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Are we overdue scrapping the Covid alert system?

I’m writing this roughly 30 minutes prior to the vote in Parliament on needing Covid certification to enter venues. We know it’ll pass; we know Boris Johnson will rely on the Labour Party to pass it (how disgraceful), but I personally think what’s more disgraceful is the so called ‘Covid-alert system’, (the thing that looks like the Nando’s chart).

There are 5 levels to this chart:

Level 5 Risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed Level 4 Transmission is high or rising exponentially Level 3 Virus is in general circulation Level 2 Number of cases and transmission is low Level 1 Covid-19 no longer present in UK

If you’ve been tuned into the news over the past few days, you’ll know that we were moved from Level 3 to Level 4, due to the apparent ‘severity’ of the Omicron variant (on the advice of the Chief Medical Officers for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the NHS England National Medical Director). And as of yesterday, it had been reported that one person has sadly passed away, with the variant. But this isn’t reason enough alone for the high-levels of fearmongering we’re witnessing from the government and media – especially considering the South Africans – who have four weeks ahead of us worth of data, have explicitly said (repeatedly) that Britain (or more specifically the government) is over-reacting.

Now, back to the alert system. You’ll notice that Level 1 says there’ll be no traces of Covid in the country. To me that seems absurd because we will never be in a situation were there’s no traces of the virus; no matter how mild it will be. That means we’ll consistently be stuck in Level 2; our freedoms will consistently be in the hands and dictated by this government – and even following governments. Realistically, the question must be raised; how are we supposed to ‘learn to live with Covid’ if this system is still in place?

To put this into perspective, if we lived by a tiered system specifically designed for literally anything and everything that posed a threat to us, we would be living in a state and fear and we would literally never do anything. Now, I know there are somethings we need alerts for, such as National Security, but for a virus which has muted and is basically a cold, our lives need to stop being dictated by the government – whether it be coercion in getting vaccinated or even dangling the threat of more lockdowns if we don’t comply.

Having a change in conversation from getting/coercing people to get the vaccines to removing the alert system for good, would give back the reassurance we need.

Reassurances ranging from our freedoms not being taken from us again; the Government telling us who we can and can’t see around religious events; stopping the government forcing legislation through Parliament or the Prime Minister continuing on with his terrible attempt at a Presidential style of politics and perhaps begin to rebuild trust in British politics (although it is safe to say, that will take many years).

Whenever the conversation moves onto removing the alert system from our lives, that’s when we can confidently re-gain control of our own lives and go back to being a country that isn’t afraid of personal responsibility.

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