Saturday morning UK news briefing: Today’s top headlines from The Telegraph

FOLKS WHO are smartly-practised at letting people down whilst evading ferocious blame are inclined to be just right at choosing their moments.

Boris Johnson seems to have pinpointed late afternoon on a Saturday because the maximum time to damage bad information. One recollects his fraught unveiling of the second lockdown on the finish of October final yr as such an experience. In All Probability there is something approximately this mid-element of a weekend which catches us at our so much forgiving and phlegmatic.

the new restrictions the PM introduced the day prior to this to begin with struck me as frustrating but tolerable and not as unhealthy as anticipated: back to compulsory mask in shops and on public shipping but no longer in hospitality settings; tougher quarantine and checking out requirements for international guests and their contacts; a ramping up of the vaccine booster programme.

within the cold mild of day, I’m not so positive. For our vintage foes the slippery slope and the boiled lobster are back on the scene. the first of those is the point of interest for the hyper-vigilant among us who will suspect that after the mindset of social keep an eye on has been re-dependent among the powers-that-be, it is going to necessarily result in a descent into ever extra draconian measures. The latter is what occurs to the fewer observant – a gentle turning up of the temperature that is barely perceptible at any given moment but ends with us noticing too late that our civil liberties had been boiled alive.

So most likely we’re better to cry foul and pledge resistance now rather than brace for the recovery of the guideline of six in hospitality, then an guide to work from house if we can, followed by way of limits on family mixing that could nix Christmas and at last the whole hog of another lockdown.

in spite of everything, one end result of Mr Johnson’s announcements the previous day is the most probably return of the “pingdemic” that wrecked such a lot of plans in the spring and early summer season. Being a contact of someone with the omicron version will result in 10 precautionary days in the cooler. Some Other end result is that short in a foreign country breaks will once again grow to be more hassle than they are worth, with setting apart on arrival home a requirement till a bad PCR check result’s obtained.

one more result will likely be the puncturing of a progressively rising consensus a few of the population that the worst is at the back of us and we will manner the long run with a extra positive perspective. If Franklin D Roosevelt’s famous statement that “the one factor we have now to fear is worry itself” can properly be applied to current circumstances then Johnson has goofed by way of throwing the vehicle into reverse.

As Matt Ridley issues out in the Telegraph nowadays, lockdown measures come with a “critical mental, financial and human cost” that may be seldom accorded due weight via policymakers.

Yesterday’s Downing Boulevard briefing integrated a review of the present Covid information by leader scientific officer Professor Chris Whitty, giving him an opportunity to reprise his famous catchphrase “subsequent slide please”. And this time around the slides informed a positive tale of falling hospitalisations and deaths even amid stubbornly prime stage of instances being detected. Mainly, we’d cracked it.

Simplest now the story being pumped out on broadcast media is that omicron manner we could be in massive hassle again in any case. Whitty’s fellow boffin, Sir Patrick Vallance, the executive scientific adviser, referred in passing at the briefing to the much better therapies that exist for Covid now, in comparison to a yr in the past.

As Of Late’s Telegraph has additional sure information on that rating, with dramatic positive results from early trials of the “SpiDex” drug combination treatment and an similarly exciting mobile phone therapy being pioneered in Israel that seems to be bringing very unwell folks back from the brink of dying.

rather than considering this and taking further steps to restoring our collective feel of self-trust, we have in impact been nudged back into our shells, just in case omicron proves so infectious and serious that it might send an enormous surge of people into hospitals if we lived most often. That’s now not what South African GP Dr Angelique Coetzee, the physician who first spotted omicron, expects. She says the symptoms in sufferers she handled tended to be “mild” in comparison to those associated with previous traces of Covid.

we must always all know so much extra in 3 weeks, when the present measures are reviewed within the gentle of what we’ve discovered about omicron and every other related tendencies within the intervening time. let us desire we are informed it has been a false alarm – like a lot of the other versions have proved to be – as opposed to being put on the butcher’s slab for another spherical of civil liberties salami-reducing.

“I’m beautiful assured to utterly confident that this Christmas shall be significantly higher than last Christmas,” the Prime Minister informed us the day past. However didn’t he promise to save our Yule ultimate 12 months, most effective to drag the plug a few days out? So who’s going to place much religion in his message this time round?

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