Confusion in Covid-19 Communications in the UK

For some time now I have been concerned about the often inadequate and misleading information presented to the British public over the past 18 months, by politicians, by the senior medical-science bureaucracy, and, unfortunately by a proportion of virologists, behavioural scientists, and epidemiologists. Some of this reluctance to divulge information is perhaps understandable. The underlying specialist scientific, technical, and statistical risk (and uncertainty) information is difficult to communicate directly to the public.[1] However, it is possible to provide a more accurate, if simplified, picture of the key elements in the overall picture of the Covid pandemic and its evolution over time, to the current situation going forward. The necessity of doing so is urgent during the current transition from dealing with the SARS-Cov-2 virus as a pandemic to dealing with the virus as endemic in the population, with the burden placed, substantially, on the less-constrained behaviour of the general public.

As the pandemic has progressed, and in the current situation, moving into the autumn in the UK, there seems to be a form of psychological panic arising over Covid-19. The panic appears to be overwhelming the medical bureaucrats, and a number of the scientists and epidemiologists, significantly amplified by a mainstream media that does not challenge authority. The view might be characterised as that the world is involved in a Manichean struggle between humans and a superhuman adversary, rather than dealing with a tiny piece of protein that cannot continue its existence outside an animal, including human, host. Hence, at the same time is substantial opening up of the economy and society, fearmongering about Covid is continuing.

The problem has been confounded by the fact that the earlier lack of clarity in the public messaging has led to considerable concern and confusion among the population, at a time when it is essential to be aware of the required actions to be taken over the next six to nine months. The concerning situation on the vaccination of children is a case in point. This issue involves serious ethical issues and is evidence of not only misleading information being provided, but of crucial information being withheld by the government and the medical science fraternity.

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