Comments on the ending of coronavirus restrictions have been described as “delusional” by the leader of Burntwood Town Council.

Cllr Sue Woodward
Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward was responding to Cllr Alan White, leader of Staffordshire County Council, who said the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday (21st February) was “positive news”.

He said:

Cllr Alan White
Cllr Alan White

“After an extremely tough two years where Staffordshire people have made enormous sacrifices, I hope today’s announcement will provide hope that we are reaching the point of being able to live with coronavirus without the need for restrictions that have put an enormous strain on residents and businesses across the county. 

“Although this is positive news, we must remember that the end of Covid regulations does not mean the end of Covid itself, and we all must continue to take sensible precautions to limit the spread of infection and keep others safe, particularly those who are older and those with underlying medical conditions.

“We must all recognise the greater responsibility we have in protecting our communities.”

Cllr Alan White, Staffordshire County Council

But Labour’s Cllr Woodward said the Conservative county council leader had ignored many of the issues facing residents when Government changes come into effect over the coming weeks.

“This is delusional – to me, it shows how completely out of touch the political leadership at Staffordshire County Council has become.

“Not a word about ending free tests, for example, or any understanding of the terrible dilemmas many will face about whether to self-isolate or continue to work, send their children to school, use public transport or even trust neighbours and colleagues.

“This is a Conservative Party led by a desire to protect their Prime Minister as opposed to the people they are supposed to represent. Where’s the ‘personal responsibility’ here?”

Cllr Sue Woodward, Burntwood Town Council

The Government’s Living with Covid strategy will see an end to all self-isolation laws and restrictions, with free rapid testing due to cease on 1st April.

The removal of regulations will also mean isolation payments for people on low incomes will end this week.

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  1. ‘… use public transport or even trust neighbours and colleagues’. You really should listen to yourself. Most people have either had it, are triple jabbed, or both. The vulnerable can continue to take precautions as they see fit. If we do not get back to normal now then when do we? Yes the timing is politically expedient, but it is also correct in my opinion. COVID was once the boogie man, but now it isn’t. As for free stuff, someone always has to pay, and to be routinely testing at great cost for a virus with a 99%+ survival rate, a dominant variant that is very mild and, so we are told, effective vaccinations available does seem to be overkill. Besides, where do all the plastic testing kits and single use masks go once used? Haven’t you declared a climate emergency? I would have thought you’d be pleased to see the reduction in the use of such things.

  2. @ Geoff: People have died, people are still dying and people will go on dying in large numbers from Covid. The current Government just hasn’t got the patience to deal with it anymore. They’d rather turn it into a good news story, but this is far from good news. Ending free testing means ending almost all testing since only a minority will pay. Ending isolation means the virus will spread even more. You seem to think 99% survival is a good rate, but that equates to 600,000 deaths in the UK.

  3. @ Carl you confuse deaths from COVID and deaths with COVID. I said survival rate was 99%+, not 99% as there is some argument between 99.5%, 99.6% or 99.8% from what I have seen. Unfortunately, the way deaths have been recorded has skewed all this from the start. We are two years into this and maybe the government has lost patience with it all, but so have many others. There is no requirement to test for flu, or norovirus, or the common cold or thousands of other infectious diseases that would affect a vulnerable person more than the average. The fourth jab is now being released to ensure protection is high. It is time to get back to normal.

  4. Who’s confusing deaths with Covid and deaths from Covid? Deaths from or with Covid under actually under-reported. Patients who manage to cling on to life longer than 28 days are not counted. And the 160,000+ deaths already reported in the UK were not all vulnerable old people who would have died anyway. Many were young and healthy, just like the Chinese doctor who first raised the alarm and many other health workers around the world. We may have to learn to live with Covid, but we don’t have to live with rubbish about how it’s really not that bad.

  5. You were confusing deaths from COVID and deaths with COVID in your previous post as I pointed out. The number of deaths is open to debate, as is the number of cases, especially during the first wave.

    I infer from your response that you believe things are ‘that bad’. It was bad two years ago when the doctor you mention and several of his colleagues died, it was bad before the vaccine, before omicron and before the incredible advances in treatment of those most badly affected in the past couple of years. You write as though none of this happened or has had minimal impact since 2020. The risk of COVID still exists, but for the vast majority that risk is negligible where once it appeared relatively large.

    I now worry more about deaths due to the backlog of other appointments and treatments as a result of COVID than I do about COVID itself. There are also a multitude of other issues emerging due to the social and economic consequences of measures undertaken in light of COVID, there in lies another emergency, the surface of which is yet to be scratched I believe.

    You clearly have your view and I will not change it through this dialogue in the same way as I know you will not change mine. We disagree, so be it. I wish you well.

  6. Cllr Woodward’s default position is to criticise whatever is said by those in opposition. It is lazy and it id predictable and it is equally as bad as those in power who always cow to the party line. If Labour where any good they’d give us hope of a viable alternative. Sadly all they can do is oppose. They make the Tories look intelligent and that’s quite a skill!

  7. Two points, deaths with COVID as the prime cause are up, anyway why discount the elderly or disabled who may have life shortening conditions but due years before they might? Secondly, Cllr Woodward he as earned the right to criticise since she has done far more than most to better the lives of Burntwood residents. (I am not a Labour member BTW)

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