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Testing our way out of lockdown

There is some good news on the horizon.  The government might meet its target of 100,000 tests for COVID-19 by the end of the month.

Testing is vital to bringing us all out of lockdown, getting people back to work, and gradually returning to normality.

The US company producing the tests here in the UK has ramped up the facilities for its manufacture.  But initially, the tests will be for the antigen, indicating whether someone has got the virus.  We also need to test for the presence of antibodies, showing whether someone has had the infection and has developed an immunity.



Meeting the testing target offers hope that the lockdown can be released gradually, perhaps first, with those who have recovered from the virus. Slowly, people can get back to work, getting the economy moving once again and critically enabling key health workers to return to the frontline.

One thing the lockdown has demonstrated is just who our key workers really are.  The many we have taken for granted, and on whom we now realise how much we depend.  The pandemic has demonstrated our interdependency.

From the person who delivers our groceries, or mans the till at the check-out, to the postman who delivers our parcels, the sanitation workers who take away our trash; the cleaners in our hospitals and schools and the offices, the bus drivers, the list goes on.

We cannot simply return to business as usual after the pandemic, heaving a sigh of relief and going back to how we were.  We should reset society.  That must be part of the preparation for dealing with the next pandemic.  Prevention, as ever, is better than cure.

We should stop worshipping wealth for its own sake and start valuing people, and the way we work together.

The prevention of the next pandemic starts as soon as this one is defeated.  Building a social infrastructure is key to preventing and fighting the next epidemic.

Meanwhile, let's do all we can to stay safe.






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