I admit, the latest travel and Covid announcements have left me baffled. It appears that someone from abroad, with documents showing they have been vaccinated twice with a reliable coronavirus vaccine, can enter the UK without having to self-isolate, provided they test negative. On the other hand, UK citizens should always self-isolate on the first ping of the test and tracing app, even if they already have two shots. We are told that “science” means that this will remain the case until the 16th day August. In short, we are happy to accept a certificate of vaccination for a foreign country, but not our own.
Meanwhile, the traffic light system for traveling abroad changes so frequently that it is often confusing. This week we were told that France should return to the “extra amber” designation, which requires all arrivals from France to be quarantined, presumably due to the spread of the beta variant in France.
The French quickly resisted, claiming that the beta variant affected only 2% of sufferers and that the vast majority had the delta variant. The United Kingdom responded by noting the high prevalence of beta on Reunion Island, a French province in the Indian Ocean. Other than the fact that it was a 13 hour flight, no one seems to have realized that if you were going directly to the UK from Reunion Island, you wouldn’t have to self-isolate anyway.
I understand and sympathize with my colleagues in government who rely on scientific advice in making their decisions. However, I wonder how this advice has changed. One minister compared trying to get a scientist to get a definitive answer, upon which the decision could be based, to trying to collect mercury with a fork. As the pandemic progressed, the phrase I found reassuring wasn’t always “We follow the science.” The question is, what is the scientific explanation of science?
Keep in mind the advice at the start of the pandemic about face masks; Although scholars have different views, it is politicians who are always criticized for not ordering their use early on.
or other special offer; Scientists who are part of the Sage Committee, who work to gather advice and predictions about possible outcomes to inform the decisions of the Prime Minister, who will suddenly come out and put their personal view on the media. Collective responsibility does not appear to apply to Sage.
When the Prime Minister thinks of easing the blockade, they go out, like poker players, raising the poor expectations of others. Remember the warning that we could reach 100,000 or even 200,000 infections a day?
Looking back, those who predicted the end of the world but got it wrong are rarely responsible. “I just said the number of injuries duty up, no you will do”They say, and the conversation continues. There was no such opportunity for extremist voices who proved to be overly optimistic on the issue of unlocking. There is no way to forget them.
As infections recede, defying bleak predictions, commentators describe these better-than-expected results as “puzzling” and somewhat ambiguous. Perhaps this explains why the predictions of many famous scientists on the media tour have been so underestimated. Leave plenty of room for later.
Before Covid, I had lost count of the number of times we were told that politicians couldn’t get along. Their discussions are unnecessary and lead to poor decisions. Likewise, it has often been argued that the beauty of science is its tendency to concern itself with certainty and accuracy. Well, at least now us less mortal humans know that, like politicians and economists, when there are two scientists in a room, you can “get” 100,000 different opinions.
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