Witnessing England’s response to Covid at first hand has profoundly shocked me | William Hanage

On a visit to the UK from the US, I have seen how incoherent government policy is allowing Delta to run rampant

  • William Hanage is a Harvard epidemiology professor

England ended all pandemic restrictions on Monday. Nightclubs reopened, along with other large events and gatherings – with masks, testing and other mitigation measures “encouraged” (which is another way of saying “optional”). This is against a background of skyrocketing case rates due to the Delta variant.

In January, at the height of the second wave, the daily total hit 60,000 cases, but at the current rate of increase that will be eclipsed within days – even in the absence of all the renewed super-spreading opportunities that the virus will now enjoy. Thanks to the Covid-curious policies of the past few months, the UK is already in the grip of an uncontrolled epidemic among unvaccinated people, with significant numbers of breakthrough infections among the vaccinated. And both are about to get worse.

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