The UK is now seeing a growth in the “Indian variant”.
Information about whether this was imported or has evolved locally (“parallel evolution”) is not appearing in the mass media. Either the information isn’t known or it is and is being withheld. Either way this shows the pointlessness of the border quarantine system. The whole idea of this system – which causes massive disruption to anyone wanting to enter or re-enter the country (except the long list of government workers and government contractors on the exemptions list) is to protect the country from variants. If the Indian variant is now prevalent in the UK then the quarantine system appears to have failed and its justification no longer exists.
The government is now warning that lockdown may have to be extended etc. Despite the fact that as of now there is no evidence that the Indian variant is vaccine resistant – and indeed the evidence points the other way. Health workers in India who have been vaccinated are not dying in large numbers.
There is a problem here. After the Indian variant it is likely that there will be other variants. E.g. the Indonesian variant, the French variant, and so on. Are they going to have a panic and a lockdown every time? The reality of Covid-19 is looking increasingly like a flu type scenario; constantly evolving variants. Vaccines offer good protection against major variants but can be outflanked by new variants. (I’m not a virologist but I have read that the design of the Sars-Cov-2 virus means that it is likely that vaccines will hold up well against variants). Fortunately; if necessary it seems to be possible for vaccine manufacturers to adjust the RNA/DNA vaccines relatively easily (though of course there are very significant production and distribution problems to solve for each new vaccine release). But, at the same time, the new variants may pose a threat and may not be immediately dealt with. This is the reality of flu and may become the reality with Sars-Cov-2 as well.
The problem is that they (government and their scientific advisers) are thinking about this is an egghead kind of a way. (Well; government has no idea at all beyond noticing that it is a chance to make a stack of money off Covid deals and to introduce more authoritarian government – and the scientists are thinking about it in an egghead kind of a way). If they are really thinking they can fully control this virus and each emerging variant, which is what they are saying at the moment, and so fully “protect the NHS” then we are destined to see a future of endless strict lockdowns.
Government becomes a hostage to its own propaganda. A modern totalitarian government depends on the lie that it can protect the people all of the time. (Like North Korea). When it starts down this line it has to become crazier and crazier as it attempts the impossible – to hold back the sea.
The world is not a lab. What looks good in a theory paper does not necessarily map well onto the real world with all its complexities. A boundary in a theoretical model may look clear – but implementing an actual physical border which blocks imports of virus variants is an altogether different matter – as experience has shown.
The UK seems to be being run by an unholy alliance of government – desperate to perpetuate the illusion that they can protect all of the people all of the time, even from nature, scientists who are too theoretical, and the leadership of the NHS who, on the one hand are trying to avoid their very limited number of acute care beds being exhausted and, on the other hand, are acting as a closed shop and are blocking any attempt to expand capacity, for fear of losing control. And while all these state bureaucrats protect their interests, a global cluster of profit-seeking corporations figures out new ways to subsidize their inefficient production by transferring vast sums of public money (in fact debt) to their coffers.
It is already long past dystopian.