Fang Ghoul Profile picture
17 Oct, 21 tweets, 10 min read
A longish rant about why this govt's #COVID19 pandemic control strategy literally makes NO SENSE:
1. As I've mentioned, my son (state school in Oxford) is in a "safety bubble" of 365 pupils, who are being told to remove their masks in the classrooms, and being kept apart from other year groups as a supposed *safety measure* (they're told this is what makes schools "safe").
2. Leaving aside the question of how this is any kind of safety measure at all in the absence of frequent mass testing of asymptomatic and presymptomatic people, his classmates have siblings in other year groups, so isolating year groups is inconvenient & utterly futile.
3. What happens outside of school & on the weekends? My son-- like all teenagers-- wants to meet up with his friends outside of school, indoors/outdoors, wherever. So the "rule of six," he & his friends claim, do not apply to them because of their "safety bubble" of 365.
4. But some of them have friends/boyfriends/girlfriends & even younger siblings at other schools in Oxford, where there is already plenty of potential cross-contamination going on. And many have older siblings in unis across the UK, which as we know are remaining open.
5. Earlier this week, the parent of one of my son's classmates had to go pick up her older brother at uni because he has #COVID symptoms after his roommate in his dorm came down with #coronavirus and was forced to isolate in their shared room. Only one was able to book a test.
6. Both father & untested son immediately went into self-isolation in the same part of the house when they returned, leaving mother & daughter (in my son's year group) to carry on in the rest of the house. The father also began showing #COVID19 symptoms but can't book a test.
7. Ten days later (this Wed), the daughter (told to keep attending school, and again, being told not to wear a mask in the classroom) has started showing #coronavirus symptoms & is now self-isolating at home. She's also been unable to book a test, so none of this is recorded.
8. However, because of the long asymptomatic period of this disease, she has likely already infected others in her year group, who will in turn likely take #coronavirus home to their families; but, still, no one has been able to book a test, and so none of this is being recorded.
9. The policy of reopening schools-- especially unis (where students are living in close quarters)-- in the absence of a regular nationwide testing system that allows for #coronavirus tests to be give to the asymptomatic & pre-symptomatic-- is actually spreading the disease.
10. Dorms have become the care homes of the #secondwave, & as the NYT recently made clear, UK unis are completely unable to cope w/the challenges of taking care of hundreds of sick students who need to be fed, need their rooms cleaned, etc.…
11. Naturally, parents are driving to retrieve their ailing children to bring them home, spreading #coronavirus further. Because this govt is pursuing a policy of having people isolate at home they are spreading the disease to members of their own families.
12. This was all entirely foreseeable & preventable. The govt had access to all the information it needed back in January, when #coronavirus was reported in #China. This govt needed to throw everything it had at developing a testing regime that WORKS...
13. In #China, where #coronavirus has largely been brought under control, there is widespread, routine testing of asymptomatic & presymptomatic people. If they test posItive, THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GO HOME to infect others. Instead, they're taken to a quarantine facility...
14. And not released until they've had 3 negative tests proving that they are #coronavirus free. This has basically STOPPED the disease from spreading, and they've been able to reopen their economy. Safely.…
15. It's not a perfect system, of course; but we didn't need those ridiculous #NightingaleHospitals that the Tory govt built in record time that remained largely unused. What we needed was a rapid frequent testing system & quarantine facilities…
16. Instead, this govt has failed massively on #COVID19 testing and is still failing; is failing on track & trace; is sending people with #coronavirus home to infect their family members; and is allowing schools and unis to become hotbeds of the pandemic.
17. This is all tragic enough, and this govt should be removed for its utter incompetence at managing the pandemic. But, what's far worse is that, as @DanCardenMP pointed out recently, the Tory addiction to privatisation has allowed #disastercapitalism to flourish in the UK
18. "Choosing to pump billions into scandal-ridden contractors that have a record of failure...billions in public money have been handed to faceless corporations, including Tory-linked firms...w/out accountability." Why is @Keir_Starmer silent on this?
19. (Tory-linked) Serco's profits have surged thanks to its landing of the #COVID19 test-and-trace contract, despite the complete and utter failures of this self-evidently non-functioning system…
20. I end with this recent footage of one of #Oxford's test #COVID19 centres-- taken 5 days ago, when neither I, nor my son, nor his classmate, nor her father, nor her mother, nor anyone else I know, was able to book a #coronavirus test #ToryCorruption

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More from @FangGhoulU

15 Oct
So, as I said, fully one-third of the students in my class have tested positive for #coronavirus this week. According to the university's statistics for the week ending on 9 October, we have had an 8.6% positivity rate-- among those tested…
But, of course, the university's misnamed "early response service" is still restricting testing to those who have one of the major #COVID19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone with proven #COVID19.
This strategy disregards asymptomatic/presymptomatic spreaders
My former employer-- a small private liberal arts college in the US-- is carrying out blanket & on-demand testing 2 to 3 times per week among all staff and students; has quarantine dorm dedicated for those who test positive; has set up delivery meal plans & food service in dorms
Read 11 tweets

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