Since Scotland suffered its first Covid death a year ago, Britain’s handling of the pandemic has gone from bad to worse.
The highest Covid death toll in Europe is the price the UK has paid for the recklessness of Boris Johnson and his cronies.
What a blatant lie Johnson told recently when he said “we did everything we could” in tackling the pandemic.
A tsunami of grief and loss has swept across Britain and we don’t yet know the numbers debilitated by Long Covid.
From the beginning, the Government refused to batten down the hatches as Covid stormed across Europe.
The morgues were filling up in Italy as early as February last year, yet the UK treated Covid like a distant threat instead of a present danger.
A year to the day, Cheltenham was celebrating an attendance of 252,000 race-goers in one of a series of super-spreader events, including rugby matches and concerts.
Scotland also held super-spreaders in March, such as the Rangers versus Bayer Leverkusen match and a Stereophonics concert in Glasgow.
If Scotland hadn’t been bound to Westminster, perhaps we would have taken the successful approach of New Zealand, to “go hard and go early” with lockdowns.
The catalogue of errors by the UK Government include a failure to stock up on PPE, a shambolic track and trace system and haphazard testing.
The elderly were emptied from hospitals and warehoused in care homes without being tested for Covid, resulting in a massacre of residents.
From the onset, scientists insisted delays in locking down were killing people and would ultimately do more damage to the economy.
Years of Tory austerity compounded the devastating impact of Covid, with an underfunded NHS struggling to cope and millions falling further into a pit of poverty.
And yet in the face of the second wave, there was no learning curve.
In the summer, Johnson repeated the same mistakes by allowing cinemas and shops to open and a return to work.
The foolhardy Eat Out to Help Out scheme saw pubs and restaurants packed.
Hospitality’s short-term gain contributed to the long-term pain of the second wave.
Travel corridors led to a new variant being brought in from Spain, which accounted for 80 per cent of new infections in Scotland.
Even when Scotland recently wanted tougher border closures, Westminster refused to follow suit.
Johnson has refused to hold an investigation into the myriad of failures by his Government but urgent judge-led statutory inquiries are now essential on both sides of the border.
It won’t save the thousands who have died so needlessly but it may prevent further avoidable deaths.
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