Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Thursday, May 14, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise itís Thursday 14th May and this is Adrian Dale with the daily podcast.

Thank you again for feedback on yesterdayís podcast. Many people shared my concerns about the easing of lock down restrictions and the way it was being handled. Helen from Linolnshire, however, pointed out that I had made a slip of the tongue, calling the Health Secretary Nick Hancock, rather than Matt Hancock. The difference of course is that one of the Hancocks is a comedian and the other a politician. Iíll leave you to decide which.

You have probably gathered that I am not impressed by the approach taken to relaxing the lock down. I am a scientist by training and some of the Government decisions taken recently fly in the face of the science, especially in the way they have been presented. And even more confusion reigned yesterday as the Government attempted to clarify its lock down relaxation policies after being challenged.

Nick Hancock, sorry I meant Matt Hancock, but how can I tell the difference they are both comedians, gave another reason for people not meeting in their back gardens. On Monday he said was because a few people might have to go through the house to get to the back garden. Yesterday, he added another reason. If people meet in their back gardens, rather than a park, then they will probably spend more time together. Well so what you might ask? If they stay properly 2 metres apart, whatís the problem?

Well there is the problem with the message. The 2 metres apart rule is still not really safe. Over a period of time, aerosol droplets will still accumulate around you, even outdoors, you and your friend might still get infected. The 2 metre rule simply reduces the average risk of transmission enough to keep the magical R number below 1.0 for the population as a whole. For an individual, staying 2 metres apart is simply no protection, so please donít kid yourselves.

The Government has now also announced that two unrelated commuters can share a car to work provided that they face away from each other and keep the windows open. But there was no mention of them wearing face masks, presumably because driving whilst masked can also involve risk. This is frankly laughable.

So why have the Government said this? Well think about it, the Government have to balance the risk of some people contracting Covid-19 through shared car usage with the risks of more accidents on the roads as a result of higher traffic. On balance, they have decided that share car usage for short to medium journeys is safer. Do you think the general population will get this? I donít.

You see following this logic, it is now fine for one teenager to drive to pick up their mate as long as the window is open. They then think they can then drive to secluded spot and sit in the car together, as long as the windows are open.

And believe me this has started already in this Village. I get regular daily reports from Vanessa about the nightly goings on at the entrance to the airfield. They quite simply beggar belief. Yesterday I heard that two girls drove to the airfield last night with the car windows open and sat there smoking cannabis. They then tossed the rubbish from their takeaways onto the ground for others to pick up. Vanessa was clearing litter and these girls had the cheek to ask if Vanessa minded taking their rubbish home. They were completely oblivious to the fact they were breaking multiple laws and putting Vanessa at risk.

The Office of National Statistics released their report yesterday for the weeks up until the 1st May.. They make grim reading. More bus drivers and construction workers have died of Covid-19 than expected. Think about it. Bus drivers sit at the front of the bus well away from people, and even now behind a screen. But passengers fleetingly pass them and, during the day, aerosols accumulate in the bus. Construction workers are outside all the time, but need to interact with their work mates. They are dying as a result.

For me, this is clear evidence that we are in the grip of something where statistics are useful for the population but cannot help the individual.

It is also now apparently acceptable to re-hire domestic help Ė including cleaners who will come into your home, child minders, plumbers, electricians and decorators. Now of course I am delighted that these people can now earn their living once more. However, in my model of the world, I am not allowing anyone into my house or onto my property if they have been working elsewhere.

Even more crazy is the decision to restart the housing market. So letís be clear, I am not allowed to go into my parentís home, but a family of total strangers are allowed to wander around my house to view it if I want to sell. Has the Government lost its common sense, or are they taking a balanced view that a few lives lost are worth it for restarting the economy?

I am sure that you can sense my frustration and I am sorry to cover the same topic two days in a row. However, I am incensed. As a Nation, we are at risk of losing the meaning of the messages. And sadly the numpties may get the upper hand by following crazy rules badly without understanding why.

I contrast this with New Zealand where their PM set out a clear 5 stage extreme lock down plan at the beginning of the pandemic and explained to the Nation why it was needed. Her nation is 100% behind her, and today they reached level 4 where people can now interact with nominated other people outside their household for the first time in 8 weeks. They have had just 21 deaths in 5 million people and only 1,500 cases across their nation during the entire pandemic. We have had more deaths in Northamptonshire than New Zealand. Our population is 1/6 of New Zealand. Think about it!

So let this Village take a more extreme view of the pandemic, I donít want us to be a statistical average. I donít want a single person in this Village to be infected again and certainly not to die of Covid-19. However, it is in your hands. And I certainly hope they are clean and safe ones.

Thank you