Wales is preparing to enter its third lockdown immediately following Christmas. Data published yesterday evening shows case numbers in the principality are proportionally more than twice as high as English numbers which, whilst rising, are rising more slowly than in Wales. Welsh cases stand at 539.1 per 100,000, compared to 206.6 in England.
First Minister Mark Drakeford told BBC Newscast yesterday he blamed the rise on a “summation of the small acts of selfishness… accumulatively add up to the difficulties that we see.” Referencing people ignoring supermarket one way systems or popping into others’ houses to have a chat, he cited the behaviour of people rather than government policy:
Drakeford also said “the gains we made have been eroded faster than we expected”. Which is putting it mildly. Has Sir Keir not told him to simply “fix Welsh test and trace” yet?
The ‘firebreak’ was sold to the Welsh people as a means to allow a more normal Christmas and allow more freedoms to be granted. Instead, its suppressive effect unleashed a bigger wave of infection the moment it was lifted. Is it brave or stupid of a political leader to truthfully blame people’s behaviour for the increased transmission of the virus? Suppressed and pent up demand no doubt contributed to a turbocharging of subsequent cases – instigated by the relief effect of ‘end of lockdown’.