The UK has the worst Covid case rates in Europe now. This data from the FT has been widely shared on Twitter and so I will share it here:
We are an outlier. It is not hard to tell why. This data is also from the FT:
The data is easy to understand. The likelihood that correlation is not an explanation is very low in this case. In the UK we have been encouraged to abandon Covid precautions. It appears that far too many of us have willingly done so. The result is more illness, more hospitalisations and more deaths.
The consequences for those with other conditions are also clear: the NHS cannot provide the care that others need if it is to deal with those at serious risk from Covid. It hardly takes a rocket scientist to work that out.
There is no reason why we have more Covid than other countries unless government choice is taken into account. In June the government chose to say that Covid would soon be over. In July it announced that it was. And our cases rose rapidly thereafter against the trend across Europe, just as our behaviour also changed against that trend.
There is, in that case, a very clear basis for suggesting who is responsible for the current excess deaths from Covid in the UK. It is the government. People in this country willingly accepted restrictions when told it was necessary. As the data makes clear, there was no indication of changed behaviour until the government encouraged it, although it seems that we were always reluctant mask wearers.
In that case blame for the deaths that are happening rests solely on the government, as does the blame for the chaos in the NHS rest solely on them, as does the cost to those who will suffer in the long term as a result.
We have a Covid crisis that is unlike that in any other country in Europe. But that is not because we are epidemiologically different from those in Europe. It was made in Downing Street. And that is where the buck stops. Libertarian politics comes at a price that is counted in excess deaths.