Bella Wallersteiner works as a senior parliamentary assistant to a Conservative MP.
Over the festive weekend, I attended a Freedom March in central London with thousands of others. I am not a Covid denier. I am not anti-vaccine. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I want to return to common sense and fundamental freedoms. The British people are getting angrier and angrier; unless there is a dramatic change in the Covid situation in the UK, the restrictions will have to end, as planned, on 21 June.
The Coronavirus Act, which received royal assent on March 25, 2020, granted the Government extensive emergency powers to combat Covid-19. The law gave the government full authority to suspend civil liberties: public meetings have been stopped, freedom of travel has been reduced, people suspected of having the disease have been forced to stay at home, or be close to someone carrying the virus. . Never in peacetime has there been such a flagrant violation of our basic human rights, which culminated in multiple national and regional closures.
In times of national emergency, draconian measures are sometimes needed. However, we now know much more about the virus and its behavior than in the spring of 2020. There is a strong argument that the government needed to take decisive preventive measures to prevent the spread of the virus and the hospitalization of the elderly, the vulnerable. and those with underlying health conditions. The disastrous decision to release hospital patients into care homes illustrates why the Government became more cautious in its approach and subsequently took stricter measures. But now we must reaffirm our rights, regain control and find a way to return to normalcy.
More than 38 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine. Vaccine deployment is being administered at an impressive rate and four million doses are administered per week. This week, people in their twenties are expected to have the first shots, while those over 50 complete their vaccination cycle with the second shot.
Hospitalizations are declining in all age groups over 55 years, with the most up-to-date data showing the most significant reductions in those between 65 and 74 years as second-dose protection becomes effective. The same data show a small increase in case rates in all age groups, reinforcing hopes that the relationship between infections, hospitalization and deaths has been broken.
The current localized response to the increase in infections, related to the Indian variant, is correct: to accelerate the deployment of vaccines to those over 18 years of age, along with blood pressure tests, in the affected areas. Given the compliance of the population so far, we will soon see Coronavirus hotspots such as Bedford and Bolton return to much lower levels of viral transmission.
The Government should not deviate from its course because there is a new variant of the coronavirus; the track is in the name of “new Coronovirus” and there will always be threatening mutations, as this is what viruses do to ensure human-to-human transmission.
The fact that the Indian variant is now the dominant strain is irrelevant as we will have many more variants in the coming years and the Government should ignore Neil Ferguson’s bleak forecasts which have already led to the UK blockade three times. “Professor Lockdown” has warned that a total reopening of society on June 21 is now “kept in balance” and this baffled view is supported by Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which says the prospect of opening up “seems a bit risky.”
You would be forgiven for thinking that our vaccine does not work against the Indian variant. However, data from Public Health England show that the vaccine is doing its job.
Of the 5,599 people in England who found the Indian variant, only 177 had received the two doses of vaccine.
Across the country, 60% of cases are among the unvaccinated. Most of the rest have only had a single dose, with only three percent of cases and two percent of A&E cases, involving those who received both doses.
This should inspire confidence in the deployment of vaccines in Britain and allow the restoration of all freedoms on 21 June.
The government insists it is still “guided by science”, but there has been a failure to consider alternatives to scientific opinion. Instead, worse cases, such as Ferguson’s modeling, are still being used to justify some of these more draconian restrictions.
It is time for the government to stand up to the pessimists of SAGE. They have kept the nation fearful and divided by far exceeding their powers. They do not take into account the consequences of their actions or understand how most people live. With each day of restrictions creating more of a culture of dependence, the Government should not continue to ride our long freedoms as it seeks to defend them.
The Indian variant may be of concern to scientists, but the prime minister should follow his Rabelaisian libertarian instincts that should bring us back to a “Merrie England” prior to the brewing of craft beer drunk in the country’s pubs, on the cricket of the village and at youth festivals.
The dates and data are synergistic and the Prime Minister’s roadmap should not be hijacked by “destroyers and shady ones” that would make us have a jam and a permanent connection. Not continuing with the final stage of our unblocking on June 21 would be an epic betrayal of the British public that has sacrificed so much to reach this moment of national liberation.
People will not be silenced and that every week the figures marching for freedom continue to grow: the media continues to convey the lie that the protesters are on the sidelines of David Icke and QAnon supporters, but the truth is that the vast majority they are tough -Workers, rational, moderate who just want to regain their freedom and get on with their life. These are the natural preservatives and we ignore them at our peril.
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