I offer this letter from a British student to illustrate the fact that the British handling of covid 19 is just as chaotic as that of the US:
To The Independent
I am a third-year physiology student at Manchester Metropolitan University. Like all students, we were encouraged to return to university for the start of the autumn term. I live in a house with seven other students; last weekend, I and some of my housemates started to show Covid-19 symptoms, so we all got tested. The speed and ease of the testing system was good and we quickly got our results back. Of the eight of us in the house, six came back positive, one negative and one unknown. I immediately contacted my mum and dad, along with friends I had seen, and they went into isolation with immediate effect.
The next morning at 8am, I was in bed with a fever, and was woken up by a phone call from Test and Trace. I told them all the places I had been and gave them the numbers of friends and family that I had been with. My housemates all received similar calls. The next morning, again at 8am, I had another call from them saying that I was not on their database system, so I had to go through the same questions I had previously spent 45 minutes going through again. Throughout the following day, I received the same calls about needing to go into isolation, etc. There were 11 phone calls and six missed calls with voicemail messages left on my phone in one day. My housemates have also received numerous calls; between us, we have received 76 in just three days!
Test and Trace have not yet contacted my parents, my friends or my boyfriend, who has since tested positive. Matt Hancock has said that the test and trace strategy could help to suppress the transmission of coronavirus, and that it will be essential to slow the spread of the virus. Public Health England said that people who are at risk will be contacted and given advice on what to do. Instead of contacting my parents and my boyfriend, the Test and Trace organisation called us so many times that it has become a nuisance.
How can the Track and Trace organisation actually work if all they are doing is harassing unwell people, rather than ensuring that their friends and contacts are not spreading the virus further?
Frances Hill, Fallowfield, Manchester