The news that 100,000 people have died from Coronavirus in the UK is a grim milestone that all of us wish our country hadn’t reached.
The figure is double the number of lives lost during the Blitz, giving us some indication of the scale and tragedy of this crisis. Though 100,000 is a difficult number to comprehend, we must remember that each life lost was an individual: a treasured family member, a partner, a good friend, a colleague. Someone who could still be alive and with the people close to them today.
Last night, Boris Johnson said that he and his government “did everything we could” to limit the number of Coronavirus deaths. This is not true. Every time a lockdown was announced – in March, November, and January – it was done so too late, with cases already too high and the NHS already struggling. Each lockdown, the Government failed to learn from its previous mistakes. In December, Boris Johnson relaxed restrictions over the Christmas period, despite knowing about a new, more transmissible variant of Covid. As a result, the R rate shot up and hospitals quickly became overwhelmed. Time and time again during this crisis, scientific advice has been pushed to one side in favour of relaxing restrictions in order to gain political popularity. For over a decade, the Conservative Party has cut and eroded the NHS, leaving it less capable of dealing with a crisis such as this one.
These poor decisions have cost lives.
Britain deserves better than this. You deserve better than this. Never again should we find ourselves in a position such as this one. We must ensure that we build Britain back stronger from this pandemic, and make it a country capable of providing adequate healthcare and security for all.
For now, I encourage everyone to do their bit and stick to the lockdown rules. Plymouth has seen 633 new Coronavirus cases in the past 7 days. Let’s keep staying inside and social distancing to get that number down.
Together, we will get through this and see a brighter day.