The UK government’s contentious herd immunity programme seems set to make a return following Boris Johnson’s decision to confirm the lifting of all lockdown restrictions sparking wrangling division on Twitter.
Hot on the heels of last night’s announcement #JohnsonVariant began trending online amid Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s confirmation that coronavirus cases are likely to surge to 100,000 a day over summer.
Johnson’s grin-and-bear-it decision to drop all lockdown restrictions and plunge the UK into a new era of “personal responsibility” has been branded “reckless” and “insane” with 30,000 cases being reported daily at present.
We’re now to rely on the common sense of the British public— Sara-Elizabeth (@SaraKean) July 6, 2021
The common sense of the British public elected this bloke
I’m think that tells you where this is going…#r4today #ToryCovidCatastrophe #COVIDIOTS #ItsOver #LambdaVariant #DeltaVariant #JohnsonVariant #WearAMask pic.twitter.com/jNAUZG5oHP
I’ve spent the last hour or so ranting and raving on twitter because I am so angry and feel so helpless and frustrated in the sight of such evil. They are really trying to kills us off. #JohnsonMustGo #JohnsonHasFailedTheNation #JohnsonVariant— Sybille Sterk #FBPE #FBPA #PR #RejoinEU ??? (@MagicSybille) July 6, 2021
Amidst much media coverage of Johnson’s announcement yesterday that Covid restrictions being lifted, the tragic death toll from the #ToryCovidCatastrophe seemed to be forgotten.— Andrew Godsell ? #FBNHS ? #FBPA (@AndrewGodsell) July 6, 2021
Why does anyone trust him? #JohnsonVariant #JohnsonMustGo https://t.co/uaYlH77rAU
The #JohnsonVariant is likely to emerge from hundreds of thousands of infected teens & young people in time for schools & colleges to return in September. It will then spread around the poorer world where many will needlessly die because vaccinating Global South = 0 priority.— Simon Parker (@sparkerworld) July 6, 2021
“Let the bodies pile high”
Although more muted this time around, Johnson’s plans ring of the butterfingered herd immunity programme in proposed last year and accompanying slogan: “let the bodies pile high.”
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Amid the polarised outline outcry, however, Professor Chris Whitty has warned keeping Covid restrictions would only delay an inevitable wave of hospitalisations.
“At a certain point you move to the situation where instead of actually averting hospitalisations and deaths, you move over to just delaying them,” he said.
“There is quite a strong view by many people, including myself actually, that going in the summer has some advantages, all other things being equal, to opening up into the autumn when schools are going back and when we’re heading into the winter period when the NHS tends to be under greatest pressure for many other reasons.”
The matter of masks
In advance of last night’s briefing, the British Medical Association urged the government to continue implementing mandatory mask-wearing in enclosed public spaces as a means to calm the surge in cases, since disregarded by the government in favour leaving it to personal choice.
Mixed messaging on the matter of face coverings from government officials have given rise to an online tug-of-war between those who will and won’t elect to continue to wear masks.
In an impassioned thread, ITV’s political editor, Robert Peston, hit out at the government’s live-and-let-live approach to the issue of face masks.
“When you hear politicians and others talking about the important freedom to choose NOT to wear a mask and NOT to keep a respectful distance from others, note that their freedom is felt as oppression by those who through no fault of their own are more at risk from this awful disease,” he said.
“I often think about how my late wife, Siân Busby, would have felt about how Covid-19 has turned so many frail people into second class citizens, unable to be in the world properly.
“Her immune system was compromised for years by her repeated chemotherapy. That was hard enough. How she would have felt when hearing and seeing morons bang on about what a terrible thing it is to wear a mask or keep a few feet away from strangers, I shudder to think.”
The Lambda Variant
This comes as warnings from were issued from the WHO about the new Lambda variant of interest which has been raising eyebrows among the scientific community as to whether current vaccines will offer full immunity against it.
The variant has now been found in 27 countries across the world including the UK, having first been detected in Peru last August.