THOUGHTS 13 – COVID NEWS, AND AN UTTER DISGRACE

 

 

Skyline, early morning

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I don’t usually do posts like this, but a couple of covid-related things have come up that I want to talk about.  Before I get to those things, I can say that the pandemic in the UK is subsiding, although whether this will be just another temporary lull due to the current lockdown is unknown.  Numbers of new cases and numbers of deaths are down, and increasing data are showing that the vaccines are having a very positive effect.  However, having a scientific background, I am taking absolutely nothing for granted with this elusive and now shape-shifting adversary.  It is simply a case of keeping informed about how things are progressing, and taking precautions accordingly.  However, two things to mention.

First, covid came distinctly closer to us when we learned that two of our close neighbours have contracted it since New Year – a disabled woman in her 80s, and a younger woman who lives only two houses away from us.  Both have survived thankfully, and we are all very much keeping up our guard.

And second, I am ABSOLUTELY APPALLED to learn that our truly inept “government”, who are guilty of so much mismanagement of the pandemic in this country, are now about to offer our National Health Service (NHS) staff a pay rise of only 1%, which for lower paid workers is less than £4/week, and which will probably not cover the rise in inflation.  To put this £4/week into context, a single bus fare from where I live into the city centre costs £2.50.

I really struggle to understand how NHS staff have kept going over the past 12 months.  Quite a few have been killed by covid, and the day in, day out strain and mental toll on those remaining must be intense.  Last year, the “government” instigated thanks for the NHS by asking us all to stand outside our front doors at a set time and applaud them.  Even then that seemed a cheap gimmick – NHS staff cannot after all live on clapping alone – but this recent pay offer shows just how little concern and regard for the already poorly paid NHS and for the health of the British public the “government” really has. 

This is simply an utter disgrace.

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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

31 Responses to THOUGHTS 13 – COVID NEWS, AND AN UTTER DISGRACE

  1. Adrian Lewis says:

    This government certainly is inadequate – and as you say probably responsible for the VASTLY OVERDONE handling of Philip’s death. The UK Establishment … 😦

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  2. Helen Cherry says:

    I detest this government but I won’t start!

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  3. Meanderer says:

    I love the sentinel up there on the lamp post looking down at the human doings. I hadn’t heard about the pay as I’m keeping away from all news for my peace of mind.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I can understand that, but we’re keeping up with the news so as to know what the covid position is.

      However, I do most certainly recommend the row that is going on between Harry and Meghan on the one side and Buck House on the other. Wonderful revelations, including racism and bullying, with said House not being very reponsive – writhing about a bit might put it better … 😉 …

      Liked by 1 person

  4. bluebrightly says:

    I hadn’t heard about that so thank you for telling us. I share your dismay at the insulting wage increase. I bet all kinds of excuses were made…but please, put your money where your mouth is, as they say.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Our current “government” really isn’t competent, there have been all sorts of foul ups. In many instances, they have done things and then been forced to take U-turns by outraged public opinion. I had thought that PM Boris was just what our country needed, by time has proved the exact opposite to be true. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • bluebrightly says:

        I know, I remember your enthusiasm in the early days and I’ve seen your opinion change. Gee, another political disappointment? Why haven’t we learned? Maybe it speaks well of us, that we still have some hope.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That is a disgrace, Adrian!! 😦

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  6. Stella says:

    Absolutely agree with you, Adrian, and I have no time for anyone saying “well, they’re lucky they have jobs”. Especially when the government appears more than capable of spaffing vast sums of money that could have paid for this, up the walls of those who are their cronies and donors.

    Very pleased that Lynne and I both had our first shot of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine on Tuesday last.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Excellent to hear that you’ve both had the vaccine, that brings relief from those now far off days when there appeared no ways out / solutions at all. I’ve had the Pfizer and my wife the AZ, and now, sometime, hopefully the 2nd jabs will appear.

      One thing I know though is that – assuming we are able to! – it won’t be easy to get back onto the old ways again, to let our defences down.

      Glad you agree about the NHS. This is the bottom line, isn’t it >>> the govt can heap praise onto the NHS all they like, but having to put their (our!) money where their mouth is has completely shown them up and caught them out, revealing their true colours.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. athyfoto says:

    Hello again, yes I had my first shot of the vaccine but after a whole year under virtual house arrest I think I am becoming institutionalised! Just don’t feel like doing much apart from gaining weight🙄

    BTW I did be be mention nurses as they are a very important part of the public sector …. “ Nurses at the top of their grades are on around £33,000 with senior level nurses on £37,570. The 1% rise would give the average nurse a £6.47/week rise. (Yorkshire Post 5th March 2021)”

    I too have experience of the public sector, the first 12 years of my career was in the public sector, my recently retired wife spent her whole working life in the public sector. My older sister was a senior nurse and my younger sister was in admin in our local hospital. My mother spent many years as a home help care worker for the local authority so I suppose I have a feel for our precious NHS and its importance in all our lives.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, although I have not had to shield as you are doing, I identify with what you say in your first paragraph very much – I feel its going to take quite an effort to get out and start visiting other places again.

      I suppose my thoughts centre around the horrendous year that many NHS staff have endured. Quite a few have died, and the physical and mental strains that others have suffered must be intense; I would imagine that many of these staff will now require mental health services. Given this, and all of the praise that NHS staff have received for helping to get us through this awful year, I find that restricting their pay award to 1% is simply unacceptable.

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      • athyfoto says:

        Just noted a comment by the Royal College of Nursing that the 3 year deal that is just coming to an end had written into it that a 2% (certainly between 2 and 2.5%) would be forthcoming at the end of it. So I cannot see how the government can hold out against at least that. Given the inflation rate is around 1.4% it has to uphold its promise! But the health unions are said to be asking for a 12.5% rise! I think that figure would never be acceptable to any government given the state of the economy due to the Covid-19 issue. …

        “Throughout this crisis, the government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods across the UK, support businesses, and public services. The government has spent over £280 billion to do so this year. Of that, SR20 confirms that £113 billion will have been provided across the UK in the course 2020-21 to support public services– from the NHS, to local government, transport and employment support, including £38 billion of further funding for public services announced today. It also announces £55 billion of support to public services in responding to Covid-19 in 2021-22.” ( source – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spending-review-2020-documents/spending-review-2020#responding-to-covid-19-1)

        We just can’t have everything we ask for :-(. I suppose we have to do what we can with what we have. Now, where”s my bl**dy camera gear, I just have to come up with a project to get my mind off this whole issue 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Just a thought on the government and the NHS. I say they are running the health service down to get people to go private and take out medical insurance. By offering a low pay rise it helps push nurses out in to the private sector.
    The NHS is one of the biggest sectors the government has the up keep off. They have started on the pensions by making it law for all workers to have a private or company pension. How long before the government pension disappears.

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  9. Sallyann says:

    Covid has come too close to home for so many of us, and hit home hard for so many others, stay safe, we’re almost there… Hopefully the nurses will get a bigger payrise next time.

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  10. Sue says:

    I share your dismay, only just been discussing it with a friend….

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  11. athyfoto says:

    Hello Adrian, I haven’t been around for a long time, My photography is down to zero days per year. I have underlying health issues that make me more susceptible to infection from the Covid monster.

    However my ears pricked up when I saw this post, on a photography blog, and I had to respond with regard to NHS pay rises. I am a state pensioner and will enjoy a massive £1 odd per week rise this year. I won’t moan about this though as people and family have benefitted from the governments generous furlough scheme and others.

    That means there is less money than would otherwise be the case. But the NHS and the public sector workers have had good pay rises until this point, and for the same reason, the government have looked after millions of us over the last 12 months and that aint cheap.

    I can refer you to this article from the governments web site regarding public sector pay rises . . .

    “Reflecting the vital contributions public sector workers make to our country, these pay rises cover the Armed Forces, teachers, police Officers, the National Crime Agency, prison Officers, doctors and dentists, the Judiciary, senior civil servants and senior military personnel.
    Nearly 900,000 workers will benefit across the country, with teachers and doctors seeing the largest rise at 3.1% and 2.8% respectively recognising their efforts on the frontline during the battle against COVID-19.
    Police and prison officers will both have a 2.5% rise in pay. This comes as 6,435 new police officers were recruited to the force between November 2019 and March 2020, of which 3,005 joined specifically as part of the uplift programme to recruit 20,000 over the next 3 years. The Armed Forces will receive a 2% uplift as 16,340 new recruits join the UK Regular Armed Forces from April 2019 – March 2020 – an increase of 30.9% compared with the previous 12 month period.
    >>> This pay rise follows the settlement for more than one million NHS workers who continue to benefit from the three-year Agenda for Change pay deal, under which the starting pay for a newly qualified nurse has increased by over 12% since 2017/18.
    This means nurses who are still moving up their pay structures will receive an average 4.4% rise this year. There are 12,220 more nurses and health visitors working for the NHS compared to last year. <<<"

    Nurses at the top of their grades are on around £33,000 with senior level nurses on £37,570. The 1% rise would give the average nurse a £6.47/week rise. (Yorkshire Post 5th March 2021)

    Puts my merger £1 odd in the shade! I see the press going into melt down saying that Nurses will take strike action (quoting the unions) which doesn't mean they WILL go on strike, the usual protocols will have to be followed to get to the point of actually striking. Still, that doesn't make for a sensational headline does it. It's playtime for the left of centre politicians at al. Happy days.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Hello Frank, its very good to hear from you again, but I’m very sorry to hear how covid is restricting your life. I can’t contest these government figures but, to be honest, I’m not sure I trust this government at all. I worked in the public sector for 20 years and I remember pay freeze after pay freeze. I note the pay rises you mention for police, the armed forces etc but still feel that the nation’s health comes first. I hope that the virus will recede and that you will soon have more freedom – presumably your are a priority case for the vaccine? Stay safe! Adrian

      Liked by 2 people

  12. It sounds like I’m reading a post from here in the states. I’m sorry you all, everyone, are being put through such a disgrace in mismanagement. Our problem here centers around one party that refuses to abide by the suggestions of our president and the medical experts, (Republicans) and the people who literally idolized and still do, a completely inept former president. People are literally being killed!!! KILLED!!!! when requesting others to wear a mask! It’s utterly insane!
    My sister currently has Covid. She has a terrible headache, chest pain, trouble breathing, and yesterday was told that both her lungs are infiltrated. Florida Hospital: “As long as you don’t need a ventilator, you can’t stay here.” They put her out front in a wheelchair to wait for a ride and left her there! But the wealthy in Key West, Florida, donors to their governor, were given vaccines in January before others!!!!
    It’s a total disgrace, bud. This is what it’s come to.
    Not sorry for my rant ❤️
    XXXATPXXX
    Stay safe, my friend.

    Like

  13. Mike Hartley says:

    The number of governments in the world that handled the pandemic well so far wouldn’t fill up one hand. Here in the US, it’s been an embarrassing CF. Hopefully, history will hold those people accountable who have mishandled it badly. And yes the injustice of our health care and front-line workers suffer in pay is disgusting.

    Like

  14. paula graham says:

    Totally agree…and now just read that Gov declaring many casualties in the future unavoidable…does that mean they are giving up on our second ‘jab’ and annual jab together with the flue? I fear that present low numbers are due to lock down and possibly not to the first anti jab. The future will tell us, but I have had enough of it all by now and wanna go somewhere, camera in hand!!

    Like

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