Now then, yesterday in Sheffield a protest was held regarding the appalling and illegal killing of George Floyd in America. There can be no doubt, Mr Floyd was the victim of a premeditated and brutal murder. I say premeditated because it is my belief that black Americans have been the target of premeditated killings by an out of control Police force for many years. To be very honest, the Police force in that troubled country is actually a military force, and a very heavily armed one at that. It has to be because large sections of the American public are also heavily armed. The Police over there rule by force. Lots of it. I have now seen too many clips of out and out inhumane behaviour to think anything else. America will struggle to sort all this out. It may never.
American cops wear $2K worth of kit, American Drs are struggling for adequate PPE.
BLACK LIVES MATTER - ALL LIVES MATTER.
So, Sheffield yesterday. It is reckoned that around 3K people attend a protest in the centre of the city. During a pandemic. When the official request is not to gather in groups of more than six. I have no idea how many of them used public transport to get there. Nor do I have any idea of how many others used the same buses and trams as they went about their ordinary business. Same applies for the journeys home. I also have no idea re how many of them went home to people with underlying conditions- like me - or even went to work in medical facilities or public facing roles. I have no idea if any of them will have been incubating the virus without knowing. This may seem a little extreme, I have no idea how many of those who fall into any of the above categories may die, or occupy the attentions of ICU staff.
When I stated my view that holding a protest or gathering at such a time was "reckless" the reactions were not good. People I had previously thought better of just could not accept my view. They stated that the cause was enough. No acknowledgement of the obvious risks involved. Maybe I am in the wrong here. People doing the conga or gathering at beauty spots were raised. So, to me this amounts to "they are doing it over on that beach so it's alright for us to do it here", answer to that is blindingly obvious, all such things are completely wrong and carry with them great risk. Try as I might I just can't reconcile the concept of the gravity of the cause reducing the obvious medical risks involved. Maybe it's just me?
The R number is already heading the wrong way. Another thing thrown at me being "White individuals should not be deciding when black people protest", this I see as a rather narrow view.
My answer to that being it is the duty of EVERYONE to look out for the health and wellbeing of all others, in Law it's called Duty of Care. Here is where I think it is only fair to raise a factual point, BAME people are far more at risk from CV19 , I've tried to research this and I keep digging up differing stats, safe to say there is no doubt that BAME people definitely are far more likely to contract the damn virus. That demo yesterday had a heavy BAME presence. I put the absence of definitive info down to the UK Govt suppressing it. They are wriggling on a very sharp hook by doing this.
Most people had strong views re Cummings and his jaunt. Many in Sheffield have strong views re the ongoing problems of large groups gathering on street corners in an area called Page Hall it has to be said that Page Hall is a largely BAME area and many of those complaining were seizing a chance to hold up our BAME friends as evil doers.
MPs have been resigning when it transpired that they had broken lock down rules. Well, some MPs. Cummings is not an MP nor has he been elected in any way, he should be sacked in disgrace immediately. My point here is, any of those who attended that demo yesterday has negated any right they had to be critical of such things. The reasons for that are obvious.
Those who attended the demo put forward that they did their best re social distancing, wore gloves and face coverings. The sheer number in attendance does cast doubt upon this, however well intentioned they were, and I have no doubt they actually were. Here is the thing though, I have worked in a job that regularly involved me being used in an Infectious Disease Unit, along with NICU ( Neonatal Intensive Care Unit ) therefore I quickly learned about proper precautions regarding appropriate measures. Masks were discarded after dealing with every single patient. Gloves and aprons the same. There was no corner cutting or pressure to use less and hands were being constantly washed at those little sanitiser containers that are now being stolen form hospitals at an alarming rate. My view, the public is being conned, fed PR to make them feel good about getting on the bus or a train. Telling people to buy an ineffective mask is way short of the mark. At the very least it would have to be a mask every single day. I see asking people to use public transport as ridiculous. This all happening due to economic pressures NOT H&S considerations. You can make your own minds up about that.
All of this leaves me in a position I never imagined would happen. I put great store by the opinions and reasoning of various people round here. I listened and went along with the Left Wing view. Sure enough it didn't always go well. That gave rise to an accusation that I was "Not up for a fight". Well, Looks like that view is actually correct. I can confirm that I am very definitely not "up for a fight" if it involves acting in a way that ignores medical advice and putting others at risk. I will NEVER do anything that goes against medical advice, or carries with it tangible risk of spreading any contagious disease.
So, that's me done with it all. There will be no more taking part in things such as demos around Sheffield from me. I see that as a matter of conscience. There are many huge issues to be concerned about just now, Mr Floyd definitely is at the very top of the list, it is to be hoped he remains in that position for a very long time. It is to be hoped that his brutal murder is a watershed tragedy. Trump has to go. Quickly. If America is to have any chance root and branch change is urgently required.
The UK has it's problems with discrimination, Mr Floyd has also brought that into sharp focus. That can never be a bad thing. The public of both countries desperately need vast improvement. We are watching.
Just to underline one of the reasons for me holding the views I hold, I have a letter here on my desk, it is from the Medical Director of the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust. It informs me that due to the current CV19 situation a decision will be taken in the coming weeks re "pausing my care".
I will be monitoring the CV19 stats for Sheffield on a daily basis. If those stats show no ill effects from the gathering yesterday I will write again and say just that. Ok, it is not possible to be completely sure about any possible direct correlation, so a degree of reason will be used. If the stats are indeed positive I will be very relieved.
If not, I will say nothing. This issue is too big for making points or cashing in .
Please see the link and look at Findings point 7
Above all else, very best wishes and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr Floyd.
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Society not Economy.