Chancellor: Rishi Sunak.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is urging, all office workers, to return to work. Mr. Sunak has been speaking about the health benefits, of returning to the office. Interaction and the social mixing with work colleagues is something, we all need, especially the young, according to Dr. Sunak, (sorry Chancellor!). Let's not forget, all those who cannot work at home and have not had, the luxury, of working from home.
Of course, Sunak does have a point, getting out of the house, hobnobbing with other members of our species, is good for you. Isolation can be miserable, as many have found out during lockdown or when you are pinged, by the NHS COVID App. Of course, that is not entirely true about isolation or lockdown, some have found it enlightening in many ways or indeed, creative.
However, seeing as we live in a more and more material world, (mores, the shame!), it's the economy that matters, don't you know! To people, like Wishy-Washy, their whole modus operandi is built on capitalism, and frankly, nothing else matters!
Mr. Sunak having spoken to the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, said the government is going to make the NHS COVID app, less sensitive or in simple terms, 'water it down'. Why? Well, if the ending of all restrictions goes ahead on 19 July, (as it probably will, unless something drastic happens, according to Michael Gove), the government is expecting thousands to be pinged and isolate. Infection rates will obviously, go through the roof, and with thousands of people isolating, the economy will take a huge knock. Sajid Javid, announced in the House of Commons, that he expected there would be 50,000 - 100,000 cases a day. Javid, like Sunak, is a money-man and one has to wonder, is he indeed, the correct man to be the Health Secretary? Obviously, his training is finance, like Sunak, and this will determine how he sees everything. Is he looking at the NHS as a health service first and foremost, free to everyone? Or, does he just see Pound signs, as he takes over the fallen Matt Hancock's portfolio? Yes, in some ways the NHS is a business, however, the priority should always be health not wealth. Just as it was open to everyone, when Bevan, the then Labour Health Secretary, introduced it in the 40s. If he were around today, as a socialist, he would be horrified, that the NHS was considered a capitalist enterprise. Although the Conservatives say, they believe in the NHS, one always suspects they are never really comfortable with a socialist-inspired enterprise. To be fair, over the years, the NHS has suffered massive underfunding. Some privatisation has been brought in or dabbled with, also. Both Labour and Tory governments are responsible, for privatisation and underfunding the NHS. However, seeing as the NHS was a Labour idea in the first place, one would like to think that an incoming Starmer government, would fund it adequately, pay all staff, (especially, nurses properly), privatisation is kept to a minimum or not at all, and that it would always be free, at the point of entry.
The Conservative government has said, that thousands of people isolating, would be, "Lockdown by the backdoor". So, the thinking is that changing the Bluetooth NHS app would change all this. In other words, the fewer people isolating, the more people at work and therefore, less damage to the economy.
Isolating, for the fully vaccinated will be axed, on 16 August. The thinking being is that those, who are fully vaccinated will be safer from infection, than those not. While in many cases, this may be true, the vaccinated could still be vulnerable. For example, they may get infected, but not develop any symptoms, therefore, pass on the virus to other vaccinated or indeed, those not yet vaccinated. Is removing, the vaccinated the right to self-isolate a good idea? What about if a variant evolves, that can get around, the current vaccines? The government is gambling that those fully vaccinated will always be safe. While thankfully, this may be true for now, the virus is constantly evolving so the vaccines will have to keep pace with this. It seems also, the government, is being mindful of keeping the economy going and protecting the NHS from being overwhelmed. Figures say there were 350,036 app alerts in England, for the week ending of 30 June.
The government is gambling and as Sir Keir said being "reckless". Maybe, all the measures that the government is thinking of or introducing may pay off. It is thought that on 14 July, the final lifting on 19 July, will be reviewed. Never the less going forward, as government policy develops and is enacted, no one, in the end, can really what will happen.
One can speculate, produce forecasts, graphs, hold a thousand live news conferences, but in the end, it is all unknown.