“The tension between reporting the facts and the grave reality of the situation and the responsibility to boost morale is laid out in front of you as a reporter.” Trials and tribulations of being a frontline local news reporter during the pandemic movingly described by the author.
Going beyond recovery from the pandemic. In reviewing a recent book on Scotland post-Covid-19, we urge an ambitious, granular debate on the ways to transform our country and make it greener, fairer and more democratic for all.
Since its inception, the Scottish Parliament has not been renowned for its reforming zeal. But the pandemic has thrown up a range of challenges that must be addressed if a ‘working’ system is to re-emerge in hospitals, schools and the courts. It is surely right then that the electorate has some idea of the competing views of each of the political parties as to how they intend to respond to the pandemic’s effects.
‘The outcome is indeed so vital for us all that the progress of the vaccination programme is the one topic that cannot be kicked into the long grass of some future Inquiry – and this knowledge must be shared as fully and as often as possible.’
‘Putting it bluntly, this kind of statistical amnesia will seem a little tawdry to anyone who invested belief and political capital in the First Minister’s approach.’ Our statistical expert ends the year of the pandemic as he began: savaging the misuse of data.
‘But the more fundamental objection is that the study (by Public Health Scotland into hospital discharges to care homes) tells us nothing about the real question of concern: Did the discharge of untested patients to care homes result in an increase in deaths? The truth is that we are really none the wiser.’
‘It looks as though outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 will be a fact of life for some time to come, but “learning to live with the virus” should not mean letting it infect large numbers of people. The plan should be to make sure that very few people get infected so that new outbreaks are small and rare.’
In his latest piece on the pandemic, Hugh Pennington examines inter alia how cuts in labs and scientists have helped damage our response to the coronavirus
‘It’s right that we do not forget that the objective of protecting the NHS in Scotland resulted in people being denied essential care for non-COVID-19 conditions nor the mistakes made in respect of care homes…But the drawing of comparisons is not a political debating ploy. It is essential to our safety.’
‘The current COVID-19 events are not a “second wave”, or a “second peak”, or “second spikes”. They are continuations of the ongoing epidemic. There was no second wave with SARS, a closely related coronavirus, and we are still waiting for one in Wuhan.’