Covid cultures


Restrictions across all age groups and most places are the order of the day to save us all from Covid-19. Cases are rising, and hospitalisations and deaths are also – but these latter are far fewer than when Covid was in its first flush. Deaths from Covid are few compared with total deaths per week. There is a view that a less aggressive and more focussed approach would be more effective and less damaging.

Professor Sunetra Gupta of the University of Oxford, and 26 other highly qualified and respected experts wrote cogently; ‘Our view is that that the existing policy path is inconsistent with the known risk-profile of Covid-19’.

Current policy they say is predicated on an aim to suppress the virus and anticipate an effective vaccine but: ‘This objective is increasingly unfeasible … and is leading to significant harm across all age groups, which likely offsets any benefits’

‘Instead, more targeted measures which protect the most vulnerable from Covid, whilst not adversely impacting those not at risk, are more supportable. Given the high proportion of deaths in care homes, these should be a priority’

Care Homes – identified as requiring priority attention see the downside of protection which denies families the chance to be together – it takes away the will to live https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/23/covid-ban-on-care-home-visitors-risks-premature-deaths-experts-warn

And some homes are seeking to counter this by inviting families to live in the home, with their relative, for free https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/23/relatives-invited-to-move-into-care-homes-in-england-amid-covid-lockdowns

Excess deaths compared with the five year rolling average are now confined to people dying at home 10,000 more deaths than usual occurred in UK homes since June

Commentators suggest that this is because people are even more fearful of the hazards of care homes and hospitals than usual. The concern is that some people are dying who might have been treated successfully from their ailment if seen by competent medical staff. Despite a plethora of automated emails and texts from our own doctors, the experience is of a service determined to keep patients at a long distance.

I hope that Professor Gupta’s group will get a fair hearing.

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