Just as the number of hospital admissions and deaths were beginning to flatline and the effects of tier 2 and 3 restrictions were starting to kick in, the government decided to put the whole of England into another lockdown.
It seems bizarre that in Islington, where there hasn’t been a single death from Covid for months, we all have to hunker down and watch the local and national economies nosedive.
God knows how they must feel in places like Cornwall where case rates per 100,000 are about 30.
The damage done by this kind of lockdown is enormous – both to the economy and to physical and mental health. I walk down my main shopping street, Islington’s Upper Street and I see all these small businesses shut and I ask myself why, what on earth is the point?
I can’t think of a single local business that didn’t take the precautions seriously. They spent a great deal of time and money to ensure they kept their premises covid-19 secure. My Highbury gym has an effective ventilation system, introduced a booking system, made sanitising materials available everywhere and ensured the layout encouraged distancing. It was a safe environment. The same with my swimming pool. Not a single case of covid had been reported in either venue but both have been forced to shut.
My local restaurant participated in track and trace, took your temperature as you walked in, asked customers to wear masks until seated, wore masks themselves, provided hand sanitiser at each table and again not a single case of covid was reported. But now for the second time this year, it has had to close its doors with no income but most of the costs still to pay.
Fortunately, sports massage therapists with level 4 and 5 qualifications are allowed to remain open.
The government once boasted that it would provide a ‘world-beating’ track and trace system. Instead it has been a national humiliation and it is now completely unable to cope with the number of cases it has to deal with. It was a wasted summer while surely the most incompetent government in living memory flailed around claiming to be ‘following the science’ – science, which like all branches of investigation, is complex and conflicted. Which science was it following?