Yet again, the Tories fail us with their pronouncements on Covid-19.
Here‘s Gavin Williamson – whose credibility is already shot to ribbons after the ‘A’ level and GCSE algorithm fiasco – saying parents in England who do not send their children back to school risk putting a “huge dent in their future life chances”.
He’d know, having himself tried to put a huge dent in the future life chances of millions of young people with that algorithm.
According to The Guardian:
In his letter to parents on Sunday, Williamson said it was generally accepted that children’s health and well-being was more at risk if they did not go to school.
He referred to a joint statement by the UK’s chief medical officers, which said very few, if any children and teenagers would come to long-term harm from the virus solely by attending school.
That’s nice. What about the parents’ health and well-being?
Well, it seems their chances of catching Covid-19 will increase exponentially – by chatting to other mums and dads on the way to school or outside the gates.
That is the advice of Birmingham’s public health director, Dr Justin Varney.
According to Birmingham Live, he said:
“It’s actually all the parents at the school gates. It’s that mingling space.
“You won’t have seen other parents for a long time. We will want to have a catch up and a chat.
“It is a noisy environment so everyone is standing just a little bit too close. So those are the kind of spaces that I think we have got to be really alert to.”
Perhaps the Johnson government hasn’t considered this.
Perhaps Williamson doesn’t think it’s anything to do with him and parents should take responsibility for their behaviour.
Perhaps he’s mistaken about that.
This is a situation involving a potentially fatal pandemic illness and it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the possibility of infection is minimised.
That’s why this rush to get kids back into school so parents can go back to work is so potentially dangerous.
It is actually providing new vectors on which the virus can spread through the population – possibly with wildfire speed.
And that is why Tories like Williamson have created what we may call a “trust deficit”.
He’s telling us to do things we know are dangerous. How can we have faith in the Tories when they are actively trying to put us in harm’s way?
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