Listening to Priti Patel yesterday on Radio 5 Live brought the whole COVID debacle into sharp relief. In an interview lasting 14 minutes Ms Patel did not answer one question she was asked and just used filler to provide anodyne information that we already knew. Just another obfuscating and maddeningly misinforming diatribe meant to shake us off track.
The whole testing debate revolves around one thing. That is, that the Government focuses too much on the proximate cause of the issue driven by people’s angst, which is simply that we just cannot get tests. The information is confusing, and people are scared. This means if little Johnny or Anna or your aged parents have the slightest sniffle we try to get them tested just to be sure. Nothing wrong with this. Unfortunately, Uncle Matt lets off the grenade and runs for cover as he states that people should only go for a test if they are showing signs of COVID. OK, Mr Hancock, what are these now. They seem to have changed somewhat this week.
Having let off the grenade it transpires that he acted on his jerking knee because employers across the country are quite rightly asking their staff to get tested before coming back into the workplace. So the country is trying to kick start the economy whilst the Government knee jerk us into confusion.
So, where are we again. Ah yes, the real issue, is the many and varied distal causations for this. These are the dartboard identification of where the centres are, the lack of a plan B or C to either airlift mass tests to the five laboratories in the UK, where we heard on the same programme this morning that the teams are sitting twiddling their thumbs with no tests arriving for them to process. Secondary, to this, is that wonderful thing the Government pride themselves on, clear information, so that there is no doubt in our minds of what to do.
It is very simple; the planning phase was appallingly delivered. Anyone in their right mind would have created more testing centres in places where the highest numbers of cases were either being identified or through regression statistics it is projected that they will be spiking. Where most centres are congregated a lab would be set up to deal with them thus reducing the time it takes to get the tests back. I only have a PhD in punk and hardcore, so you don’t need one in rocket science to work this out. Even if this is not possible, airlift tests to the labs and then redistribute them as quickly as possible.
Professor Chris Kemp, CEO of Mind Over Matter Consultancy is known throughout the world as an expert on crowded space, leadership and the development of risk analysis processes for venues/ events. He has addressed the House of Commons Select Committee on Olympic Security for the London 2012 Olympic Games, advised the Royal Society of Medicine on crush injuries, and was employed by the HSE as their crowded space expert for the London Olympics. Chris has worked on major events including the Pope’s visit to Romania, the European Football Championships, and the Commonwealth Games, and supported the British Olympic Coaching Team. Chris is well published and has written several books.