Plague Island

I understand that the UK has acquired a new nickname, one which is gaining in popularity across the globe. So, welcome to Plague Island.

Welcome to Plague Island

The new moniker is well deserved. Google the phrase “plague island” and the top listed links nearly all refer to Britain and how those in other countries see us. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself.

And Morocco has banned all flights to and from the UK: that’s how bad they see us.

A Few Statistics

Let’s just check out how we compare now with other parts of Europe.

Recent Covid Cases

The circles represent the number of cases over the past 2 weeks. We are faring much worse than the countries compared here: Only Russia and Turkey are doing worse than us, with populations much bigger: 146 million and 86 million respectively.

And the UK’s figures have been rising sharply over the past few days.

Covid Cases: trend

The cumulative totals of Covid cases since the start of the pandemic put the UK as the worst in Europe:

Total Cases: Europe

Covid Deaths

The statistics for Covid death rates (per million population) also show the UK in a poor light:

Death Rates: Europe

Of the comparable countries in Europe (i.e. with similar levels of living standards), only Belgium and Italy have higher death rates.

Vaccinations

The British Government has banged on repeatedly about our early start in vaccinations, but the truth is that we became too complacent in our self-congratulation. The table below shows how we have been overtaken in our vaccination programme by other countries:

Global Vaccination Rates: cumulative to date

The UK has slipped to 15th place in the world table and European countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and France – the last a country with a long history of vaccine scepticism – are now ahead of the UK.

A graph showing our vaccination rate over time gives a clear picture of that complacency:

UK Vaccinations Trend

As one of the half million people entitled to receive an additional pre-booster “third primary” jab, I went for mine yesterday. The earlier impression I had with both my first and second vaccinations back in February and April was of a large, well organised operation with committed people energised to help get us out of the pandemic. Yesterday’s session was a much more low-key affair. I clearly blame the government for taking their eyes off the ball and engendering a more complacent atmosphere in the country.

Conclusions

So, what do I conclude from all this?

The early stages (from January to July this year) of the vaccination programme was excellent and an example of what can be done by the NHS, its staff and volunteers when there is a crisis to be dealt with. Every other aspect of the handling of the pandemic has been handled disastrously by Johnson and his clique of incompetents.

Britain is viewed with pity and incredulity everywhere around the world: pariah status is all but assured. But right now, Plague Island is the best we deserve.

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2 thoughts on “Plague Island

  1. I’ve been reading your posts for a while, unfortunately the majority of your posts are all about attacking our country. Do you ever have anything good to say, about anything?

    For someone who has clearly benefited from a capitalist system, no doubt comfortably retired on a very good pension?, has a few properties rented out maybe?

    You reek of ‘champagne socialism’ and a mis-guided sense of self-imposed moral superiority.

  2. Thank you for your comments.
    My wife would certainly recognise it where you ask if I ever have anything good to say. I would concede that my character faults do indeed lead to a charge of “quick to criticise, slow to praise”. Indeed, it has been my concern for some time that this blog has moved away from my original intent of a general observation on aspects of our humanity and become a bit of a rant about politics. Light and shade with some humour was the remit I set out for myself 5 years ago.
    You comments are, up to a point, well-directed and insightful. But a few specific ripostes:
    There are many aspects of living in this country of which I approve: the NHS and BBC stand out above all. But I also like our slightly self-deprecating and subtle sense of humour and our traditions of fair play.
    I do not disapprove of capitalism per se, but, post Thatcher / Ayn Rand, markets have been encouraged to encroach into many areas where they do not deliver benefits to people at large.
    Pension: yes, I’d say “comfortable” rather than “very good”. Properties? No.
    I would be proud to call myself a “socialist” with the important qualifier “democratic”. Champagne: not really: more of a wine and beer man myself – but I do understand the intent of your chosen term of insult.
    Notwithstanding the less-than-friendly tone of your comments, I do genuinely welcome them as an opportunity for some self-reflection.
    Paraphrasing the late, great Jo Cox MP: there are many more things that unite us than divide us. And I would add, reasoned debate beats the (actual or threatened) use of force every time when it comes to settling our differences.

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