Two distinct investigations into the Covid pandemic are underway in the UK, each adopting a contrasting approach
The London inquiry has drawn attention with apologies and conflict among politicians, with testimonies from former ministers, including ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Alleged toxic behavior and indecisiveness at the government's core have been highlighted through WhatsApp exchanges.
Conversely, the Scottish inquiry in Edinburgh has focused on the harrowing personal experiences endured during the outbreak. Relatives have recounted tales of loss, as family members succumbed to the virus in isolation, often without the comfort of their loved ones during their final moments.
One particularly heart-wrenching account involved paramedics who left a man gasping for air in his driveway, and a woman discovering a "do not resuscitate" order on her grandmother without prior consent.
Scotland's inquiry, chaired by Lord Brailsford, emphasizes the emotional toll of the pandemic without subjecting participants to intense scrutiny, foregoing the usual practice of sworn testimony at this stage. In London, chaired by Lady Hallett, the focus is on government performance, with officials sometimes shifting blame or justifying their actions.
The Scottish inquiry has not yet delved into government officials' conduct, such as message deletions or use of auto-delete functions, which has been a significant point of inquiry in London.
Hearings in Scotland will pause as the London inquiry continues its work in Edinburgh, with public sessions allowing for examination of former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her team’s decisions.
While both inquiries seek to understand decision-making, implementation, and impacts of actions during the pandemic, they differ in methodology, with Scotland's anticipated to extend to at least 2025, and including the effects on education and business.
Fundamentally, both inquiries aim to uncover lessons from the pandemic’s handling, despite their different approaches.