(I make no apologies for TRYING to share a sense of urgency, without this WordPress I simply wouldn’t bother writing, I’d be sat worrying myself watching the News all day.)
Incidentally, I’ve taken great care to source my facts from trusted websites also I’m an Engineer by trade.
Myself included, the horrific covid-19 deaths across Spain and Italy have reminded us corona virus is no attack of mild influenza, testing positive for corona attacks a body’s pulmonary system, alters a human’s ability to draw breath into damaged lungs, drugs are useless only this technological breathing aid called a ventilator is of use, and when connected to an oxygen supply lives are saved.
Ok I’m going to calm myself down, write a little less excitably, with a calm measured tone from now on…….. however I make no apologies as to the importance of these medical marvels, and the worldwide insatiable desire to own them, find them, buy them by any means possible foul or fair! In this case, there’s no ‘quite literally’ about it ventilators can be the difference between living and dying.
Medical ventilators could genuinely be considered worth their weight in gold, ok no, but I’m not overplaying that analogy because the cost of one model jumped from £21,000- £70,000 in one day, such is the demand for these genius machines that help people breath when their lungs are failing. The virus’s curve is steeply climbing, machines are scarce, factories are working 24hours 7 days a week to make them, and Politicians from every Country across the globe are competing against one another to source these medical life savers.
Middle men and fixers who used to trade in the arms industry, are making vast amounts of money for themselves trading this amazing technology, once they operated in the murky world that’s killing armaments now they’re selling ventilators. There’s more, unscrupulous firms are dealing in fictitious units that don’t exist and one reason our British government will not soil their hands, throw vast amounts of money into criminal’s pockets.
Such is the panicked rush to source ventilators, realising Italy and Spain’s positive cases aren’t flattening out, Britain is 2 weeks away from its peak with 20,000 deaths expected, America 3 weeks way dependent on the State, time is running out and Countries are desperate to buy them from anywhere and anyone……… I’m an engineer and I’ve never witnessed anything like it, a gold rush in all but name and I hope every Country succeeds.
To coin a current buzz phrase Boris was ‘ahead of the curve’, several weeks ago he personally contacted Lord Bamford the chairman of JCB excavators, they had a team of designers already on the case, he approached James Dyson who along with a Cambridge medical firm designed a basic model which is about to go into production, completed in weeks not years! Two UK factories are being built as we speak to assemble ventilators, small engineering companies the length and breadth of Britain are manufacturing components, refurbishing used ventilators owned by the NHS, yet by the time Britain hits its very own apocalyptic peak, they are still estimated to be 20,000 short (apparently?) They have 8,000 now, have ordered 10,000 more from Dyson, but they won’t be arriving until mid May.
Regulatory rules that take years to draft then be approved are being torn up, if a Firm can deliver the NHS with working ventilators that’ll help patients breath, have them installed inside these new 1,000+ bed hospitals, if they work as designed then all normal testing manuals fly out the window and regulations aren’t required, new legislation has barred Company owners from being later sued, I’m beginning to appreciate how important they really are!
Johnson to his credit approached men and women who build ‘whatever’ for a living weeks ago, I’m not a big fan and Boris isn’t on my Christmas card list, but ‘credit where credit’s due’, the British people understand many thousands could die and they’re prepared to follow this charismatic likeable and yes skilled politician. He’s
hated despised by many, through the driving force of his personality Brexit was all his doing, but the irony is history will remember him as yes a ‘war time leader’ in all but name, but not for Brexit, no Boris’s war is defeating covid-19 and you never know he just may pull it off because no question we Brits are behind him.
America and the UK are ‘behind the curve’ (a phrase destined for the history books), but Trump’s taken a different approach, he’s chosen to lambast GM and Ford via angry Tweets on his bullying? Twitter account, in my opinion questioning these two iconic engineering powerhouses motives doesn’t help, accusing them of wanting to ‘sell’ top dollar, then personally attacking GM’s CEO for closing a car plant in his key voting state is? Well?……. There you are I’m upon rocky ground berating another Country’s leader……………..the saying ‘stones and glass houses’ comes to mind!
Listening to uneducated News commentators, they predict the UK will fall short in two weeks time when the peak hits, I’m not so sure, one British medical engineering firm warns it’ll be tight though qualifying with a “yes we can do it” and I’d guess people up and down the land are working against the clock. Who’d have thought at the turn of the year 2020, medical ventilators would be the most prized sought after retail product on the planet.
I’m proud of the fantastic way our once divided Brexit public also British National, Regional and Local government is working together, you can sense everyone’s nervousness but I have a sense they just might cobble together thousands more. Living here I can palpably sense a positive nervousness, a momentum its sole purpose to protect our treasured NHS, people will do anything to support hard working doctors and nurses, last night I gave £100 to a charity taking restaurant meals into hospitals to feed tired workers, the charity began only days ago, they reached £250K on the 28th! We’re on a roll, the goal being to protect the NHS……… finger’s crossed we have enough by two weeks because God forbid someone close to me might be in need of one.
Btw I’m not bragging, confined in helpless lockdown is horrible knowing my sibling and partner are as I speak working long hours in patient care, I don’t own a car, I’ll have to cope with this 12 week guilt and shame for years to come.
Last word. Never fear, my affection for Boris won’t last… but for now he’s doing ok.
©A. Shepherdson 2020