OPINION: Numbers don't add up as country tries to get back to normal
- Credit: PA
Reader Eric Kirk says common sense is key as we ease out of lockdown
At a time when the country is struggling to get back on its feet and we have the biggest national debt in peacetime we are still suffering the same lack of logic and experience by those who govern us and those who serve us.
I am not just talking about politicians. In my role at solution management company PPFMM Ltd I see the worse of these decisions clearly demonstrating a lack of thinking outside their limited box.
A typical example was the table service only rule in pubs and restaurants. Not only did this put immense strain on the management, the staff and make profitability none existent.
But it did nothing to ease the spread of Covid. In fact, it made it worse. It slowed service down meaning people were in the same room, in contact with many others and all breathing the same air for longer. One member of staff with an infection visiting many tables and one customer with an infection quietly spreading it around the room because while sitting they were not required to wear a mask.
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Why are many businesses and people not reporting Covid until they are forced to by circumstance? I will give another example.
A Norwich pub doing absolutely the correct thing reports a member of staff has Covid. This was during the football frenzy when pubs were making real money to help pay off the debts of the last two years. What happened? They were instructed to close for ten days.
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Why? When, even on the most favourable surface, the virus can only live three days.
Isolating staff can have daily testing, which does two things; it highlights those with a greater natural resistance and shows up very quickly those who are infected.
So let us logically assume the unfortunate member of staff did not report it until they had symptoms, which is typically five days. Or in the case of the more infectious Delta variant, three days. A five-day close down would be sufficient, unless a new case was detected.
Then with the pub opening on day six, the working staff still continue daily testing for the next four days. This would have been the most pragmatic solution by those making the rules and just as effective.
Why is the NHS not sharing information with itself instead of randomly pinging (contacting) people willy-nilly and causing across the board staff shortages?
They have Track and Trace, plus easily accessible records of who has been single and double inoculated. They must be easily accessible when the public can log on to a web site and download proof of inoculation.
Why can’t one department or its computer talk to the other department or their computer?
Then they could only ping people at most risk of catching or passing on the infection. What compounds the issue is people are then told to tell everyone they have been in close contact with, immaterial of their risk to them.
This may be a few family members or many more if you start to include work colleagues. Judging by age group inoculation rates. Selective pinging could see 40% of currently isolating people returning to work.
One less headache for employers and less strain on the country’s finances and our pockets or purses.
Why our pockets and purses? Simple really and something unions and over avaricious sometimes self-proclaimed employee representation groups choose to forget.
The government has no money, it relies on taxes we all pay, directly or indirectly and it’s immaterial if you are working, on benefits, surviving on your meagre old age pension or lucky enough to live on the currently woeful return from your investments or savings interest.
I absolutely 100% agree the frontline NHS staff should get a reward.
But forget wage increases where those nurses who were truly at the coalface will get the least and then later the foreseeable clamour for parity claims mean those with the least involvement get something too.
Also what about the ex-hospital staff who came out of retirement to help or the hospital volunteers, many of whom faced the same risks with no reward. What do they get for their truly public-spirited actions?
A one-off flat rate payment to all directly involved would be a much better and affordable solution. Especially when one public sector pay rise attracts other public sectors rushing to claim like Moths drawn to a flame.
Or in addition to the almost certain increases in prices, interest rates, National Insurance, VAT rates and income tax are we to face months of ill affordable public sector strikes for the participants or us?
Obviously, there is a great need for a lot more thought processing in many different circles so two and two really can make four.