2020-05-11 09:42:27 UTC
I don't know the woman who wrote it but she is a friend of a friend and I
have no reason to disbelieve her.
For those who don't know, my husband is a key part of one of the 8 public
health labs that have been doing covid-19 testing for England since this
all first kicked off. I am so sick of the bullshit in the news about
testing; it is complete politicising and misses out massive chunks of fact
depending on what the government want to spin.
Since the middle of March Simon has had 3 days off work, and 4 out of 7
days he has been at work from 9am until well past midnight. My husband has
been so tired and weak that I have felt sick to my stomach most days
because if he catches the virus, I am terrified he is way too weak to stand
a chance against it.
'Why has he been working these hours?' I hear you ask. Because of the
government (and an extremely well known scientific company with a
double-barreled name beginning with T):
Years of brutal budget cuts left the lab underfunded and understaffed to
This is a new virus and Simon spent a few weeks working long hours setting
up the lab to test for it; completely understandable but finished and
running by mid-March.
Since mid-March the majority of his work has been sourcing reagents,
plastics and equipment, then validating them every time they have to switch
suppliers or methods. There is a global shortage of these items but the
reason my husband and his lab are working under these conditions:
The government has been commandeering supplies as they land in the country
FOR WEEKS and stock-piling them for the new super labs they need for their
100,000 a day testing. Bearing in mind the importance of my husband's lab
is such that it has been classified 'category 1' by the cabinet office in
this crisis, and yet the government has been purposefully siphoning
essential resources from them for weeks before the new mega labs were even
running! So yes, they can say they are (nearly) meeting those figures but
at what expense?
I asked my husband why this was a big deal today; couldn't he now relax in
his smaller lab because his couple of thousands tests a day are a drop in
the ocean compared to the 3 mega-labs. No. The mega labs are only testing
samples from the new (privately run) test sites, not the majority of
frontline NHS staff in the hospitals, or any vulnerable patients in
hospitals. These 100,000 tests the government has set up (with private
companies) are literally preventing many frontline NHS staff and vulnerable
patients from being tested. My husband's lab has spent the last 5 weeks
wondering if they'll be able to do tests for more than a couple of days
because they don't have what they need. This is not just test for covid-19,
but also for all the normal illnesses they test for. All of their success
had been down to their extraordinary efforts.
I absolutely believe that keyworkers must be kept safe and if they think
they might be a risk to others, they must be tested. But the rush to hit
the 100,000 a day target means the government is allowing people who don't
need to be tested, to be tested, while keeping valuable resources away from
NHS and public health England labs who are desperate for them.
If the government can be such massive politicising arseholes about this it
makes me question all the stuff I don't have insider knowledge on too.
Simon is not a conspiracy theorist and has been known to vote Tory in the
past (not recently admittedly) but he is absolutely livid with the current
actions of this government in hindering the care of staff and patients. He
also wonders from what he has experienced whether the government is using
this crisis to creep further privatisation into the NHS.
Annoyed by The Archers since 1959
Annoyed by The Archers since 1959