I fear Lady Hallett's Covid inquiry will be an echo chamber of unbalanced opinion, says Bev Turner

How clearly do you remember events since March 2020 when Boris Johnson thumped his fist on the desk and said, “you must stay at home?”

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How clearly do you remember events since March 2020 when Boris Johnson thumped his fist on the desk and said, “you must stay at home?”

I don’t know about you but much of it is a blur, some days I can barely remember what year it is because time became so elastic under the psychologically de-stabling experience of living under a regime which constantly changed the goalposts of liberty without ever clearly explaining why.

I still have to check myself – which holiday did we miss? When did the kids exams get cancelled?Was it one or two Christmases that caused family rifts?

Which is why we need – really need – an official inquiry which turns every decision that was made under the auspices of controlling an airborne virus through a 360 degree analysis.

Lady Hallett, who is currently in charge of the inquiry which began this week, must hold every single decision in the palm of her hand and inspect it – thoroughly – for flecks of gold where we got it right and ugly flaws where we did not.

I say, we, but of course I mean the leading politicians: Boris Johnson, Javid, Zahawi and Hancock; plus the now knighted Chief Medical Officers, Vallance, Whitty and Van Tam. And Hallett must also establish who was telling them what to do and why.

But I am not optimistic. My biggest fear is that this, like so much of the Covid narrative will focus on why we didn’t lockdown sooner, harder and for longer. If Lady Hallett focuses only on the deceased with Covid on a death certificate, rather than a myriad of social, economic and psychological collateral damages, then I believe she is likely to conclude that there should have been more restrictions. And then we’re all doomed.

Because next time, surely this report will be used for even greater means of control. And what government wouldn’t want such powers? Heck – some people absolutely loved lockdowns, virtue signalling with a mask and finger pointing at the neighbours! Hallett will have a number of cheerleaders looking to stay at home again and get paid by tax payers while decorating the front room.

Understandably, there are serious questions from the bereaved about the way in which Covid positive patients were returned to care-homes; the way in which the dying had to say goodbye on iPads; the lack of decent PPE in Spring 2020 when doctors on the frontline were still trying to understand how this coronavirus, possibly mutated for gain-of-function research in a biolab, operated.

But this report must also explain why the Pandemic Preparedness plan was torn up in favour of a Chinese-style lockdown which – unprecedentedly – quarantined the heathy rather than the unwell.

Why did the government think that asymptomatic transmission was valid when it was promptly dismissed by many medics across the world as blatantly unscientific? Why were decades of understanding about natural immunity after coronavirus infection suddenly ignored? Why did the government rely on wildly inaccurate and unscientific modelling patterns to decide policy when other infectious disease specialists were screaming into the abyss that they were incorrect?

I have more, why did the system suddenly record any death “within 28 days of a positive test” as a Covid victim, regardless of whether that person died from the multiple internal inflammatory effects of Covid or in a car crash? It made no sense unless somebody – who? – wanted the figures artificially inflated?

Who decreed that healthy children needed to be kept away from school with all of the damage that entailed instead of implementing targeted protection of the elderly? Who decided it would be a good idea to get GPs to phone people with pre-existing conditions, like my own mother, to ask if they would sign a do not resuscitate order?

My mum was sitting at the kitchen table eating a sandwich at the time and told the GP that wasn’t currently on her to-do list but the shock of certain, impending doom on a 74 year old was distressing to say the least.

These insane decisions, which nobody was freely allowed to discuss, never mind question were rooted where? In what financial quagmire did the tendrils of these pronouncements lie? Who benefitted? What forces were at play?

As far as I know, nobody from the counter-narrative side of this sorry story is giving evidence. So, I fear that Lady Hallett will function in yet another echo-chamber of unbalanced opinion.

But know this, Lady Hallett, some people – like me – will be watching carefully to scrutinise your findings.

You know where we are, get in touch, we would love to help. British people deserve answers!