Stay Alert!

Take a comfortable lockdown seat, stick some popcorn into the microwave and watch: Remember the overweight BoJo stuck on a zip wire waving the Union Jack? You’ve seen nothing yet, England and her Tories are about to find out the true cost of putting an inept clown in charge.

Of course, this is not a third rate comedy, but a national tragedy in which we happen to be caught up and in which some 30,000-50,000 of us (depending whose counting you believe) have already died. And, predictably, that human cost is being disproportionately distributed across the socioeconomic spectrum, which suits the Tories to the bone. I guess not much of a surprise there, Compassionate Conservatism is as much of an oxymoron as Socialism with a Human Face was.

I am glad to see that the Scottish Government have finally shed that pathological fear of being accused of politicising the pandemic and stood up for Scotland. There is little doubt it’s far too early to lift the lockdown.

We hear a lot about the R number: a great theoretical indicator, which unfortunately can’t be accurately calculated. But there is another number, one which is not an estimate, that’s worth paying attention to: the number of newly diagnosed cases. As of yesterday this stood at 181 in Scotland; I expect for practical reasons this will need to drop into low double digits in order to bootstrap the test and trace strategy (which is why suddenly dropping tracing in early March was grossly negligent).

So, yeah, I can’t but ask again, are the tracers getting recruited and being trained, so Scotland can hit the ground running when the conditions are right?