After the previous waves of COVID-19 infection, and the many hospitalisations and deaths resulting from them, is the government’s Living With COVID plan a sufficient response to the new wave of infections?
This week I became infected with COVID-19 for the first time. I had not changed my usual pattern of behaviour nor participated in any group activity. I undertook exercise twice over the weekend. Needless to say I was surprised.
On the first day I ran a temperature, had a fever, and had heavy night sweats. But it was not until day two that I tested positive. Here on day three, the symptoms and sleepless nights persist. I am plagued by lethargy and just keep sleeping it off.
The UK is experiencing yet another wave of Covid infections, with case numbers rising by half a million in a week. The increase is driven by the Omicron subvariant BA.5, with many people being reinfected. The impact on levels of sickness absence is again beginning to affect productivity.
In February 2022 the UK Government introduced its latest response to COVID-19: “Living with Covid-19” plan. It has three key pillars: vaccines, testing and treatment. It defines ‘living with covid’ as “removing domestic restrictions while encouraging safer behaviours through public health advice, in common with longstanding ways of managing most other respiratory illnesses.”
The government has announced a new autumn booster programme – because of my age I will be eligible for this. The question is whether this will be soon enough. Should the “Autumn Booster” be introduced now for my age group (50+) and be extended to more of the population?
I will be off work for at least a week with this latest variant. As previously infected people risk reinfection the time to act is by Autumn.