‘How’ all they can do is look back

The headline story is very much a descriptive ‘how’ we got here. It’s not a Scottish (West of?) ‘how.’ This account doesn’t tell us why it happened or why we are where we are now because, if it had, we might get at least some comfort from it.

Regular readers of this and other sources will know that we are here now with 5 000 covid-related deaths for a number of reasons.

The first and most important is the 4 Nations approach. With pandemic measures reserved to Westminster and pressurised then as now again, to have the same UK-wide approach, the Scottish Government went along with the UK Government’s decision based on UK advisory group SAGE, locking down too late and not stopping visits to care homes, because they were told it was ‘very unlikely that residents would be infected.’


From the end of March, with powers devolved, the Scottish Government, based on clearer, consistent and more open messaging, leading to greater confidence, imposed a stricter and longer lockdown with impressive results including almost complete suppression of the virus in July.

The inability of Scotland to control airport arrivals and a failure of some individuals to quarantine the led to the second surge.

Despite that, today, the death rate over the whole pandemic at 618 per 1m population is significantly lower than in Wales at 724 and England at 830 (34% higher). More than 1 000 lives have been saved by the Scottish Government’s strategy and by the compliance of the people with it, because they had confidence in. I won’t repeat the many polls showing that greater confidence and trust and its impact, here.

There are, of course, other factors in why we are here, but these are the ones that really made a difference.

Looking forward, with half the infection rate and a government determined to push the level low enough to allow some kind of Christmas, I look with despair at bullish English Tories pushing their PM toward another opening up too soon.

12 thoughts on “‘How’ all they can do is look back

  1. They are very much looking forward however, terrified that people of Scotland will vote majority SNP next May. The BBC HQ’d in London are doing their utmost to undermine the ScotGov, all at the behest of the Tories. Their ‘SNP bad’ has become an obsession with them. The BBC needs therapy.
    Sometimes I just wish the rocks could part and the Lapetus ocean would come back, for Scotland’s sake.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes I always have a chuckle when the Tories in their feigned outrage about BBC bias when we all know any bad news is carfefully scripted to lessen the blow and that is clearly evident from Covid as it is about every other aspect of life. When the news is really really bad like the the recent ONS report of PPE contracts when they cannot avoid reporting it they revert to the usual tactic of diverting attention whether it is attacking the SNP or some foreign news/catastrophies. The distortions are all very subtle learned from decades of subterfuge.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. From ONS and NRS Data “In Week 45 England had the highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 with 1,771 deaths, followed by Scotland with 206 deaths,”
    It seems Scotland despite fewer recorded cases has a higher proportion of deaths per capita.
    This higher proportion seems to have begun mid October.
    Even with our more consistent approach our covid death rate rise is over twice that of England’s

    More data from ONS:
    In Week 44, England had the highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 with 1,258 deaths,
    followed by Scotland with 167 deaths,

    In Week 43, England had the highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 with 913 deaths, followed by Scotland with 106 deaths,

    In Week 42, England had the highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 with 622 deaths, followed by Scotland with 75 deaths, Wales

    In Week 41, England had the highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 with 401 deaths, followed by Wales with 37 deaths, Scotland with 25 deaths and Northern Ireland with 11 deaths

    In Week 40, England had the highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 with 296 deaths, followed by Wales with 25 deaths, Scotland with 20 deaths and Northern Ireland with 2 deaths.

    In Week 39, England had the highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 with 203 deaths, followed by Wales with 12 deaths, Scotland with 10 deaths and Northern Ireland with nine deaths.

    I find it baffling that our death rate is rising faster given that hospital admissions are broadly comparable.

    In the light of this I agree that opening up too soon would be catastrophic for Scotland as well as rest of UK.


    1. Scotland is not in lockdown, only some areas are. Also, Scotland cannot close the border, so Scotland is ‘open’ whether it risks lives or not.
      As has been explained, Scotland’s demographics have a bearing on numbers of deaths.
      Lastly, do we know whether the stats from England are wholly accurate?
      Rates of infection there are huge, off the scale, horrendous. If you look at the map of UK, for eg, you find that regions of England like Yorkshire, have higher rates than the whole of Scotland. Apparently north of England may struggle soon re their NHS coping, that’ll keep the Tories happy then, ¬£billions to made from the NHS sell off.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. England either overreporting cases or Underreporting deaths? Whats this demographic thing. Travelling tabby shows proportionately more cases in over 65s in England than in Scotland.


      1. Due to the much higher excess deaths in England during the “1st wave” many vulnerable may already have been culled.
        Perhaps this explains the lower death to infection rate there.


    2. You cannot directly compare the ONS and NRS data unless you are sure these stats are done in exactly the same manner. Just relying on the opinion of a doctor without any test is a dubious measurement.

      The only stat you can reliably compare are the tested deaths and on that measure for the preceding seven days ending 18 Nov we have 142 tested deaths in Scotland compared to 1899 in England.


      It seems strange the untested deaths in Scotland seems to be recorded at a much higher rate than England.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Good to compare like with like. Week ending 18/ 11 does look better for Scotland on the 28 day test figure. Previous weeks Scotland was running neck and neck with England, Not all deaths occuring on the 18/11 will have been reported yet.


  3. You are correct that in the recent period the tested deaths are roughly comparable between Scotland and England. This doesn’t explain why the untested deaths in Scotland are now being reported as higher. Just guessing why is pointless, it needs proper investigation but it’s unlikely this will happen.

    Liked by 1 person

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