Tuesday, August 3, 2021
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The Reader: Save future lives with a Covid inquiry now

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Yesterday marked one year since the first UK lockdown. In the past 12 months of trauma, 126,000 people in Britain have died from this deadly disease — a shocking number that equates to more than the total population of Cambridge. We should pause and reflect.

Indeed, two million may have suffered the devastating loss of a close friend or relative dying from Covid-19. They need to be supported.

Let’s face it, though: the death toll has been far higher than it ought to have been owing to delays in locking down, delays in banning overseas travel, and a pattern of easing lockdowns far too early.

This country now needs an urgent public inquiry so that lessons can be learnt for any future pandemic. We need to know exactly how to prevent the many mistakes we have made over the past year. Preservation of life must always be the Government’s priority.

Editor’s reply

You write that we should pause and reflect, but also that an inquiry is urgent. I agree with you that the scale of this disaster means we need an inquiry to prepare for future pandemics. But that must be distinguished from an inquiry that apportions blame, which is equally valid. Those would be hard to disentangle right now. On top of this, we’re still in the middle of our Covid battle. The inquiry will come, but a pause would make it clearer-eyed— and more effective.

What we ‘need’ are UK holidays

Really struggling to understand the “need” to go to another country for a holiday this summer. Last year, travelling abroad brought Covid cases into the country. It also drives up carbon dioxide emissions. What’s wrong with staying at home? Take a staycation and boost the hard hit hospitality sector in this country.

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