ACCORDING to the Echo, around 374,000 people have died in the UK so far in 2020. Of these, around 42,000 have died of or with COVID-19.

Am I alone in wondering why there is no panic or hysteria about the other 330,000-odd deaths?

We seem happy to accept that around 1300-1400 people will die every day, but unwilling to accept that even single figures among these will have had COVID-19.

We have condemned to early death, or lives of ongoing pain, the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the suspension of almost everything except COVID services in the NHS.

We have systematically trashed the education, employment prospects and future well-being of the young and less well-off in the country, apparently in an effort to extend the lives, probably by a matter of months, of largely the very elderly and already very sick.

Young people did their bit during lockdown.

They then exposed themselves to the virus as they worked in pubs and restaurants when we were all incentivised to ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, and they must find it galling then to be blamed by the Health Secretary and many older people in the population, for ‘selfishly spreading the virus’ if they dare to go out and socialise with their friends.

The reason we have been unable to get the virus under control in the UK is that the Government did not keep its side of the bargain and has failed to organise an effective (let alone ‘world-class’) test and trace regime.

This could have been delivered by local public health experts, but as always, the Government preferred to channel huge sums of taxpayers money the way of the usual suspects, the private outsourcing companies who have let us down time and time again in the various contracts they have already been awarded.

Having failed to get a grip on the virus, and cheered on by the Labour opposition, and the Mayors of Greater Manchester and London, they are now preparing to introduce (or may already have introduced), another round of restrictions on us.

Meanwhile, they are succeeding in their age-old tactics of diverting the attention away from their failures by getting us all to blame each other for being ‘Covidiots’.

It seems that, as sex was only invented in the 1960s, so death was unknown until now. You couldn’t make it up.

Siobhan O’Rourke