This letter was originally submitted to The Guardian.
As one of the 3.7 million clinically vulnerable Shielders, Freedom Day means restocking on supplies and going back into solitary confinement.
The relief of vaccination has been wiped out by the government giving up on its primary function – to protect the lives and wellbeing of its residents. We have always known that vaccines cannot be 100% effective, but the margin of risk was acceptable as long as other protective measures were in place. Now the government is removing the limited and inadequate mitigation measures without – yet again – giving any thought to those with disabilities or chronic illnesses (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/07/mps-deluged-with-emails-from-worried-constituents-ahead-of-19-july-re-opening).
People with suppressed or compromised immune systems, often as a result of drug treatment for serious conditions such as cancer, HIV or inflammatory illnesses, are at particular risk if requirements to wear face coverings and socially distance are removed. One non-masked delivery driver could be enough.
Government support for Shielders has already gone – there’s already no statutory sick pay, food parcels, priority supermarket slots, working at home. But now people seriously at risk will be forced to go into unsafe workplaces, travel on crowded public transport, and work closely alongside non-masked colleagues.
The Government has belatedly said it will be issuing new advice to Shielders. Will this be to shield again while everyone else celebrates “Freedom”? Or take your life in your hands as it is now your personal responsibility to make sure someone without a mask doesn’t come near you?
It is just not good enough to talk about lower death rates. If you already have a serious, chronic illness, often accompanied by a range of other ailments, many of which have been caused by the side-effects of the strong drugs required to treat the primary illness, catching Covid is a serious and scary threat even if you escape Long Covid. Indeed, for many of us similar symptoms, such as fatigue and brain fog, are already familiar due to our existing illnesses and medications.
Instead of following the only credible strategy to eliminate this virus, vaccination PLUS effective Test & Trace, mitigation measures and support (in other words, Zero Covid), Johnson and his Ayn Rand-supporting new Health Secretary are now pursuing a deadly eugenics plan of herd immunity while sacrificing the unfit amongst us in the name of economics and profit.
This is social murder and they must not be allowed to do this. Our lives depend on stopping them!