First we were told it would be just 12 weeks to 'turn the tide'; then it was that the pandemic would be over by September (2020). But now, amid yet more calls to push back the 21 June reopening date, it appears one scientist is happy for the current restrictions of social distancing to continue 'forever.'
Professor Susan Michie is a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and has previously caught Steerpike's eye as a key pillar of the Communist party of Great Britain who once boasted the nickname 'Stalin's granny.' The former wife of key Corbyn adviser Andrew Murray, Michie has been omnipresent on the nation's television screens through out the pandemic, continually popping up on Newsnight to preach the virtues of lockdowns and Covid restrictions.
Last night it was the viewers of Channel 5 who were treated to her musings as Michie poured cold water on the notion that vaccines could be the silver bullet to defeat Covid:
“Vaccines are a really important part of the pandemic control but it is only one part. Test, trace and isolate system, border controls are really essential and the third thing is people's behaviour. That is the behaviour of social distancing, of when you're indoors, making sure there's good ventilation or if there's not, wearing face masks and hand and surface hygiene. We'll need to keep these going in the long term and that will be good not only for Covid but also to reduce other diseases.
Asked to clarify just she meant by 'long term' Michie paused, laughed and replied: 'I think forever to some extent because this isn't going to be the last pandemic.'
— Channel 5 News (@5_News) June 9, 2021
David Nabarro, a special envoy from the WHO, said that vaccines won't be enough to end the pandemic, and that we'll need to adapt our lifestyles too.Professor @SusanMichie, a behavioural scientist advising the government, and epidemiologist Dr @shikta_das join @ClaudiaLizaTV. pic.twitter.com/NzSjnbSgve
Michie subsequently doubled down on her comments in the discussion, likening masks, outdoor meetings and social distancing to previous changes in behaviour activity such as wearing seatbelts and picking up dog poo in the street, adding: 'It's not going to be a huge big deal, the kind of behaviours that we're talking about.'
Mr S wonders how the public will react to being conscripted into a permanent revolution by Michie and her good comrades.