I am writing to you today frustrated that once again proposed government policy has been announced via the medium of the right-wing press rather than being presented to parliament for discussion.
As someone who is not covered by any of the priority vaccination groups, and so am not expecting being called for vaccination before September (if at all) I was appalled to see suggestions that all restrictions should be lifted by the end of April. Following such a course of action (which is against expert scientific advice) will lead to more deaths and more opportunities for virus mutations, including the likelihood of a vaccine-resistant strain emerging. I am not willing, along with millions of other people, to be literally sacrificed at the altar of Conservative economic policy.
Unless a zero covid strategy is adopted by this government, the NHS will continue to be overwhelmed and unable to return to normal standards of care. Tens of thousands more people will die and many more will suffer the effects of long covid. Further lockdowns will be required, damaging the education and mental health of the nation’s children (and adults), the economy, and amplifying existing inequalities.
I urge you to campaign for a zero covid strategy, as well as for the government to admit that covid is airborne and require mitigation in schools and all healthcare settings (mandating both premium quality masks and adequate ventilation).
The government has wasted the time given to it by the populace in these three lockdowns over the past year. Test and trace needs to be made fit for purpose to minimise further deaths, people need to be supported to self-isolate (both practically and financially), and the self-employed who have been excluded from Rishi Sunak’s financial aid schemes need to be supported.
I also urge you to resist calls for vaccine passports to be introduced. This will further discriminate against the younger part of the population who are already looking at a 6-month wait for vaccination, whilst also being disproportionately more likely to be at risk of catching the virus due to their jobs. If, as suggested, they are required for entry into shops and restaurants (rather than for entry into other countries) there will be the situation that staff working in these establishments would not be able to attend them under the scheme (whilst still being at risk from patrons).
Yours, in exhaustion