Johnson & Hancock's Coronavirus Legacy: 65,000 largely avoidable deaths, more deaths than during the Blitz of 1940/1. A short article by Dr. Mark Twitchett (Churchfields).
As is well-recognised, a lockdown even a couple of weeks earlier would have prevented many thousands of deaths due to the exponential nature of the coronavirus threat. As you recall, about 150,000 people attended the Cheltenham Festival in March, which ended 10 days before lockdown measures began. Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser from 2000 to 2007, said that it was "the best possible way to accelerate the spread of the virus". There was a calamitous failure of leadership, aggravated by the prime minister's sickness and a woefully incompetent cabinet.
The failure to aggressively 'track, trace & isolate' from the beginning of the epidemic made the disaster unavoidable. It was neither unprecedented nor unpredictable. On the contrary, many doctors with a background in Public Health (like myself) watched the slow motion car crash in horror. Even by the 18th April, there had been 11 deaths from coronavirus in Woodford Wells. There were a total of 312 deaths in Redbridge linked to the virus from March to June (Ilford Recorder), which is a rate of 143.7 deaths per 100,000 people. These deaths were, no doubt, largely avoidable. Redbridge council notes that, as of 23rd August, there had been 1253 recorded cases in Redbridge.
As we know, the contract tracing failures have persisted and messaging has been poor and inconsistent. I do not need to elaborate on the shameful Cummings scandal. The government has lacked a coherent plan & has failed to take responsibility for the avoidable losses. Meanwhile, we are concerned that we might not avoid a 'second wave', just as the reality of Brexit approaches over the horizon. The new leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey's approach to this issue has been exemplary. He is committed to holding the government to account. In addition, he unveiled an ambitious £150bn green coronavirus recovery plan.
Please contact us with you questions and concerns about the effects of coronavirus, both locally or nationally.
Dr. Mark Twitchett (Chair, Churchfields Focus Team)
- Fighting for a fairer future & for more powers for the people of Redbridge -