What no tests

Image thanks to Times of Bristol

There are hen’s teeth, there is rocking horse manure and then there are Lateral Flow Tests. 

I am joking of course. The fact that we are able to get tests at all, paid for through general taxation, is an unbridled luxury. Much of the world has to suffer the consequences of COVID-19 without any ability to test. We should be very grateful and I am.

Getting the tests however has been a lottery.

It was inevitable that this would be the case due to a number of factors. Firstly the justifiable insistence of the Prime MInister that everyone should get a booster for COVID-19 and the requirement for this to be supported by increased testing. (It might have been a good idea to let people who needed to know in advance.) Secondly, we were entering a period of enhanced social contact, especially among families, where everyone will want to ensure the health of their relations. Thirdly, this period coincides with a general shut down in many businesses. 

You don’t have to be a genius to work out that products don’t move over Xmas, just look at the roads. Industry and retail is geared up to have all its goods on the shelves before the country stops. Nearly all shops were closed on the Saturday and Sunday with very few Chemists open on the bank holidays. These four days of closure have conceritined demand at the same time as removing the supply. 

On top of this there were problems with the booking system you need to use to get the code to get some tests. 

The resulting disruption should have been foreseen or at least acknowledged. Either there was 1. insufficient supply of tests  in the system to cope; 2. distribution systems were not adequately geared up; 3. Those making the decisions didn’t understand the consequences; 4. It was designed this way to make it look like the NHS could not cope. 

I suspect number 3 and fear number 4. I must dash to see if any have come  in.

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