Would an independent Scotland have swallowed Vallance and Whitty’s eccentric delaying tactic?

Image Simon Dawson/Reuters

By Sam:

Yesterday Professor John Edmunds said that the covid lock down should have been earlier and that many lives were lost as a result. On the same day’s Andrew Marr show, Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, disputed this opinion.

“No, I think we took the decision at the right time,” he claimed.

Byline Times can say something about what SAGE scientists were thinking back then. “There was universal agreement that timing was crucial in a pandemic setting. “The timing is critical and that is true across all of the interventions we have looked at,” Vallance said on 12 March.

Talking about their plan of action and how people may lose interest if asked to sustain measures too long, Whitty added:

“We do need to do it at the last point it is reasonable.” 

It was also made clear that the Government was considering and had modelled most possible interventions. Johnson was explicit: “Whatever is happening in other countries, whatever measures are being urged upon us, be in no doubt we are considering absolutely all of them and, in due time, they may, of course, become necessary.”The most urgent question, therefore, became what might the UK curve look like and where we were along it. “In terms of the things that could be done … we need to understand where we are in the epidemic,” Vallance explained on 9 March. “We’re expecting the numbers to increase, initially slowly, but really quite fast after a while and we have to catch it before the upswing begins,” Whitty added.

“The most dangerous period is not now, but some weeks away,” Johnson said in the 12 March briefing. Cheltenham Festival was at that point on its second day. The Government had still not implemented any of its suite of measures announced on 3rd March, other than hand-washing. 

“You can think of it as roughly two to three months from an outbreak of sustained person-to-person transmission up to the peak and two to three months for the peak to decline again,” Vallance explained on 3 March. Asked about his working assumption nine days later, he gave specifics: “We think that the peak may be something like ten to 14 weeks away. Could be a bit longer.”This seems a catastrophic miscalculation. Britain was, in fact, three to six weeks away from the peak. It is a matter of record that hospital admissions peaked in the first week of April and daily deaths in the third. “


It is impossible to conclude that Hancock is right when he claims the lock down took place at the right time. We know there were no preparations to test, test, test. and that modelling had not included this effect.

In the circumstances it is difficult to see what alternative options were open to Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland other than to follow England’s path. Independence might have made a difference.

7 thoughts on “Would an independent Scotland have swallowed Vallance and Whitty’s eccentric delaying tactic?”

  1. We already did.

    Jason Leitch their medical advisor was recommending mass gatherings and open school on 16th March. ‘the professor thought that it was fine to go to a 12,000-strong concert and he responded: “I would have gone myself.”‘
    He was praised by some Indi supporters for sticking it to Morgan.

    This is him on 10th March advising on how to play 5 aside football.
    ‘”There’s no panic, there is no need to do anything special. But we think the virus is coming and is going to get worse so we’re preparing for what those next things might be.
    The science says that large-scale events are not at risk just now and the science in fact says outdoor large-scale events are particularly not at risk. The virus doesn’t tend to live long in that environment. There will be a time where we start to change our advice. We may never stop large-scale events. We will follow the science as it tells us what to do.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But if we were Independent would we have acted differently. Yes i would like to think so. The whole mindset of scot gov would be different.
      We have to start now thinking that we are independent at least in spirit and mind. Asking Westminster for anything is not part of that.
      There was a story in the Mirror about Ceredigion, Wales which is inspiring (even if the article is a bit hyped)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes but not the knowledge of how infectious it is. That was known about in late January. I was e-mailing friends about this imminent pandemic on 26th January and i knew that just by paying a bit of attention to world events.
        If we were ‘following the science’ how come it wasn’t the same science that countries like Denmark, New Zealand and Germany were following?
        Only in the UK is science ‘nationalized,’ different from Johnny foreigner. I am afraid some of that lazy thinking contaminated us.
        Lietch was making the same statements on the 16th of March not just the 10th. At that time the number of infected people was doubling every couple of days. Every day was crucial in saving many lives. That was plainly obvious to anyone with any sense at all. That Irish WHO expert put it brilliantly when he said that if you try to do think correctly the virus wins. in the UK they totally missed any sense of urgency. The twitter comment by the Prime Moron at that time has now been edited from his post to cut out the piece at the end where he says to carry on as normal.
        Denmark closed it’s borders on the 12th of March. We are doing it now 3 months later. At that time Denmark and the UK were at about the same level of deaths. Need i say more.
        There really are no excuses. None.


      2. Here is John Ashton on Newsnight on 11th March
        ‘We’ve got a complacent attitude… We’ve wasted a month when we should have been engaging with the public. … We should have got a grip on this a month ago. … I want to know why we’re not testing, why we haven’t tested those people coming back from Italy?’

        On the next day on Question Time on 12th March he was ridiculed by Fiona Bruce-less for daring to question the gov strategy or lack of it. I doubt if he has been on since although no doubt he will soon when they want to all the after-analysis when all the tens of thousands that have died are buried. Perhaps to pre-empt that he is being attacked now. He has to be silenced.

        He has some fantastic videos on DDN.
        A real calm in the centre of this storm.


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