Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Yesterday’s blog was a short piece on how COVID-19 highlighted the lack of power Southend Council has versus national government. One of the key issues that could never allow Local Authorities power over how to handle the current crisis is the lack of reliable and credible information.
It feels almost impossible to find proven factual information from a reliable and credible source for all areas surrounding the topic of the pandemic. The truth must be there somewhere, but it is hidden within the gluttony of speculation, rumour, misinterpretation, and overt and covert agendas.
Basic facts such as death rates is a prime example. It was reported that Doctors were writing COVID-19 as the cause of death if a person had shown symptoms of the virus - this was during March. It was subsequently reported that the instruction changed to only report COVID as the cause of death if the person had been tested as having had it, skewing the results in either direction. This was also compounded when the daily league tables of death rates across world compared countries that were reporting deaths differently. Furthermore, in the UK, halfway through crisis it came to light that deaths in care homes were not being reported, which then increased the death rate dramatically.
Other aspects that facts are difficult to determine are: PPE, vaccines, the level of contagion, how it can be passed on, who is more vulnerable and why, and even whether Boris Johnson did indeed catch it himself! And the list goes on.
I have been waiting patiently to voice an opinion that may add reason and rationality to balance against speculation in order to provide information to Thorpe and Southend residents that may help. I write this now with the conclusion that this is a forlorn hope. The truth to COVID is out there, but I fear only the most discerning of minds would be able to reach any categorical conclusions.
Out of this I would like to make it clear that one of the key principles I hope to uphold is to never spread incorrect or unsubstantiated information, and I will respectfully hold to account any Councillor that I can see doing this – regardless of Party. We desperately need politicians to tell the truth. We need them to be clear about their sources of information. And ironically, we need it without political agendas.