-track-access to public money; the privatized gravy chain and the £100 companies with multi-million-pound deals; the ignoring of local authority expertise in the handing of Track & Trace; of contracts given to commercial profiteers with farcical results; of non-existent PPE, or equipment not fit for purpose; of scientific advise not headed and delays in locking down; of borders kept open and diversionary ‘culture wars’ fought.
And through all of this the only thing the Govt appeared to get right – by appointing someone not beholden to it, and with a certain degree of professional experience – was the vaccination programme; a combination of city ruthlessness, collaborative science, allied to the operational expertise and the organizational resource of the NHS.
It begs the question – why wasn’t this done in the first place?