The Omicron variant has prompted the UK government to warn those in the public sector to prepare for staff absences of up to 25%.
Rising case numbers has meant a large amount of the workforce are self isolating and unable to go into work, and has called for contingency plans to be set up.
Following the previous disruptions caused by self isolation, the UK government is monitoring the impact of the affected workforce on supply chains, public services and schools. One of the ‘solutions’ being considered is asking for volunteers such as retired teachers to return to work and fill the gap left by isolation.
Whilst this seems feasible, there is a clear trend in elderly people (usually those of and above retirement age) being affected by Covid-19 more severely than younger people. The UK government’s desire to be proactive and support the public sector is commendable, but if this comes at the expense of risking our elderly population then the effectiveness of their mitigation efforts must be questioned.