Why be first?

This apology of a government has made many mistakes dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. Thousands have died because of the efforts to keep business running when it would have been sensible to control the pandemic before going back to work.

But science is not something this government understands, being led as it is by a journalist with a classics degree. Johnson, though, has got where he is through playing politics. He, or his helpers, understand people and what it takes to get their support, albeit that his schtick is starting to grate. So how is it that the introduction of a vaccine went so wrong?

It doesn’t take anything like a genious to see that there is a need to tread carefully in the face of a growing anti-vax movement. If not enough people sign up for the jab it could all be a waste of time. But despite that there was a huge fanfare when the UK became the first country to approve the vaccine and start injecting people. Inevitably, many otherwise sensible people questioned whether corners had been cut, even though there was plenty of evidence to the contrary.

It seemed to me from the start that it would pay dividends to let some other country go first. The delay would be minimal and the accusations would disappear. I’ve always thought that in life in general it pays not to be in first place. Second shows how good you are without seeming pushy or an acusations of cheating. In this case it would have been reassuring to know that we were not the guinea pigs for the world.

And sure enough on the first day of inoculations two people had a significant allergic reaction to the vaccine. This is apparently considered an acceptable side-effect not meant to be identified by previous tests, but you can see how the anti-vaxers will react. We may well have just lost another few percent imunisation. Wasn’t it obvious? Why be first?