Yesterday we received news of an alarming uptick in Covid-19 cases in South Liverpool. It wasn’t amongst the older population who were the key victims of the virus for the first 4 months and the pre lockdown and lockdown periods. It was in under-35s who previously have been a small percentage of those infected. The areas worst affected were Woolton, Childwall, Allerton, Hunts Cross, Halewood and Wavertree.
The worst is probably still to come. Three weeks and two weeks ago Woolton Village had to be closed by the police because of the number of young people drinking without social distancing in the open. Two weeks ago, we had the disgraceful scenes at the Pier Head and Anfield which have rightly been condemned by LFC. Most of the participants in these events were young people.
As I went around S Liverpool last weekend, I saw that there was a higher proportion of under 35s in the bars and restaurants than any other age group. I spoke to several of them about why. Clearly, like all of us they are fed up with being in and not going out meeting mates and enjoying themselves. The difference between them and older people, however, was the idea that the virus could not affect them. If they got it they would, at worst, have a flu like cold and then they would be immune.
This is a pattern we can see all over the world in the post lockdown periods. From the USA to Sweden, from Korea to Canada it is the under 35s who are out more and taking more risk and gradually suffering more.
It is true that less young people have died from the virus but some have. However, there are three considerations that they ned to think about:
- They may not even notice the symptoms of the virus but they could be going to home or work places and infect those people who are older or vulnerable who would suffer severe immediate effects including death.
- The virus may seem to get sorted out quickly but there are increasing signs that even people with mild initial conditions may find themselves with long term problems with their bronchial systems, heart, liver, kidneys and brains. Coronavirus effects might give them a big kicking in years to come.
- We have no idea how long immunity will last. Some studies suggest that it will not last long and will not, in any event, provide protections as the Coronavirus continues to mutate. Remember that people get flu injections every year because flu mutates through the course of its own life cycle and reproduction.
The uptick of infections is not yet alarming merely worrying and we must all do our bit to keep the virus under control.
- If you are under 35 just be careful about how you try and resume normal life with your mates. The bars will still be there next year. You have a lifetime of pleasure ahead of you and not all pleasures involved drink and food. There are so many things that you can without either and have a good time.
- If you are a parent or friend of under 35s tactfully but persuasively try and point out the continuing danger.
- If you run a bar or restaurant, redouble your efforts to keep social distancing intact. I was delighted last week when I walked around L18 to see how well the premises were being run and the behaviour of punters was exemplary. But last week it was poor weather and tomorrow it promises to be hot.
The Council and NHS have arranged for the following testing sites to be established:
Mobile testing centres will be in Woolton: (Saturday 11 July and Sunday 12 July) and Wavertree: (Monday 13 July to Wednesday 15 July) carrying out swab tests on people with symptoms who have pre-booked an appointment via the NHS website.
If you feel that you have symptoms, no matter how slight, please go and get tested.
We can get through this but if we don’t the consequences will be high. As we have seen in Leicester the Government have the power to close places and businesses down.
The last thing I want to see happen is for South Liverpool and its bars, shops and other businesses made to go back into a local lockdown. We are not in that position yet but if things get worse that is what the Government will do.