Tier 2 (Day 1) Norwich

As promised, I book my match ticket, complete some chores in heady mood, then set off to town.

I meet a neighbour walking her cross-breed hound. We stand by the riverbank, a good distance apart and exchange views on the newly introduced restrictions.

She is upset that she is still unable to visit her very elderly father, resident just down the road. Although government restrictions make it illegal for her to visit, it is unlikely that she would visit him indoors for fear of passing infection to him. Even with looser restrictions I doubt whether she could visit him unless she knew she was safe to do so. How could Downing Street make that decision?

She is sceptical of the promise of effective vaccines. She refers to Thalidomide that was promoted as a wonder cure for ‘Morning Sickness’ (hyperemesis gravidarum) in the late 1950s. It prevented sickness, but tragically produced severe physical defects in many of the babies of women who had taken the new product. The court cases took decades to resolve.

She overlooks the many cures that have been produced subsequently for many ilnnesses. For example, the success of anti-viral drugs in reducing the health risks of HIV for those in countries lucky enough to be able to afford them are ignored. It is thought that the lessons from developing these formulae have contributed to addressing infections of Covid-19.

Patents will be an issue. Profits will be an issue. International and national health inequalities will be issues. None of these issues will diminish the effectiveness of any new drug, but they are part of the challenge in reducing the toll taken by Covid-19, as will be anti-vaccination campaigners.

As I make my way for a much needed haircut, I spot a poster outside St. Stephen’s on Rampant Horse Street. It suggests, “Try praying.”


CLP 02/12/2020