England Ditches Mandatory Vaccine & Mask Requirements
Nearly all legal COVID restrictions are about to be lifted in England. Boris Johnson told British Parliament on Wednesday that starting next week, face masks will no longer be mandatory anywhere in England, and the controversial 'vaccine pass' will also be ditched.
The remaining legal restriction is a five day self isolation period for anyone who tests positive for COVID. Johnson said he hopes to lift this measure before it automatically lapses in March.
The reason for doing so, according to Johnson, is because "of the extraordinary booster campaign together with the way the public responded" to mandatory vaccination, lockdowns and other 'Plan B' measures.
But is this the truth?
Johnson went on to say the English people embracing restrictions when Omicron began is also to be credited for the end of the wave. He claimed the measures bought time for the government to introduce their booster campaign to citizens, which was touted as the key to ending the wave.
Regardless, Omicron infected millions, including the vaccinated and boosted. COVID waves have come and gone in similar fashion even in places who used no restrictions. Sweden and some states in the US are a great example of this. It's important to consider that politicians taking measures that can be very stressful for people and damaging to the economy 'must work' in the eyes of the public for politicians to maintain their ratings. Perhaps there is motivation to take credit for stopping waves of a virus proven to be virtually uncontrollable.
This was also a point made by the head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Tel Aviv University, Professor Ehud Qimron in a letter he wrote to the Israeli ministry of health criticizing them for all their COVID measures and how they've been ineffective.
With Johnson saying that England can lift these measures due to the success of the vaccine campaign along with other measures, like mandatory masking and lockdown measures, it enforces the idea that it's because citizens were compliant that they are rewarded. But again, this does not appear to be true.
Lockdowns have been catastrophic, likely killing more people than COVID. The health consequences of prolonged mask wearing have been ignored, not to mention the failure of the vaccine to prevent transmission. We also must look at the vaccine injuries that have been reported in the plenty but not investigated properly.
Johnson's government is still providing guidance to the English, suggesting they must remain cautious in the coming weeks as the pandemic is not necessarily over. This sort of cautious guidance without legal obligation lends respect and trust to citizens, something we have not seen from many governments.
Case numbers remain high in the U.K. but daily infections drop. That said, focusing too much on cases can mislead people about the severity of what's happening. Hospitalizations are down in the UK, and during Omicron did not come close to previous COVID waves. This can be attributed to the significantly lessened severity and rate of vaccination.
"Many nations across Europe have endured further winter lockdowns, but this government took a different path."
Omicron quickly spreads throughout the population, causing milder disease and leaving behind robust natural immunity. While no one wants to see people sick and in hospital, the advent of Omicron during this pandemic could easily have been something celebrated by leaders as a nature driven 'vaccine.'
For those who have felt governments took too much of an authoritarian approach during COVID with their restrictions, the UK's move to remove them can be an inspiring note. Perhaps we will see other governments follow suit. Typically when governments seize more control, surveillance and power through a crisis, whether manufactured or real, they do not give those freedoms back to citizens when that 'crisis' disappears. Are you not still taking your shoes off at the airport because of 9/11?
This move also begs the question, with so many protests and citizens opposing these measures, was activism and disdain for these mandatory measures the real reason they were lifted? Was there just too much pressure put on the government by the citizens?