It’s another biggie from McArdle, where she asks:
Coronavirus Scotland: How did we end up back in lockdown? Just follow the numbers
Leaving aside the inaccuracy of the suggestion that we are back in lockdown when not all parts are in Level 4 and schools are still confidently open based on evidence, it’s full of stuff but it’s still wrong.
Just as in the first wave, the devolved powers were not sufficient and that’s why we are where we are, with infection levels high but only half that of England and with a reasonable shot at pushing them down hard enough for some kind of Christmas.
In the first wave, as I’ve bored everyone with over and over again, wrong advice from SAGE, the 4 Nations approach and the delay in lockdown caused the first wave. The SG learned from that and suppressed the virus far below the level in England.
While the SG did make one mistake in the emergence of the second wave, giving in to hysterical pleas from greedy University managers to let them fill their accommodation with physical return, all other factors were beyond their control. They made no blunders or missteps.
First, before the return of students, another wave of tourists had returned from overseas and clearly enough of them had failed to quarantine themselves. 80% of the virus strains in the UK derive from Spain. That’s by far the biggest factor.
Could the SG have done anything about that? Police visits to everyone of the thousands returning?
Why didn’t they quarantine? Immaturity? Selfishness? Stupidity? Listening to the UK media full of contradictory messages and hypocritical behaviour by powerful folk thinking they are above the law?
Second, as McArdle only mentions in passing, the UK Government’s ‘Eat out to help out‘ scheme was attributed with responsibility, by a Warwick University study, for 17% of the new clusters detected in August and September.
Should Nicola have banned that scheme in Scotland. Imagine McArdle’s own headline is she had.
McArdle then goes on to raise a favourite of the Scottish Tories and the Sun’s Chris Musson:
Something else was happening in September though: contact tracing was too slow.
This like the school openings theory, as McArdle notes, is another ‘red herring.’
There is no evidence that the Scottish Test and Support system in any way failed or fed the second wave. Indeed the ‘too slow’ accusation both ignores the SAGE and WHO standards which were met throughout. and the fact that around 95% of contacts were made, far beyond the 80% minimum for effectiveness and far beyond that achieved in England.
It’s not good enough to just chuck in everything you can think of to make a coherent argument – C.