It’s here and it’s real.
Modern society hasn’t faced a challenge of greater significance, nor have the consequences of inaction been more severe, in decades. Possibly centuries. The exponential growth of the novel coronavirus (officially known as Sars-CoV-2) is unlike anything we’ve encountered in living memory.
The disease that it causes – COVID-19 – is preying on the lives of the most elderly, fragile and vulnerable members of our families.
But we are not helpless.
Anyone who believes that this problem rests solely in the hands of medical staff and government will have blood on their hands.
Strong words perhaps, but there is clear statistical evidence which points plainly to what we should do: TEST. It also shows how washing one’s hands of all responsibility in this situation will vastly increase deaths. However, actually washing your hands is one way of helping: but it’s not enough.
Major national governments continue to cost lives by failing to adopt and administer testing, including our own in the U.K. This is dangerous and incompetent.
An e-mail from the U.K. government, leaked to ITV political editor Robert Peston, shows that they only sent out requests to research institutions for the parts to make testing kits on Sunday 22nd March (two days before publishing this article, and a little more than 24 hours after the full lockdown came in). This is negligent and unacceptable.
One of the big unanswered questions, asked by many of us for weeks, is why government moved so late to ramp up #COVID19 testing. @Jack_Blanchard_ has leaked email that shows just how far behind curve it has been on increasing testing capacity. See attached pic.twitter.com/QUAQzMuHCV
— Robert Peston (@Peston) March 24, 2020
Bloomberg reported how South Korea limited the death rate with a testing blitz whilst the governments of supposed “leading” western nations did absolutely nothing. It takes an average of 5 days for COVID-19 symptoms to reveal themselves and a week ago, the WHO Director General urged all countries to test and isolate to save lives.
Doing the FIVE, as illustrated above is vitally important, but is not enough on it’s own. There is only so much we as individuals can do independently of each other.
Without a vaccine, we MUST rely on regular testing, not just for our Doctors and Nurses but for all of those who are, out of necessity, going to congregate in the same place at the same time.
Mass infections will not be prevented if we do not know where to break the chains of transmission. Worse, a lack of protocol or controlled testing of those who are making contact with high volumes of people, means that even these “super-spreaders” are not being tested. Supermarkets are now guaranteed infection hot spots with carriers inadvertently spreading the virus. Poorly paid supermarket staff have been designated “key personnel”, but are often not provided with ways of protecting themselves from infected customers.
You don’t have to work in emergency services or the healthcare sector to help. You’re voice matters. Educate less-informed family and friends on the importance of STAYING AT HOME, and broadcast the most important and urgent message of all – Testing – it will save lives.
The window of opportunity to make any real difference is closing and we ask you to please add your voice. Together we can amplify the message tweet or post using the hashtag: #COVID19TESTINGNOW
Right now, postponed sports announcements are getting more media coverage than the only containment measures that currently exist. Seriously. We cannot allow COVID-19 testing to become a marginalized subject. Wherever you see the hashtag #covid19testingnow, consider proactively retweeting/ sharing and re-circulating that post, article or content.
Much like how climate change isn’t going to be reversed only by us all putting our egg cartons in a different bin, we cannot address this pandemic and prevent it from turning into localised epidemics without our supposedly “civilized” institutions of government. And we need to put pressure on them, however we can, to get them to do what they should have done weeks or months ago.
Alternatively, if you don’t feel comfortable broadcasting the immediate importance of testing, consider donating instead. Google offers an outstanding COVID-19 resource and are donating $2 for every $1 given to the UN Solidarity Response Fund.
Whether you share your voice or make a donation, together we can make our voice heard. It might just save ONE life and that is still so much better than no lives at all.
From the bottom of hearts, from myself and everyone here at Voquent, thank you for reading. Your love, support and understanding is everything.
📢Your voice will save lives!
📢Wake up your government to action! https://t.co/UhaN2aciRy
The quicker we start mass testing, the faster we can all get back to normality and the less damage the economy will suffer.#COVID19TestingNow
— Voquent (@Voquent) March 24, 2020
Writer: Miles Chicoine (Managing Director)
Editors: Al Black, Alex Harris-MacDuff