ON January 16, after reading about Matt Hancock addressing the House of Commons on Covid-19, I immediately went online and ordered face masks. That’s how reassured I felt by his speech.

By mid-February my face mask package had apparently been “damaged” in transit and the company could no longer fulfill the order.

As it turns out, the masks would most likely been of little use anyway, but I was doing something prompted by the best information available to me at the time.

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Hancock’s utterance was the start of the “trust us, we’ve got this” mantra from the Johnson government, which at this point seems to be the last thing we should have done.

How is it possible that specifications for ventilators where only issues to engineering companies on Monday? If I (and everyone/anyone reading newspapers/other media) could understand this was a respiratory disease rampaging through Wuhan and beyond, what bit did the British Government not spot?

The need for ventilators has been evident since reporting began. How come the “trust us” leaders are so far behind?

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I must admit with each passing day it is hard to see what concrete action has been taken over the last few months to prepare for this inevitable crisis. Johnson was too busy boasting about still shaking hands, and reticent to convene Cobra. Critical fiscal support and its actual delivery seems only to be in development rather than fully formulated, and the strategy to fight the infection? Don’t get me started on their unique and novel strategy!

The lack of pre-emptive action on ventilators has been a new low for me and I am especially disappointed that the Scottish Government, in this respect, seems culpable too. At the very least the Scottish Government should have been insisting that their southern cousins got the move on. Alas, there is no evidence to suggest that they were.

The “novel” strategy adopted by the UK Government seems to be being quietly abandoned. Thing is, while the Scottish Government remains so tightly bound to Johnson’s strategies, when abandoned or untimely, it looks like it doesn’t have a handle on what’s happening either.

I Easton