Putting the Cart Before the Horse

I keep hearing that the point of the current UK  lockdowns is to “protect the National Health Service.” The worry seems to be that hospitals will be flooded with Covid patients, and unable to cope.

I can’t help but think that this puts the cart before the horse, and that we should be primarily trying to save lives, not save the NHS.

The same thinking during the WW2 Blitz would have had people saying that instead of sending Spitfires up to shoot down Luftwaffe bombers, we should “save the RAF” by keeping its planes grounded. Or that instead of sending the Navy out to hunt U-boats. we should “save the Royal Navy” by keeping its ships in port. What’s the point of having a navy and an air force, except to fight enemies? Yes, some ships will be sunk and sailors lives lost, but that’s just the price for saving citizens’ lives.

It’s the same with the NHS. Of course hospitals will fill up with patients during a pandemic. That’s just the price for saving citizens’ lives..

But now it seems the NHS is more important than the patients it treats.

In fact it seems that saving the NHS is also more important than preserving freedom, keeping the economy going, and maintaining employment. We look set for a bankrupt country in which the NHS alone continues to prosper, its hospitals empty.

We’re no longer trying to protect health, but instead trying to protect a health service.

Perhaps this just reflects the fact that a lot of highly vocal people work in the health service, and are more concerned with keeping their jobs than with anything else.

Applied to coal mining, the same logic would insist that we stop burning coal in order to protect the coal mining industry.

Or stop driving cars in order to protect the roads.

Perhaps that’s the real goal of the lockdown?

Somebody else who thinks the same as I do.

About Frank Davis

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13 Responses to Putting the Cart Before the Horse

  1. PJH says:

    “The worry seems to be that hospitals will be flooded with Covid patients, and unable to cope.”

    Given that current estimates indicate 25% of the patients with Covid caught it while in hospital, the only logical conclusion – given the unhinged governmental policies – should be that they should shut all the hospitals…

  2. Mark Jarratt says:

    Excellent analogies, and analysis. Placing institutions before those they are created and funded to serve is the essence of totalitarianism, yet another example of elevating the “public health” cult and risk aversion above all else.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    When hospitals are full, medical staff overwhelmed, then no one gets treated for anything at all. It becomes complete chaos. There would be no oxygen, no beds, no staff, no ambulances. Not enough medication. Letting Covid run free, would cause other effects. Short staffing in other areas. Swathes of sick delivery drivers, train drivers, teachers, parents, kids, shop workers, home workers, all workers. We’d be left feral all snatching for our own survival.

    Not only that, but we might be left with a society full of damaged people, weakened by having to nurse themselves through it at home.

    Well, that’s what I think. So I suppose its a choice between total and utter societal breakdown for a while, or a long controlled event.

    I still think people constantly kicking against the pricks of what is happening are in a state of denial. Shit happens. Right now, shit is happening, maybe not to you personally. But to a lot of people you don’t know. Covid is NOT “just flu”!

  4. Rach says:

    give up Frank, and worship the NHS. You know it makes sense. Ask O’Brien if you need a steer. Hint: he won.

  5. Yvonne says:

    I often think how British Civil Servants and relatively small army ruled much of the world. Mail took weeks. Telegrams weren’t instant like today’s communication. Yet we cannot have a fully functioning NHS. Appointments are still made by phone and confirmations are mailed. Most systems still followed today were set up in 1948 and tweaked over time. Surgeons attend mandatory training on such things as Lifting and Handing and Bullying. Files are still predominantly paper based, as is most procedures. There is no incentive for efficiencies as it is easier to employ another person.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I’m not criticising your take on the NHS, just surprised. Here, everything is via text, video, zoom, skype, phone – mainly texts or emails. The phone works well too. Hubby had an eye procedure in the middle of the last lockdown, AND a suspected TIA. Followup appointments were texted to us, and results were on Patient Access on the Internet and the doc talked my husband through on the phone while both on the same page. The retinal eye screen for diabetes, still use letters, but confirm through texts and results are found on Patient Access, I wonder if it depends on the tech ability of the patient?

  6. Joe L. says:

    God Save the Queen.

    … And fuck everyone else.

      • Joe L. says:

        Sorry. As an American, maybe it didn’t translate well. I intended the Queen to represent the elites, the powerful, the government officials in charge. Thus implying they’re only looking out for themselves, and they couldn’t care less about the other 99% of the population. They openly admit they’d rather preserve their own reputation at the expense of the citizens: millions of lost jobs, shuttered businesses and loneliness/isolation.

  7. DP says:

    Dear Mr Davis

    If lessons were ever learnt, the NHS and PHE would get a thoroughly needed overhaul.

    I suspect that it won’t and the ‘lesson learned’ will be more money thrown at the bureaucrats and wasted.

    A couple of years back I had a minor operation. I was asked if I was allergic to anything: only government and bureaucrats, quipped I. The dermatologist said she had the same problem with managers.

    Most medical staff work wonders despite the NHS. It’s the bureaucracy that is killing people, with relatively few deaths down to the odd rogue medic.


  8. RdM says:

    Reading as is my wont NZ blogs, I see this comment.


    A few years back, when I was working in a big city hospital, there was a an outbreak of a ‘flu-type sickness.
    No-one was swabbed. Staff were sent home with disprin and VitC. Patients were discharged where possible, and put into ‘infectious’ wards if not.
    The reason for not swabbing was that naso-pharyngeal swabs require a certain expertise to perform, and many people do not master the technique(which is rather unpleasant for the swab-ee). If it is not done properly, the swab may not encounter the virus, and a negative result is reported.
    And once the person is symptomatic, well, swabbing only tells what is already known.

    But that’s just anecdotal.

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