Prime Minister Boris Johnson dropped a medical bombshell when he hinted that another March 2020-style lockdown was still an option should the Covid pandemic once more get out of hand.
He is at least realising that Covid is producing dangerous new variants, which if they go unchecked in terms of public vigilance or the booster loses effectiveness, could see the pandemic return to 2020 levels when the original lockdown was implemented.
The Prime Minister is keeping lockdown as a political option on the table should the medical evidence show that the mutations are getting out of control and hospital admissions and especially deaths begin to rise sharply.
The problem for the PM is one of credibility. The nation accepted the first lockdown because there was no vaccine available in March 2020, but that was before the Partygate crisis.
The fines to some Downing Street staff have fuelled the perception among the public - why should we observe a lockdown when even Downing Street ignored the regulations and restrictions?
So even if a lockdown was required to combat any future variants, how can it be enforced? Would the PM have to give the police extra powers to enforce a lockdown?
Could a lockdown present the street-based anti-vax movement with a new momentum, leading to serious public disorder.
On one hand, the PM in his GB News interview is sending the nation a veiled warning about the seriousness of Covid mutations, whilst at the same time saying that lockdown is a last resort method to contain these mutations.
His interview, therefore, could be interpreted as an appeal to the nation to be careful about the spread of Covid as there could be serious consequences if the nation becomes complacent about Covid.
On the negative side, is the PM playing the Covid card and the lockdown option to deflect attention away from his policy on Ukraine? Namely, the UK is only taking in a limited number of Ukrainian refugees thus far compared, for example to Germany and Ireland.
Is Boris, in terms of his visit to speak to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, trying to steal President Emmanuel Macron of France’s thunder given that Macron is facing a severe electoral threat this month from Le Pen on the Far Right?
However, what Boris should be really negotiating is to get Russian President Vladimir Putin and Zelentskyy to meet eye ball to eye ball to firstly get the killing and fighting stopped permanently and a negotiated withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine.
While Boris has promised millions in aid for Ukraine, what the Ukrainian forces really need are tanks, jets, helicopter gunships and heavy artillery. Yes, the bullets and blankets in British aid are vital, but if Ukraine is to militarily force the Russians out of the nation, then they need heavy weaponry.
Diplomatically, the West needs to ask - what could force Putin in person to the peace talks as there’s no use Putin sending Russian generals or some of his Kremlin representatives.
Boris could push ahead of Macron in the diplomatic stakes by suggesting that any war crimes against civilians in Ukraine will be dealt with by a series of Nuremberg trails as happened in 1945, or the trail of Slobadon Milosevic, the former Serbian President who died in jail in 2006, when he was charged with genocide and war crimes (dubbed the Butcher of the Balkans).
As a last resort, the West could fund a Ukrainian guerrilla warfare campaign against political and military targets in Russia itself. Imagine the political and military impact of a car bomb exploding outside the Kremlin?
Then again, is the UK Government dragging its heels on bringing in Ukrainian refugees after the poisoning attack on two Russian defectors - Sergei and Yulia Skripal - in the English city of Salisbury. The finger of blame for the attack on British soil, in which a banned nerve agent was allegedly used, was pointed firmly at Putin’s regime.
The fear could be that with countries like Ireland and Germany bringing in so many Ukrainian refugees that Russia - taking the Salisbury incident as a benchmark - begins to target the Ukrainian refugee communities in other nations.
Indeed, would the Russian secret services adopt the same policy as the Provisional IRA did - namely, republicans attacking British forces in foreign countries.
For example, the Provos attacked what they thought were British troops in Europe in May 1990, when they gunned down two Australian tourists in the Netherlands after mistaking them for off-duty soldiers.
PIRA was also blamed for attacks on British servicemen in West Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, which killed six soldiers and one infant in 1988.
And on 6 March 1988, the British SAS shot dead three IRA members in Gibraltar during Operation Flavius. It is possible Russian special forces would be capable of carrying out their own versions of Operation Flavius against the Ukrainian refugee communities?
With millions of Ukrainian citizens seeking refuge across Europe, and if the war in Ukraine itself starts to stall badly for the Russians, would Moscow give the order to attack the Ukrainian communities in other countries using illegal biological or chemical weapons as was alleged to have happened in Salisbury?
This is an unfortunate scenario and debate which all nations which have kindly taken in Ukrainian refugees must now plan for. While these recent paragraphs may seem like journalistic sabre-rattling, the scenes of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine cannot be dismissed.
If the Russians find themselves militarily with their ‘backs to the wall’ in Ukraine, what are they capable of? If they can commit alleged war crimes in Ukraine, they can do it in Ireland, Germany and the UK. This is a bitter reality which must be faced by the West.
The United States funded the Contra rebels against the Sandinista regime in South America, and the West played a major role in funding UNITA rebels in their fight against the communist MPLA in Angola in Africa.
Ironically, the West also helped the Taliban against the former Soviet Union forces in Afghanistan.
Again, on the negative side, has the PM gone too far in mentioning lockdown as an option given the devastating economic, financial and social consequences which the original March 2020 lockdown inflicted in the nation?
The workable solution - in my opinion - while the PM has said lockdown is still on the table as an option, what should be established are a series of Liberated Zones across the UK which have been medically cleared as being totally Covid free. Only those people who have both tested negative and have the relevant Covid jab passports could enter such free areas.
These Liberated Zones could be located in towns, villages, hamlets, areas of a city or rural locations.
Follow Dr John Coulter on Twitter @JohnAHCoulter
Listen to commentator Dr John Coulter’s programme, Call In Coulter, every Saturday morning around 10.15 am on Belfast’s Christian radio station, Sunshine 1049 FM. Listen online.