Emily Sheffield: It’s time for London’s illiterate people to pay with their freedom


Two years into a global pandemic and in this city of nearly nine million residents – which has been at the center of the fight against Covid time and again – more than 30-12 percent remain unaffected.

In the whole of the UK the ratio is around 10 per cent. Meanwhile, more than 20 NHS trusts in England have declared serious incidents, it was revealed yesterday, as Omicron continues to have an impact on wards being managed by exhausted NHS staff working on the front lines of this war .

This week the government said it was “absolutely heartbreaking” that up to 90 percent of people in intensive care with Covid have not received a booster jab and more than 60 percent have no vaccine.

As energy remains focused on fighting COVID, the waiting time for life-saving tasks and procedures becomes even more important. NHS Providers Chief Executive Chris Hopson warned yesterday that not only are thousands more waiting to seek urgent care, trusts are now having to delay re-planned care. And Covid or illness isn’t the only reason NHS staff aren’t working – it’s mental health and stress too.

The time for gentle celebrating is over – the uneducated of this city needs to pay with their freedom, not ours. They should not be provoked anymore. This is not about the small percentage of people who are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons.

A mixture of willful ignorance, stubbornness and selfish folly is causing real harm, exacerbating economic distress and putting others at risk of death. Why should a cancer patient’s critical care be delayed because of the need for immediate attention without vaccination?

The booster program is estimated to cut the risk of hospitalization by 88 percent … and our incredible vaccination program has eliminated mass deaths.

For months, we followed a policy of persuasion for those who refused vaccination. We were wary of data that showed hesitancy was higher among low-income people, and among sections of the London population, due to a mix of historical mistrust of the medical establishment, low trust in authority, and reliance on social media to immunize centres. stay away from Rumor for information. They were not crazy conspirators, although they were easy prey for them.

In New York, you cannot sit in a cafe without proof of vaccination. In Italy, they are making it a law that vaccination must be done if you are over 50. Germany has also gone through a volt-face. France mass-produced the vaccine after President Macron left, conditional access to offices, restaurants and ski lifts on proof of vaccination. And he promises to disappoint anti-vaxxers even more.

In Australia, he has revoked Novak Djokovic’s visa after he arrived to defend his championship title without a vaccine exemption. In Ireland, from where I just returned, you need to show your health passport to enter the restaurant.

The ease with which he conducted it is proof that it can be done and the people of London who are against him should be silenced. We have often interfered with the liberties of those who put themselves and the health of those around them at risk: smoking bans, alcohol drinking laws, and sugar reductions.

If we continue to duck vaccine passports in offices, restaurants and other crowded non-essential public places, we are letting anti-vaxxers shift the responsibility for their choices.

We as a city depend on getting out there, traveling safely and connecting the masses with joy. Large numbers of unrelated people add more uncertainty and risk. Every time a new version threatens to overwhelm our hospitals, we enter further mini-lockdowns, costing London’s economic recovery by millions.

Maintaining that our “freedom” is threatened by vaccine passports is a bogus argument of the conservative right that fuels the insane obstinacy of the uneducated. Parliamentarians recently rejected the argument that such passports do not work in Scotland, given that their population is 3.5 million less than that of London alone.

Boris Johnson has so far proved correct in putting a halt to further sanctions before Omicron. But he has long been in vogue for the widespread use of vaccine passports.

With the booster program stalled, he and his ministers are again talking to those who do not have a booster jab, denied entry to large venues and the right to quarantine-free travel.

But they should go further. The skeptics, once they have answered, will wonder what they ever worried about. The rest can stay at home.

PM must stick to his goals to make 2022 a tough start

My prediction for 2022 is that it is going to be a two-part year, especially for our beleaguered Prime Minister. With continued uncertainty from Omicron, rising living costs due to inflation, rising energy bills and new tax hikes in April, the first half will be a tough one for both so far.

The moment of danger for Boris Johnson will come when Tories are punished in local elections in May, especially if he achieves his own goals that cut through a public sentiment out of pocket and Tory sledges and incompetence. sick from

But the heat will bring relief, as we go out, Covid will retreat, and many predict that we will be the fastest growing economy in the G7. As trust grows, so will the inward investment and we will be out of enjoying and spending ourselves.

If Boris can pull it out, leading as a serious prime minister, he should be on safe ground in autumn. But this pandemic has ruined every prediction. So gear up, dig deep, enjoy the little things, because this year will go smoothly.

Starmer’s secret weapon? His wife Victoria…

Despite his fresh bout of covid, Sir Keir Starmer has solidified both his position in the elections earlier this year and eventually a shadow cabinet deserving of office. But the expression of his spirits worries me.

Too often he shows us only disapproval and hand-to-hand sympathy. Simultaneously smiling more, even to crack a joke, he must bring forth his secret weapon: his clever, stunning wife, left.

That can be a great boon in making him accessible. And she works in the NHS. Make this the year we get to know Victoria.