Here are we, about 10 weeks into the depths of the crisis. It came very suddenly and took the whole of the West by surprise. East Asian countries, more used to China's lies and the SARS pandemic, were much better prepared overall.
With Lockdown weeks long now and the media going from one panic about not long enough to another about it being to long depending on what day it is, it is hard to judge what is going on.
The media are obsessed by narrative and story. They can whip up a storm about the danger of covid just as easily as downplaying it to a mild flu. I give the Labour party some credit here, they are manipulating this well with constant placemen and women able to go on about lack of PPE - following and feeding any negative narrative on the Government. Fine practice at the dark arts.
So how do we think they have done overall. We wont really know for a year or so when this horrid thing has swept around the world, but two months in is enough to make some statements -
A) Preparedness - the NHS has not been tested like Spain or Italy, the Nightingales were built but not needed. Overall, very creditable on this front. The lack of testing and PPE is a global issue for the most part but does show up some failure as does the miss of how important it was to protect care homes and care home staff. 6/10
B) Reaction Speed - Way too slow to close airports from key countries like Italy and Spain where we knew the infection was. This alone has led to a much bigger outbreak. On the other hand, they were much better with holding off on lockdown, knowing it would only last effectively for a few weeks - despite media madness at either end of it. 4/10
C) Medical Policy - By following SAGE the Government has both been senisble and given itself a get out of jail free card. The arguments about whether SAGE is right or not dont matter - literally know one knows better in the Country, it is just that answers are not easy. 8/10
D) Leadership - As the polls show, Boris is flying and Hancock and Sunak have been overall very assured. Raab did a good job standing in at a tough time. In comparison to the endless campaiging and whining from Labour, plus with a very hostile media to cope with, they have been excellent. 9/10
E) Economics - A generous furlough scheme has kept the Country in stasis for now. The scheme was delivered well too in short order. Other elements of the package are expensive but no one seems to care for now, the bill comes later. Hard to fault what has been done, but I fear extending furlough too long will be costly move and affect people too much. 8/10