Yesterday we were told the lockdown was to be extended until 08 May, when it would be reviewed again. This didn’t come as a surprise to anyone as only the most foolhardy would want to revert to normal at this critical time. The experts say the U.K. is nearing its peak as deaths are expected to exceed 13,000 today; 140 of these have been in Northern Ireland. Horrific numbers but how accurately do they reflect the true extent of the pandemic?
The current debate within the British media are the number of elderly people dying in care homes who are not being included in the government figures. Some estimate this could add as much as 25% to the national total, which only registers deaths in hospitals. There has been an outcry that the figures are being manipulated and the elderly members of our society forgotten and left to die while the physicians focus on saving younger patients.
The government have of course refuted this allegation via a number of increasingly heated interviews with journalists. What we do know is the virus is now sweeping through care homes at a frightening rate, where many of our most vulnerable members of society reside. Some are calling it a national scandal and pressure grows on the government to include care home deaths in the daily totals.
The same applies to other nations. Many are cynical of figures being reported by China and Russia while the lack of testing in ‘third world’ nations means we have no idea as to the spread of the pandemic. The Brazilian president poses for selfies while his counterpart in Belarus states regular saunas and vodka consumption will keep the virus at bay. President Trump seeks a return to normality as the American death toll nears a staggering 30,000.
Then there are the rumours. The Americans are blaming the Chinese who are blaming the Americans. The virus is being spread by 5G phone masts leading to some being set on fire in the U.K. It’s a punishment from God, it’s a government laboratory leak, it’s little green men descending from Mars. All the while, the death toll rises. Over two million infections and 136,000 dead. They said it was nothing and we were all exaggerating. How wrong they were.