So let me get this straight:

We have “world-beating” Test and Trace. We were hoping they’d focus on curing us, but they went for beating instead. Obvs.

But on most days since we claimed 100,000 tests in a day (which was a lie) only around 70,000 tests have been done. And they’re counting each person tested as 2 distinct tests: one for the nose, one for the throat. 

So when they say 70,000 tests done, they mean 35,000 people tested.

At this rate is will take nearly 2000 days to test everyone in Britain once. That’s not far off 6 years.

But we don’t need to test everyone.

We can beat the disease if we trace people who come into contact with someone infected, and then isolate them.

But our tracing app isn’t ready. And the isolation is voluntary, and can be ignored if you have kids. We just proved that.

And the project lead (married to a Tory MP, natch) says it won’t be ready by deadline.

And when it is ready, it only works if millions use it. But to use it, you have to trust the govt with your data.

But the govt is essentially run by an unelected, unsackable vandal, who was found in contempt of Parliament cos he refused to be questioned about his role in the Cambridge Analytica data theft and misuse scandal.

So not many people trust the app.

But another app was available, free.

And it was built by the guys who actually made your phone, so they know what they’re doing.

But that one didn’t collect mountains of personal data and share it with the people who literally broke data law on a massive scale. And it didn’t have a policy that said all data could be obtained and used for – and I’m not joking here – 20 years. And shared with a private company.

So we had to pay an Tory MP’s wife to do our own. At a cost of £3.9m. Which is the biggest spend on a contact app anywhere in the world. And the Google-Apple API is free.

And not just any Tory MP’s wife, but one at the centre of a previous massive data screw-up.

And sure, most app developers (and I am one, so shut up) know the app used successfully all over the world simply uses a phone’s existing functions. Almost nothing new needed to be developed. So most experts agree a good app for the UK could be built by a team of 15 good people in about 2 weeks.

It’s now 5 months since WHO said contact tracing was vital and urgent. Check my maths, but I think that’s more than 2 weeks.

Anyway, I’m sure it’ll be ready soon. And trustworthy. 

But until then, it’s ok, cos we just have to follow the rules.

But the rules were broken by the same unelected, unsackable guy I mentioned before. So … fuck the rules, right?

But possibly none of that matters, cos we’ll just manually track everyone you come into contact with.

But the incubation period can be 2 weeks. And in that time you might sit within 2 metres of 1000 people on public transport.

So we’re going to [deep breath] manually track them all down. You don’t know who they are, but if you fall ill, tell us which train station you’ve been in, and we’ll find everyone who was there.

That’s gonna need a lot of training!

But we didn’t even start employing tracing staff until 2 weeks ago, never mind training them. And they’re being asked to do this at home on their own computers. And the basic infrastructure doesn’t work.

2 weeks training. No resources. Identify and call 1000 people who were in Leeds train station a fortnight ago, with absolutely no clues whatsoever.

Sounds like a crazy risk.

But we wouldn’t take crazy risks with everybody’s life unless we had a proper plan. Would we?

Hold on, wait what?? Shops and schools are opening, and you now can throw a barbecue?


But you might also stop asking about Dominic Cummings, and that is more important than anything.

We have 65000 excess deaths, which is officially the 2nd highest deaths-per-capita in the world.

These guys are in charge, and the nation’s faces and palms are about to wear out.


8 thoughts on “Test and trace and – wait, what?

  1. This is outstanding – but subversive – I’m to launch my own blog (have had my paid for site for a month and STILL not got started!

    Now important – Where is your source that testing Nose and testing throat is counting as TWO tests ? It certainly figures as my own analysis shows that per 100 executed tests they only manage to ‘cover’ a max of 60 people?
    {look for #STATISTICSRTF on Facebook under user Rob Furber (Furbs) }

      1. Well that’s fair enough.
        It is hard to convey that I’m not a crazy person when I have randomly contacted you in such a manner. I feel like I know you a little from your posts and you seem like someone I would get along with, or at least be able to have an intelligent conversation with.
        I am bored shitless in this lockdown world, so I thought I might as well do something random this evening.
        I actually expected radio silence so well done for taking the time to reply.
        No need to post this, and if you get drunk and bored one night, feel free to change your mind..

      2. I’m flattered but confused. Also, it’s possible I’m terrible at relationships, off-the-charts insular and unsociable, and pretty much content with my dog, my books and my paint. Truly, you’re better off without me. Thanks though

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