Andy Richardson: 'Prevention of second Covid-19 wave is in our hands'
The effects of Covid-19 are biting deeper.
The region is a cultural centre of excellence that occupies a place on the European stage, with world class venues bringing in A-list artists. Since March, venues have been dark and job cuts have begun in earnest.
At the world class Town Hall and Symphony Hall, 50 per cent are being made redundant. A similar picture has emerged at its neighbour, the REP, while Birmingham Hippodrome – home of the UK’s best panto – has shed staff. Finances are in tatters at the many small, local theatres that bring joy to tens of thousands.
The worrying thing is this: that picture is replicated across many sectors. From tourism to hospitality, from manufacturing to administration. Some sectors cannot trade while demand for others has collapsed.
The greatest fear is that we’ll have a second wave of Covid-19 infection this autumn and winter. It is in our hands to stop that.
Let’s be plain: the Government messed up the UK’s response to Covid-19, leading to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. PPE, Dominic Cummings, discharging infectious elderly people to spread the disease in our care homes, a disastrous track and trace regime – anyone seen the app? I can’t find it on Google Play – inadequate testing, money paid to crooked PPE providers who didn’t exist and misleading data... The list goes on.
It’s time to reset, to hit the pause button and make sure it doesn’t happen again, that we avoid a second wave.
The toxic mask-ulinity of those who don’t want to wear them – including numerous, bad-example-setting ministers – will adversely affect us all.
It’s time to make sure track and trace is world class, rather than bottom of the class. It’s time to put contingencies in place to avoid further lockdowns if the infection rate increases. No more Cheltenham Races or Champions League spread-a-thons.
Think on this. If we have a second wave, we’ll have further job losses and recessions. Cause and effect. Simples, as our Meerkat friends might say. Let’s channel our inner Batman and cover our face.
And besides, there’s plenty of good news to take our minds off the fact that masks are hot, uncomfortable and make us look weird. A replica of Noddy’s red and yellow car broke down outside a house in Britain earlier this week – enough to put a smile on anyone’s masked face.
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