Beware the wrath of Omicron.

Surprisingly, that’s not the title of a Doctor Who episode.

The Omicron Variant is here. It’s the one we’ve all dreaded, the one we knew was inevitable and the one we did nothing to prevent. With 32 variations (32?! That’s one more than there are Baskin Robbins flavours), Omicron is highly transmissible and somewhat vaccine resistant, with 50% of detected Omicron cases occurring in fully vaccinated people. And just in time for Christmas.

Boris Johnson has always had only one strategy for dealing with Covid, and that was vaccination. Credit where it’s due, the vaccine rollout in the UK was very successful; efficient, organised, comprehensive and met with little resistance. If there could only be one government success story (and it seems like that’s the case), the Vaccination program is a good one.

And it worked for a while. After July’s ridiculous ‘Freedom Day,’ when we all took off our masks to reveal our pale, acned jawlines, infection rates remained high, but stable. Through August and September, we averaged around 30,000 new cases per day. The infection rate wasn’t going down, but it wasn’t going up either. Hospitalisations were stable as well. The Numbers were high, but managed. We were living with it.

The Creep up started in October, as dropping temperatures made outdoor events less viable and everyone moved indoors. Covid combined with Flu season. People started looking to the government for guidance and the government told them about Plan B. Plan B consisted of Mask mandates, social distancing, limits on group size, work from home.

They didn’t implement plan B. They just told us about it. Said ‘This is what we’ll do if things get worse’ and told us to keep going on as normal. As restrictions go, Plan B is pretty weak. And pretty easily implemented. But to the Libertarians who currently run the country, any restriction is too great a sacrifice. Personal Liberty Above All!!

Then came Omicron.

As soon as Omicron was detected, Bojo did act quickly to shut down travel from Southern African countries. After his complete failure to shut down travel from China at the start of the pandemic, followed by his failure to shut down travel from India with the emergence of the Delta variant, it was nice to see he had learned A lesson. In 21 months, one lesson. Unfortunately, by the time a new variant is detected, it’s already too late to stop it. The never find the first person with the new variant, they find it when there’s too many to ignore. So the travel shutdown was basically closing the barn door after the horses had fled.

But still, BoJo would not implement Plan B. And many experts and commentators were already skipping over Plan B and discussing potential lockdowns. Omicron was found in the UK, and BoJo acted (for him) decisively. Mandatory testing for all incoming travellers, regardless of vaccination status, and mandatory masks on Public Transport and and in shops (but not pubs and restaurants). This was the equivalent of writing a strongly worded letter to protest climate change.

He also cut the gap time for Booster shots from 6 months to 3 months. Still putting all his eggs in the Vaccination Basket. Despite Omicron be vaccine resistant. I think Bojo can only hold one solution in his head at a time, and he will keep pushing it whether it works or not.

I think people know things are serious, and it’s having a chilling affect on the economy BoJo is so desperate to protect. The High Streets are empty when they should be bustling with Christmas shoppers. The only busy shops are the ones offering Covid tests, and they have queues outside. The people who are out are almost all wearing masks, with very few claiming to be exempt.

And still Boris won’t fully commit to Plan B, even when the public would clearly support the measures. With Christmas in a couple of weeks, no one wants another Lockdown. Plan B would at least look like the government is doing…. something.

Dear Santa, For Christmas this year I would like a Prime Minister who could actually LEAD the country, not just follow the opinion polls. If they could also appreciate the value of a Multi-layered defence against Covid (masks and social distancing as well as vaccination) that would be good too.

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