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Secret diary - Easing restrictions while cases rise

I am writing this on the eve of the supposed release from the restrictions that have been in place for many months, in order to reduce the number and severity of Covid cases.

Since early July, the situation has clearly worsened and now with nearly 50,000 cases a day, is this a sensible decision?  I predict that we will need to reimpose restrictions within a few weeks, to manage the expected surge, as many eminent professors have said.

With the new Health Secretary - a former Chancellor and Banker - the government has always wanted to push through the release of restrictions as the economy is suffering, and they seem to think it is better to do this at the expense of the general population.

So, holidays are back on, and the rules altered to fit the circumstances, so amber countries are now safe to go to as long as you have had 2 vaccines!

Yes, I know we need to get back to some normality, but is now the time to release most things in one go, and how is primary care going to cope?

Although the wearing of masks will remain mandatory in NHS buildings, there has been very little publicity on this, with more given to the voluntary wearing in other sectors such as retail and hospitality.

I am sure that this will all lead to arguments and trouble, and we in primary care will have to police this within our surgeries in order to protect staff and patients.

There is now a view that these new measures are very risky, and as one newspaper headline says, Freedom Day has now been outsourced!

I personally am worried at what is happening; although the government is asking everyone to do the right thing, there are so many views on the situation that the ‘right thing’ means different things to different people. We only have to look at the Euro 2020 final to see that. So if things go wrong, we - the people - will be blamed.

We are certainly not going to be immune from staff shortages and isolating staff as the pinging and cases rise. We are being asked to be ready for the Covid booster jabs as well as the increase in the flu cohorts again this year, but we are short on detail as usual.

So, I think the next 6 months will be as challenging as the last 12 months and whilst I hope we are over the worst, I am just crossing my fingers and hoping.

 

 


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