Learning to die with Covid
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid is preparing to unveil a long-term plan for 'living with Covid' like the 'flu.
Firstly, comparisons between Covid and seasonal 'flu are wrong-headed at best, just plain wrong at worst. In 2 years, Covid has killed around 8 times more people than the 'flu would normally have done in the same period - in spite of lockdowns, social distancing, mask-wearing, working from home, travel restrictions, the shut-down of hospitality venues, self-isolation, and all the other things we wouldn't normally get with seasonal 'flu.
On 2nd January, a neighbour of mine - a key worker, fully-jabbed - tested positive for Covid. He had an underlying lung condition, but not bad enough to seriously inhibit him in life. He worked, drove, took exercise - all the things most of us do. The next day he was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties, and he died overnight - leaving his wife of 42 years a widow at 60. He was 63 on the day before he died.
And now today, a colleague of mine who has been working from home whilst shielding both his young wife (who has cancer) and his disabled daughter is being told he should return to the office. They are all terrified of the risk if he gets even a 'mild' infection. Just as these people are...
People need to bear this in mind when they go to their night-clubs, and jet off on their fly-and-flop holidays abroad again. Our 'learning to live' with Covid will, for many, also mean learning to die with it.