To write this blog post I need to take one big step back first, for the sake of perspective.
Our pre-pandemic world functioned in ways that essentially had no serious interest in engaging meaningfully in any discussion of approaching hazards. Consequently it lacked planning responses to an approaching threat horizon from ecological & as we now know to our cost, Zoonotic microbes.
To gain a sense of where my personal current place is I begin with what I see with reasonably good reliability about the covid-19 pandemic state at this time.
Simply, because the pandemic was completely avoidable, as is demonstrated by 9 or so nations who now operate their lives & economies as if it never existed, why did so few nations chose to prevent a lethally capable & highly transmissible Novel Virus?
And how did the other 187 nations on Earth ignore the obvious and lose so much, & so many people is the stuff of a thick volume written by tutting historians & not my blog, however because peoples normal behaviour may now take one of two forks in the road ahead I will write on because I believe that business will need a new novel normal.
Being a visiting computer services provider business in a pandemic has had its downside as you might imagine, but I have continued with adapted service provision methods which have, in the main, worked well under successive lock-downs!
Now that our lusterless government seems committed to opening up what it describes as ‘carefully’ and with ‘data’ as its new guiding mantra, I will also adopt a cautious opening up approach of my own. However because I am by definitely influenced by solid data & sound assessments from truly independent scientists & real medical experts, I may not necessarily move in step with a government machine that has other interests that appear to be heard by them more readily than those speaking for ‘the public good’. The pace of vaccines roll out that our NHS has achieved (despite the government) has proved it really ought to be running the UK instead of them!
As I see it today the trends of new infections, hospitalisations & deaths are reducing very well, but this is due almost entirely to the #3 lock-down & the good will of the majority of people who’s normal lives are accepted by them as being ‘on hold’.
The issue may come when on March 8th the schools reopen because as we already have seen, the incidences of primary school & nursery virus transmission are already rising in lock-down #3 and so this rise is happening during a limited pupil attendance level. This is concerning because no real resources have been committed by any authorities to make schools safer, so that full attendance at schools could cause infection rates to rise exponentially again as they did in December/January. Opening up schools presents a problem of wider & possibly faster transmission of the virus so in my decisions to visit sites for work, or not, I will have to take the presence of children & teenagers (who may be offered vaccinations later in the year), with a high degree of caution.
This lack of protection to prevent harm is as reckless as it should be unbelievable, and the trumpeted efficient roll out of vaccines (to those accepting them, but not yet to children) won’t as I understand it, change the nature of the threat. This is because the vaccines impressive pace of rollout is delayed by a 3 week efficacy lag, making the likelihood of another infections spike this Spring more possible.
Also the mutations we are seeing appear every week now are more dangerous due to higher infectiousness, and possibly higher virulence that may more seriously affect the young than did the original strain of covid-19. So a tolerated presence of the virus in our communities only adds further to the chances of more unknown strains to emerge, possibly some that bypass the protection of the vaccines and ……………!
Much of what I know has been very generously provided to the public by Independent SAGE who are world class experts and provide their time & efforts completely free.
Their current update on the so called road map from lock-down is here
My Approach to Site Visits
Basically I am cautiously opening up as of 8th March but will need to ensure that a customers site is as safe for me and for them first. ie sufficiently ventilated and not crowded.
What will I do?
I intend to gradually and under closely watched conditions, open up to my visiting repairing & installing of systems, but this has to be done with careful safeguards in place for both customers and for myself.
Where a work space at a customers site is small, crowded &/or lacks open ventilation I will have to avoid working within it unless I am assured that (post vaccination + a 3 week period) any persons I come into contact with are also protected by vaccines.
I am sorry if this causes upset feelings to those not choosing to have, or are ineligible to have vaccines, but I feel that I must protect as best as I can myself, my partner and other customers to the best standards.
I will wear a N99 face mask even if those above conditions are met as a precaution.
I update the knowledge that I have on a weekly & daily basis, so my approach will change accordingly, so please do feel that you can discuss your needs of my work before it commences.
Please keep safe & well & remember that a vaccine is no protection to you unless 3 weeks have passed after the jab!