[...] Rather than lifting restrictions over Christmas as currently planned, the UK should follow the more cautious examples of Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
This joint editorial is only the second in the more than 100 year histories of The BMJ and HSJ. We are publishing it because we believe the government is about to blunder into another major error that will cost many lives. If our political leaders fail to take swift and decisive action, they can no longer claim to be 'protecting the NHS.'
In the face of this the UK has decided that it will not tighten its rules around Christmas. The rules say that between 23rd and 27th December, three households in a 'Christmas bubble' can mix indoors and stay overnight, while Northern Ireland has a window of 22nd to 28th December, to allow time to travel between the nations.
Rather than tightening the rules our noble and illustrious leader has said that people must act responsibly, because 'we don't want to criminalise people's long-made plans'. Of course he does not: he thinks that it is better to let them die and risk the collapse of the NHS than to be seen to have changed his mind. The little people are, after all, rather less than cattle to him.
If the UK government ever again says that they are 'following the science' or 'protecting the NHS' you will know that they are lying: they don't care at all for the NHS, they don't understand what science is and if they did they certainly would not be following it.
The relaxation of the rules lasts from the 23rd to the 27th Of December. It's probably safe to assume that the peak transmission will be between the 24th and 26th of December. The incubation period for CV19 is about ten days, so between the 3rd and 5th of January 2021 people will start to get sick in significant numbers. There will no doubt be another big peak around the 10th of January, ten days after hogmanay, to make things worse. This is already at the worst possible time of year: the depths of winter, just after new year.
But this is just the start: the UK will finally effectively leave the EU overnight between the 31st December 2020 and the 1st January 2021. It is likely there will be no trade deal, with the resulting chaos possibly including food and medicine shortages. Supermarkets keep a few days of food, so things will be getting bad around the second week of January 2021.
These are the great and glorious works of the mighty Boris Johnson, laughing clown emperor of England: look on them and despair.