Home Covid-19 Let Us Sacrifice A Few More Virgins To The NHS

Let Us Sacrifice A Few More Virgins To The NHS

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We can tell when it’s politics being talked about for the solution to a current problem is always whatever it was that the person wanted to do anyway. If the economy’s growing then we must reduce inequality, if the economy is shrinking then we must reduce inequality and when the Sun rises in the east we must reduce inequality.

We can also tell when it’s religion being invoked for then we get people insisting upon entirely counterproductive solutions to current problems. What we might call the throw another few virgins into the volcano approach. If our problem, was, say and just imagine, too few young women putting out then the painful sacrifice of a few who didn’t might buck up the ideas of the others. Do note this is just a theoretical and entirely implausible exemplar of the logic, not an actual suggestion. But if our problem was too few virgins – the society is libidinous to an extreme – then that painful and early death of those already doing what we think we wish is going to be counterproductive.

Which brings us to this demand about the NHS and track and trace of coronavirus contacts:

We all know that an effective and integrated find, test, track and trace system is hugely important in tackling the coronavirus outbreak. It’s crucial if we’re going to come out of lockdown safely, prevent a second wave of suffering and see our loved ones again.

Yet Britain’s test and trace programme – lauded by the government as “world-beating” – is about as far from integrated or effective as you can get.

That’s because a key part of it operates not as part of the NHS, but in parallel to it – as a network of commercial, privatised testing labs, drive-through centres and call centres. The chaos this has brought has resulted in huge gaps in information available to local services, causing delays in accessing results and hampering efforts to control the outbreak.

Therefore we should put it all into the hands of those who have been sending infected people back into care homes so that they may solve it. That is her argument.

Which is odd really, because it was only two months ago that we were all lauding the German system of testing. Which, as even The Guardian pointed out to us, depends upon 400 different labs, a network of outsourcing. Some of which even, heavens to Betsy, goes to profit making and privately owned labs.

That is, we the religious conviction that everything must be inside the NHS, all for the NHS and nothing against the NHS. Leading to this sacrificing virgins to the volcano in order to reduce shagging solution. Insist upon the NHS doing the very thing it has just proven to be incapable of. Ideological purity might be maintained but the effective result is going to be counterproductive.

Allyson Pollock is clinical professor of public health at Newcastle University

Imagine, there are those who insist that 13 of the 106 British universities being at risk of bankruptcy is too many at such risk rather than too few.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Whoever has the marketing account for the NHS deserves whatever the marketing equivalent of an Oscar is. Just imagine: “We have the highest Covid death toll in Europe, because of eevul Toreez”. Yet to ask: “Might this be somehow connected with our having the only Stalin-inspired, monolithic state health service in Europe?” is the political equivalent of entering Westminster Abbey and taking a dump in the font.

  2. It’s not that we have the highest Covid-19 death toll in Europe – we have the third-highest population in Europe after Germany and Russia – both of which have populations accustomed to obedience, but that our ratio of deaths to infections is so high. We have one of the highest tests-per-million ratios in the world so it’s not down to our understating the infection rate relative to elsewhere.
    The problem is that the NHS kills off so many of the patients.
    Starting from the top of the Worldometer columns: USA death rate 3% of those infected Brazil (3rd world country) 3.5%, India 2%! Russia 1.5%, South Africa 1.5% … UK death rate 15%.
    The NHS has failed us

  3. I would suggest that with both the daily death toll and hospital admissions continuing to decline, and hence the infection rate ditto, track and trace is no longer useful. But I guess the health wallets need to look important.

  4. Yet right now, or at least until a few days ago, we had the virus right where we wanted it: ripping through the not-vulnerable with an R>1 with low viral dosage landing on the infected, and minimally affects on the vulnerable based on death rates which are below long long term averages for over a month.
    And government looks at this and thinks firstly that this is a problem, and secondly that they know of a partial solution which is to stop lifting lockdown. I absolutely fecking despair. We are ruled by idiots who think among other things that it should be against the law for consenting adults to exchange their labour for money at prices between £1 and £8 an hour, and who think there is a climate emergency and going net zero is a sustainable solution, without having the awareness to notice these are incompatible claims.

  5. @ jgh
    Just how many deaths are due to falling down the stairs?
    The numbers are overstated by a few dozen or a couple of hundred – stripping out those would reduced the rate to 14% or at most (reduction) 13%. Still more than eight times South Africa

    • Belgium has a 14% ‘mortality rate’: 9,841 deaths from 68,751 cases. France is over 16%: 30,265 out of 187,919.

      I can’t help feeling that something is distorting these stats. We know that ‘Covid deaths’ aren’t always strictly comparable between countries, maybe tested cases aren’t either.

    • It is vitally important that our South African case and death numbers be kept low to maintain the all-wise, all-seeing image of our glorious leaders. We have the most efficient pandemic-spreading mechanism in the world, namely the minibus taxi. Thus if you believe our official numbers, please let me know because I have a bridge to sell you.

      • Sure, but can they hide >90% of the deaths from the local media and the local branches of world media? And if the case numbers are also understated, by how much is the death *rate* understated? If the case number is understated by one-third then the death number would have to be understated by 93% to make the death rate as bad as the best case UK rate.
        The BBC says that South Africa’s “excess deaths” is about 18,000 so Covid-19 deaths are probably twice the official number – but not eight times.

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