Thomas Sloman discusses vaccines and masks in the NHS, and how we can protect vulnerable people.
Just what would our society look like if the Covid restrictions weren’t placed on the UK citizens? This is a query that continually fails to rear its head in the argumental flurry of British political bipartisanship as those in power pander on a quest for who has the right answer in this new reality. This week has seen our political class concern themselves with what winter in 2021 will look like and whether new restrictions, titled ‘Plan B’, should be implemented in order to protect the framework of the NHS and the lives of the people most vulnerable.
An additional concern is with the protection of NHS staff and the continually advisory capacity of the vaccination program. This week, health secretary Savid Javid announced the government is leaning toward making Covid jabs compulsory for front-line workers under the possibility of losing employment, raising the risk of much larger staff shortages over the winter months if staff are still non-compliant in having the vaccine. It’s reported there are currently over 9,500 NHS staff that haven’t received their first jab, a number wholly unsatisfactorily working against the Hippocratic oath when considering their primary duties to do no harm for those currently admitted, and those yet to be treated. There are few reports that GPs are against taking the vaccine themselves but there are reportedly 10,000 vacancies which will be the biggest contributor to people suffering with undiagnosed conditions. Arguably, lockdowns and vaccines are the most efficient combination to tackle this Covid spread the fastest, and it needs to be asked what it would mean for undiagnosed or untreated conditions in patients if new restrictions weren’t enforced whilst cases are continuing to rise at the fastest incline in 2021.
It needs to be asked what it would mean for undiagnosed or untreated conditions in patients if new restrictions weren’t enforced
There is also this continual push and pull in Hobbesian tradition over a person’s rights to freedom vs security placed over them by powers that be, which has dominated the vaccine program in the press and is in the running for being held as an embarrassment for the pages of history. Today, smallpox remains the only disease suffered by man that has been eradicated entirely through a successful vaccine mandate, (developed by Edward Jenner in 1796) something the measures of Covid vaccination program has a long way to go in achieving this level of sunshine, and the restrictive measures being suggested are a response to this.
On Question Time last Thursday, the actor Brian Cox declared there needs a coupling between vaccination and responsibility, and that the political class should be engaging by wearing masks in parliament as an example of this responsibility. The commons shall be making masks mandatory, but only for staffers and not MPs, which, I imagine, shall enrage Mr Cox somewhat. Mask wearing is most likely to be a mandatory restriction implemented throughout society this winter in our health and educational institutions, but stopping at the responsibility of ministers is just another curse word toward those they supposedly represent. With fears of local lockdowns being circulated throughout media, the government has an urgency of care on their shoulders to deal with the national concerns much more efficiently than in 2020, and place patients and care second banana to protecting the institution of the NHS and parliamentary careers.