Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Corona Virus COVID-19 Government Not Helping.

I saw the other day that if Coronoa virus does spread and people suspect they have the virus, then they should self-isolate and stay indoors and reduce or eliminate contact with others.

For working people the problem is many companies don't pay sick pay. So what do you do?

Do you self-isolate for two weeks and lose two week's pay (and possibly end up not paying rent or mortgage for that month), or do you carry on working and risk spreading the virus to your work mates and their families?

If the risk to health is so grave, the Government really need to step in and underwrite the lost wages of those genuinely suffering from Corona infection. Better to state now that Government will pay people to stay at home and will compensate companies so that they can pay the wages of workers having to isolate themselves.

Spurious claims can quickly be eliminated because the test can be done quickly on anyone presenting flu-like symptoms. Basically you get flu, phone 111, they send out a team to test and then 2 or 3 days later you get the nod to crack on and go back to work or to self-isolate.

The bad news is you've probably infected a bunch of close contacts already, but at least the spread is contained and not increased.

But I know if people know they will lose pay, they will continue to go into work.

This is especially true of retail workers who are amongst the lowest paid and worst protected regarding sick pay. They will be amongst the workers only just staying above water and paying the monthly bills. They will not have any savings able to carry them over a month or two of isolation. The infection rating of a COVID-19 carrying shop worker is way over the standard. They have the ability to infect a huge number of people.

Shop workers may be the worst infection risk, but then Nurses and Care workers have regular contact with very poorly people: the people most at risk of dying from a COVID-19 infection. And care workers, again are not paid sick pay and are low paid, sop they are also likely to work from month-to-month and just about pay the bills.

As I stated earlier, IF this outbreak and it's repercussions in terms of infection and mortality, then the Government need to be proactive and make sure those infected people stay away from the rest of us.

Better a Government support scheme than the images coming out of China of people being dragged kicking and screaming to plague wards.