Tag Archives: infect

Schoolkids know the score: reopening all schools in England will infect the nation with Covid-19

“Perfectly safe”: this photo was taken on a school staircase after Boris Johnson ruled that it was “perfectly safe” for children to go back there in September – no social distancing, no PPE… not safe at all. Now he is planning to do it all again, with infection rates nearly seven times higher than when this image was made.

Boris Johnson loves announcing big plans without giving us the facts and figures behind them, and he has done it again with school reopening.

How humiliating for him that it has been up to school pupil Jamal Elaheebocus to explain that when schools were recklessly reopened in June last year, one in 1,100 people were infected with Covid-19. When they were recklessly reopened in September, this had fallen to one in 2,000.

In mid-February, the infection rate was one in 115 people. It is hoped this will have fallen to one in 300 but that is nearly seven times more than in September last year – and look how that turned out!

Jamal reminds us of a few more uncomfortable truths:

the prevalence of the virus in communities remains high. As Johnson himself admitted on January 4, schools are vectors of transmission.

To any of us working or studying in schools, the reasons why schools are hotspots for infection are obvious.

Fitting thirty students and a teacher in a classroom makes social distancing impossible, overcrowded buildings means that several year groups who are separate bubbles then mix together.

Students are then packed on buses and trains to get home, spreading infection not only among themselves but among the wider public as well.

The latest data from Imperial’s React programme showed that 5 to 12 year olds had the second highest infection rate of any age group. Given this, there is no doubt that schools will increase the infection rate again. The difference this time is that infection rates will be much higher.

While the vaccine may help limit the rise in infection to an extent, infection rates will undoubtedly increase. This is a reckless gamble just to get children into schools for three weeks before Easter holidays.

Yes.

So why is Johnson doing it?

This was inevitable, thanks to the pressure from the mainstream media and Keir Starmer.

How low Labour has sunk! Its leader is now counted among those responsible for inflicting an inevitable increase in Covid-19 infections on the UK – yet again. People will die because Starmer did this.

Yes, some of the arguments in favour of re-opening schools have influence – but only because prolonged closures have placed pupils at the mercy of the Tories’ neoliberal system – one that Starmer wholeheartedly supports.

The combined incompetence of the government and the cruelty of the neoliberal system has meant many kids have missed out on free school meals, families are struggling to cope in overcrowded homes and kids have not been able to access online learning because of lack of access to a laptop or good broadband.

Lockdown has been made so difficult for school pupils because of the government’s decision to continue to punish the poorest in society. It is a disgrace that the Tories and the right-wing media are attempting to manipulate the stress and hardship and use it to back up their reckless campaign to open up society and let the virus run rampage.

It is a disgrace.

And the Tories’ adherence to the neoliberal system that demands minimal investment for maximum return (to the very, very rich) means that the reopening will be done on the cheap.

Jamal proposes a series of measures to make schools safe – or at least safer. None of them have been supported – or even mentioned – by Boris Johnson because they cost money.

Teachers should be prioritised for the vaccine since they will be mixing with such a large number of people. This should have been done months ago and as more and more of the clinically vulnerable and elderly are vaccinated, there is no reason not to now prioritise teachers.

There should also be plans to repurpose public buildings as classrooms or put money into new buildings on school sites to facilitate social distancing in classrooms and allow for proper separation of year group bubbles.

Supply teachers and newly-qualified teachers who are not employed can be utilised to allow for smaller class sizes and more social distancing.

The vaccine is not the cure-all that Johnson and his cronies have claimed. It wont protect you as fully as you think, and it won’t protect as many people as you think.

And, of course, it has only been applied to a minority of the population – on a first-dose basis.

How sad that Johnson is so keen to prolong the UK’s Covid-19 agony, just to please his backbenchers, the baying hounds of the mass media… and Keir Starmer.

Source: A school student speaks: 8 March ‘big bang’ reopening just isn’t safe – Counterfire

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Don’t fund Tories: Worried about Covid spike from Wetherspoons overcrowding? Don’t go to that Tory pub!

The Guardian is reporting that Wetherspoon pubs are failing to prevent overcrowding, and this may cause a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The answer is simple: Don’t go into a Wetherspoon pub.

I’ll even give you a good reason not to go:

Every item you buy in a Wetherspoon pub increases Conservative Party funds.

So if you have been harmed by Boris Johnson’s failures on flooding, Covid-19, the economy, school exams or any of the other ways he has harmed the UK, it would be the height of stupidity to cross the threshold of a Wetherspoon pub.

The company is on This Site’s list of Tory donors you should boycott.

And the message is simple:

Don’t fund Tories – they’ll only hurt you again.

Source: Fears overcrowding in Wetherspoon pubs may lead to Covid spike | Business | The Guardian

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Daily Heil’s teacher-shaming propaganda campaign is potentially deadly – and racist, too

‘Let our teachers be heroes’: is that because DEAD heroes don’t cause trouble for Tories?

The Daily Mail has scored a spectacular own-goal by not only attacking teachers who are fighting to keep our children safe from the coronavirus, but by doing it in a racist way.

The right-wing rag is supporting Education Secretary Gavin Williamson in his claim that teachers should “do their duty” and get children back into school at the beginning of June – despite the fact that Williamson has offered no evidence to reassure either teachers, parents or pupils that measures will be imposed to make them all safe from infection with the coronavirus.

This Site published information earlier, in which the Department for Education’s own scientific advisor admitted that reopening schools could potentially create hundreds of potential “vectors” – per school – that could then transmit Covid-19 into society at large. He offered no proof that scientific evidence had played any part in the decision to demand that schools reopen. And he admitted that he had not assessed whether the government’s proposals for opening schools safely could be implemented in an effective way.

In short, the plan to reopen schools is a deathtrap. And the Daily Mail supports it.

Not only that, but the paper that supported Adolf Hitler in the run-up to World War Two (he was also a racist) has managed to demonstrate its own racism with the stock picture it used to illustrate its Tory government propaganda piece – by cutting out the children of minority ethnic parentage from the image:

Sickening.

Fortunately, right-thinking people across the UK have been standing up to humiliate the Mail. Here’s just a sample of their comments:

https://twitter.com/Tobysdad41/status/1261247011149529088

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Michael Fabricant wants to increase our chances of acquiring blood-borne infections. Why?

Misinformed: Michael Fabricant wants to lift a ban on gay men giving blood - but seems seriously misinformed about the subject. [Image: Evening Standard.]

Misinformed: Michael Fabricant wants to lift a ban on gay men giving blood – but seems seriously misinformed about the subject. [Image: Evening Standard.]

Perhaps he has been flailing around for a campaigning subject, what with all the good ones being in opposition to the Conservatives.

Perhaps he thinks pushing otherwise-healthy people into an already-overstretched National Health Service will be a good advert for privatisation. It’s crazy, but it’s a possibility.

There can be few other reasons for Michael Fabricant’s weak bid to poison UK blood supplies by allowing people who may not know they are infected to donate.

He reckons a ban on sexually promiscuous gay men should be lifted as straight men who behave in the same manner do not suffer the same discrimination, which is insane.

There are several things wrong with this. Firstly, he is misrepresenting the issue.

The ban does not affect only sexually promiscuous gay men – it affects any man who has had sex with another man, with or without a condom. This clearly discriminates against gay men who are in a monogamous relationship in which both partners are free of infection. They should not be covered by the ban.

Sexually promiscuous gay men, however, should.

Secondly, the ban was put in place – unless the memory cheats – because blood supplies donated by gay men were discovered to be infected with HIV. Anybody can see that a ban on anything that could spread HIV is entirely sensible and should only be lifted if technology has moved on enough for doctors to spot infected blood immediately or screen out the infection in blood that has been donated.

It has been suggested that this has happened and the time period of the ban should be reduced to the period it takes for screening tests to be effective. This seems reasonable, as long as a prospective donor can show that they have been through the screening process. Professor John Forsyth of the government’s Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs has made it clear that the situation is under constant review.

So Fabricant should be calling for a reduction in the ban – not its outright removal.

Thirdly: In fact, Fabricant himself skimmed over the responsible approach to the issue, which is that “neither straight people nor gay people who have had unsafe sex should give blood.” He added, “within 12 months,” but we could probably reduce that according to when it is possible to screen for infection, as suggested above.

Perhaps that would result in too few people volunteering to give any blood at all. You can’t blame them for that – Fabricant’s Tories have forced hard times on the masses.

Who can blame them for turning to a bit of good old-fashioned earthy sex to cheer themselves up?

Note: This article has been revised after several commenters informed this blog of gaps in Fabricant’s information and of technological advances. VP is grateful to them.

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