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Covid-19 the second wave.

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trueblue

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Just returned from Tesco's 1st time I have been in any shop since lockdown 2 started. It seems essential items include tinsel and all other xmas items along with everything else the sell. The place was busy with some trolleys looking like it was a xmas shopping trip. No social distancing and although most people wore masks I saw loads of the masks pulled down or noses sticking out. I can see this lockdown having little effect when some things are just allowed to carrying on as normal, why are garden centres open for example.
In contrast just before this lockdown I went into a small card shop to buy my wife a birthday card and they had someone on the door allowing just a few people in, you had to wear a mask and sanitize your hands yet this guy is not allowed to open despite offering safer shopping than any supermarket.
 

obscure

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I think you might be under the impression that government ministers were singlehandedly responsible for obtaining PPE. That's not the case. 'The goverment' issue a directive and a budget to go with it and its then up to the army of civil servants in the supply chain, in this case NHS managers, to go out and carry out the plan. Its true that the standard procurement norms were probably chucked out the window, and substandard kit was bought. But whose fault is that? The procurement professionals who should have known what they were buying and set up audit checks along the way to ensure the spec was met, or a government minister who is only usually advised on what is required by the teams of civil servants who are in turn paid to identify a need. And this is a not political statement, its how the process works whoever is in power.
Finally on all large government sponsored contracts the National Audit Office will get involved sooner or later, and this is no exception, and not is unusual.
Do I think that Michael Gove personally signed the PO for a purchase of gloves for some random hospital in the Midlands or similar, of course not. Do I consider it problematic when contracts are awarded without open tender to companies with links to the current ruling party, and that said ruling party seems to see no issue with this yes.
The report is available here: https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Investigation-into-government-procurement-during-the-COVID-19-pandemic.pdf
One of the areas of controversy that has emerged from the NAO report was the use of a two tier system with a priority track and more precisely how companies ended up on this:

Fewer than 250 sources for these leads were recorded: 144 leads came from
the private offices of ministers, including referrals from MPs who had gone
to ministers with a possible manufacturer in their constituency and where
private individuals had written to the minister or the private office with offers of help; 64 leads were direct from MPs or members of the House of Lords not in government; 21 leads were from officials, such as a Department of International Trade network that was looking for sources worldwide, and the private office of the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health & Social Care; and three leads were from other identified sources that did not fall into the categories above.
Their isn‘t a particular smoking gun, and I doubt anything was actually criminal but on the whole much of the process seems mismanaged, with routine disregard for the need for proper documentation and process to minimise conflicts of interest.
 

Chippy_Tea

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No social distancing and although most people wore masks I saw loads of the masks pulled down or noses sticking out.
I can see this lockdown having little effect when some things are just allowed to carrying on as normal, why are garden centres open for example.
As i have said many times in the various covid threads my son works part time at a large supermarket staff are not and never have been allowed to tell members of the public to observe the one way system or instruct them how to wear masks they were told this from the start by both the union and company they are shop assistants not the police, if people are too stupid to observe the instructions "carrying on as normal" what can the supermarkets do?
 
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trueblue

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As i have said many times in the various covid threads my son works part time at a large supermarket staff are not and never have been allowed to tell members of the public to observe the one way system or instruct them how to wear masks they were told this from the start by both the union and company they are shop assistants not the police, if people are too stupid to observe the instructions "carrying on as normal" what can the supermarkets do?
Not blaming the staff at Tesco's at all but I think smaller shops could probably offer a safer environment. If Tesco's can sell xmas goods then why can't small independents many of which rely on this time of the year to earn a living.
 

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Not blaming the staff at Tesco's at all but I think smaller shops could probably offer a safer environment. If Tesco's can sell xmas goods then why can't small independents many of which rely on this time of the year to earn a living.
But what's the practical alternative? If you want to lock down, I am assuming the idea is to only have shops selling essential items open. So what do you do if thise shops also sell non essential stuff - have the ridiculous situation like they had in Wales where isles were taped off and shops had to define exactly what was essential?
 

Chippy_Tea

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Not blaming the staff at Tesco's at all but I think smaller shops could probably offer a safer environment. If Tesco's can sell xmas goods then why can't small independents many of which rely on this time of the year to earn a living.
I get what you are saying and it does seem unfair and although jjsh said it was ridiculous to tape off isles i think the government should have insisted it was done, Tesco Metro in the next town closed the whole upstairs department Electrical, Games and CD's etc it wouldn't have hurt for them to have done this again bearing in mind the harm they will be doing to local small shops and their staff.
 
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jjsh

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Ok, but then the government would need to provide a prescribed list of allowed and forbidden items, which would be a collosal waste of effort.
 

Chippy_Tea

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Ok, but then the government would need to provide a prescribed list of allowed and forbidden items, which would be a collosal waste of effort.
All they would need to do is tell all the big supermarkets to only sell essential items and leave them to decide which is and isn't as i said earlier Tesco closed the entire top floor i don't believe the government told them to do that or listed every item that was up there.
 

jjsh

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But supermarkets can already do that of they choose. The fact they don't suggests that they would self certify all items as essential.
 

trueblue

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I don't know the answer but it all seems to be ill thought out at the moment. What I witnessed today just seemed to make the present lockdown a totally pointless exercise.
 

Chippy_Tea

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But supermarkets can already do that of they choose. The fact they don't suggests that they would self certify all items as essential.
If they are selling everything in store essential or not it just goes to show they couldn't give a toss as i said -

" it wouldn't have hurt for them to have done this again bearing in mind the harm they will be doing to local small shops and their staff"
If the local panic buying dumb ***** cannot wait a couple of weeks to buy their cards and Christmas tat they are as much to blame for the downfall of their local small shops as the supermarkets are.
 

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The whole point of this Lockdown is to reduce the amount of contact that we are all having with others. Therefore going into one supermarket, getting everything we need in half an hour is safer than spending two hours meandering up the high street, in and out of fifteen shops browsing for bits and bobs.

Is it fair to the smaller retailers? No
Will it save lives? Yes
 

trueblue

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The whole point of this Lockdown is to reduce the amount of contact that we are all having with others. Therefore going into one supermarket, getting everything we need in half an hour is safer than spending two hours meandering up the high street, in and out of fifteen shops browsing for bits and bobs.

Is it fair to the smaller retailers? No
Will it save lives? Yes
But as I stated I saw no/very little social distancing in Tescos. During the first lockdown the same supermarket was a lot less crowded, with bigger queues outside, and people were generally avoiding getting to close to each other today seemed like a normal day in normal times.
 

jjsh

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I don't know the answer but it all seems to be ill thought out at the moment.
I suppose you have almost answered your own question there; it's probably ill thought out because setting out a sensible policy is near on impossible (i.e. one that satisfies all aspects including lockdown, people's continued requirements, the large shop / small shop fairness thing, and so on).
 

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Shopping to me is like a second job i hate it, so i thought (and this is in the early days) big shop on line big mistake finished up freezing nearly every thing, i suppose people who pick these orders on minimum wage just don't get sell by dates never done it since, so it's back to they second job,
 

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A paper from Haug et al on what works and what doesn't :
1605810725480.png


Pub curfews don't figure, but then we already knew they don't work.
 

trueblue

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I suppose you have almost answered your own question there; it's probably ill thought out because setting out a sensible policy is near on impossible (i.e. one that satisfies all aspects including lockdown, people's continued requirements, the large shop / small shop fairness thing, and so on).
I should add I was all for the lockdown despite the fact I am self employed and even with the government help for the s/employed I lost between £2000-£3000 after the first lockdown and will lose more this time round so I got p!ssed off seeing people buying xmas decorations. I only went in there to get my wifes prescriptions that are sent directly to the Tescos pharmacy. Next month I will see if we can pick up the prescriptions from the doctors and I will find a safer place to get them dispensed.
 
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