We’ve been hearing this “a few more weeks” routine since March 2020. At this point, anyone who actually believes it is suffering from some form of mental disorder.
Ministers have been told that a four-week delay to easing all Covid restrictions would probably prevent thousands of hospitalisations, as Boris Johnson prepares to tell the English public they will have to wait up to another month for “freedom day”.
The government roadmap out of lockdown earmarks 21 June for the last remaining coronavirus restrictions to be lifted in England, but the prime minister is expected to announce on Monday that the timetable will be pushed back by two to four weeks amid a rapid rise in cases of the Delta variant first detected in India.
The Delta variant is rising across the UK, where it now makes up more than 90% of new coronavirus infectious. Public health officials are concerned about the variant because it partially evades vaccines, is at least 40% more transmissible than the Alpha variant first detected in Kent, and appears to double the risk of hospitalisation.
Johnson and senior colleagues were expected to make the final decision on Sunday evening, after the conclusion of the G7 summit in Cornwall, with the wider cabinet then set to be consulted. The prime minister will attend a Nato summit in Brussels on Monday before returning to Downing Street to deliver the news.
Any delay will infuriate lockdown sceptics on the Tory backbenches, who are concerned about the impact on hospitality businesses and have begun to claim they fear the government will never feel confident enough to lift restrictions. On Sunday, Johnson declined to answer the question of whether the delay could be for more than four weeks.
The latest modelling of the Delta variant shared with ministers suggests that even with the rapid rollout of vaccines, the UK will face a third wave of infections mostly among younger people who have yet to receive their immunisations. While many older people are now well-protected from two doses of vaccine, hospital admissions are still expected to rise because not all vulnerable people have had their shots, and some do not mount a robust immune response.
Modelling to be released on Monday shows that a four-week pause on lifting the restrictions would probably prevent thousands of hospitalisations as it would keep the brakes on the pandemic – albeit lightly – while more people receive their second shots. A surge in the coming weeks would hit the NHS as emergency departments warn they are already struggling with intense demand.
Americans don’t even know this is happening.
They think the rest of the world must be opening up because America has opened up.
But Britain is still locked down pretty hard. Much of Europe is, in fact, along with stupid random countries across the planet.
The main reason – maybe the only reason – that the US is open is that Ron DeSantis refused to close, which meant that everyone could point and say “yeah but what about Florida”? So the media and other governors had to adjust their narratives.
But the Delta Force Variant is coming in like a whirlwind – and America will be closed once more.
The Delta Force Variant, produced by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, is just too powerful.