On 16 August UK COVID deaths had reached 46,791. For eight consecutive weeks UK deaths had exceeded the sum of the deaths in 12 major EU countries. Three days later the total was 5,325 lower because the government decided that those that died after four weeks would not be included in the statistics! Popular Chancellor Rishi Sunak was photographed serving food to encourage people to take up his meal deal offer. He did not wear a mask as demanded in the COVID rules. In Wimbledon Village a hundred maskless diners ate close together on the pavement.
During the delayed second lockdown during November, UK daily new cases dropped from 370 per 100,000 to 220. Then people were told that for five days over Christmas three households could meet. A U-turn on 21 December was too late to stop new cases rising to 830 by 8 Jan when London’s Mayor declared a ‘major incident’ and again called for masks to be worn in crowded outdoor places. In France and Italy, masks are mandatory. In Ireland, new cases dropped from 236 to 54 during lockdown, but by January 11 went to 1,323, the world’s highest rate of infection, with critics blaming socialising over the festive period.