Government Mistakes Provided the Breeding Ground for the Mutant Virus, Which it is Now Using as an Alibi for Its Failures

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      Cold Mountain Trail
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      The coastal town of Margate in east Kent is the place where the fast-spreading variant of Covid-19 first mutated before it swept through the rest of Britain. Scientists identified Kent last month as the county where the mutant virus developed, but a source with knowledge of research into its origins tells me that the earliest case of a person being infected with it was in Margate on the Isle of Thanet…

      Horby recalled that when Public Health England investigated the reason for the upsurge in Kent, its medical experts discovered a cluster of cases with a variant of the virus that they had not seen before. The first case of the new more transmissible strain was first detected on 21 September, but its enhanced ability to infect people only became evident six weeks later…Scientists say that the mutation probably occurred in a single person with a weak immune system, giving the virus the opportunity to improve its mode of attack.

      That this person should be living in Margate, a run-down town with a population of 61,000 in Thanet on the southeast tip of England, was not inevitable but it fitted in with the pattern seen in the rest of the country. High levels of poverty and of Covid-19 infection go hand-in-hand as health inequality mirrors social and economic divisions…I should confess a personal interest here since I live… 15 miles from Margate… During the second lockdown last November and December, I noticed that infections did not seem to be falling in nearby Swale and Thanet as I had hoped. I was a bit disconcerted that the risk level was not declining as expected, though the idea that the second wave would provide the breeding ground for a deadlier strain of virus never occurred to me. But it should have occurred to the government, with immense scientific expertise at its fingertips, that the threat of a dangerous mutation would be enhanced by the premature and excessive relaxation of restrictions in July followed by the failure to reimpose them until November…

      The second line of government defence is to blame the public and pretend that the problem is people fecklessly flouting lockdown restrictions…I asked community workers and activists…why so many people, particularly in deprived areas, appear to be living and working as normal. They all denied that it was “lockdown fatigue”, saying that people are actually more frightened now than during the first lockdown because…this time round everybody “knows somebody who has caught the virus or has died from it”… People in deprived areas may want to stay at home but they have no choice but to go to work to earn a living and to keep their job…The variant of the virus has become an alibi to explain away the government’s mistakes, but it was these same failings to better suppress the virus that helped produce the mutant in Margate in the first place.

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/01/19/government-mistakes-provided-the-breeding-ground-for-the-mutant-virus-which-it-is-now-using-as-an-alibi-for-its-failures/

       

       

       

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