Evidence, charts and analyses on the covid-19 pandemic

Web pages summarizing the evidence on the covid-19 pandemic, focussing on
  • the UK's disastrous response
  • the current precarious UK situation
  • the action being taken and action needed

The UK has been badly hit by the pandemic - worse than most other countries

The UK has had a high death rate and a severe economic impact - both worse than most other countries, as the chart shows. More

The UK's poor outcomes could have been avoided by good decision making

  • the messages were mixed
  • the interventions were carried out too late
  • the testing and the tracing of contacts has been very poor
  • infectious patients were discharged back to care homes

Since April, poor decision making has continued

  • the lockdown was too weak and stopped too soon
  • the messaging has been wrong - it implied that the virus had been dealt with
  • the UK Government has persisted with the centralised test and trace system despite its failures

UK science failures

  • the Government is not giving clear explanations
  • a fringe group of scientists has proposed an unworkable solution of population immunity more
  • in the absence of clear government information, there is much poor quality science, misinformation, and pseudoscience online

UK political failures

  • there has been no honesty about the failings during the first peak
  • there was no enquiry into what went wrong
  • failing systems have not been replaced

UK media failures

  • some media reporting has been misleading e.g. Tweets by Andrew Neil
  • media reporting has not highlighted the best in the world
  • media scrutiny of the Government has been poor

UK citizen failures

  • much misinformation has been repeated on social media - the worst of which has been that a choice has to be made between protecting health and protecting the economy
  • the standard of debate has been very poor
  • much poor "science" has been posted online e.g. on partisan websites rather than being published in a peer-review journal where it can be checked, and be subject to post-publication challenge and retraction if necessary
  • citizens could have been more sceptical of Government promises and explanations

The current precarious UK situation

  • there has been no apology and no recognition of error
  • there has been no change in personnel or decision-making procedures
  • the virus has not gone away - many countries are experiencing a resurgence of the first wave, and in the UK, there are increases in reported cases more, admissions to hospital, and reported deaths.
  • there is a possibility of a further 150,000 deaths this winter, and the Johnson Government has no plan to prevent it.

Non-government action being taken

  • to work towards better policies e.g. the Independent SAGE group advocates elimination of the virus from the UK more
  • the Good Law Project

Non-government action needed

  • to publicize the errors made
  • to protest at the errors made
  • to improve the standard of public debate
  • to counter myths and misinformation more
  • to work towards better policies, especially elimination of the virus from the UK more.

First published: 21 Mar 2020
Last updated: 10 Nov 2020