When the first lockdown was introduced in March 2020 I begain a series of daily posts about it. These updates faded out after about a month when the situation became routine and there was, for me at least, nothing more to be said or that I wanted to express.
Much has changed since. Healthy debate and vitriolic arguments are ongoing as the information, disinformation, and misinformation combine to create confusion.
The NHS’s regular winter crisis
However, certain things have come to light that can’t be refuted. One is that the NHS is often said to be in crisis and that there’s only a short time to save it before it collapses altogether. Every winter you can take a bet on which will arrive first; snow, or the headlines that remind us there are only ‘2 weeks to save the NHS’ or that ‘the NHS is in crisis due to bed shortages‘.
Another is the fact that the responses to the pandemic are not only having a devastating impact on our economy but also on the mental, emotional, and physical health of many thousands of people. No one seems to be able to put an accurate figure on this so we’re left wondering how many people do lockdowns save from an untimely death due to Covid-19 and how many people are killed by lockdowns because their operations or examinations are cancelled, or they simply commit suicide in despair at what the restrictions have done to their lives and businesses.
The gloating media
A third common feature of Britain in lockdown is the sanctimonious preaching from certain hypocritical members of the media who, while enjoying bountiful salaries and perks, are quick to berate anyone who agrees to be interviewed, frequently shout their virtue signalling statements at the camera, then swan off to break all the rules they’ve been preaching about. There are two faces on Sky News that have been told to take a few months off (on full pay, apparently) for being caught out.
It seems the loudest advocates for lockdowns are those least adversely affected by them. A lockdown for them may enrich them further or the worse they may have to contend with is a little boredom, but they won’t see the fruits of many years of hard work and sacrifice reduced to ashes as the orders dry up and the customers are denied entry.
The impact of lockdown on families
Nor will anyone with an occupation and the personal circumstances that are more than adequate to cope with long-term home working feel any great hardship if their children are home schooled in another room and each child is fully equipped to do so.
Contrast this with a dual income household in which, let’s say, there’s a bus driver and her husband who works as a porter at the local hospital. Home working isn’t an option and their three children have to be home schooled by sharing a single device at the kitchen table.
Added to the impact of lockdown on their learning and the delays it causes there is also the lack of interaction with other children, the all important play during which so many vital skills are learned and foundations laid.
However, those who raise any questioning voice or who suggest that the evidence that is claimed to justify the government’s approach are labelled ‘lockdown sceptics’. For some this is enough to put them in the same category as those who say that the pandemic was planned and launched in order to rush in the Great Reset, or at least capitalised upon in order to speed up the movement toward that end.
The labelling is quick and dismissive. We’re used to anyone questioning the science behind the measures introduced to combat climate change as climate-change deniers. Now, anyone who questions the data and the responses to the pandemic are labelled covid deniers or lockdown sceptics.
Even though the people who question the response to pandemic have all the right credentials; they are virologists, epidemeologists, doctors, etc, that’s good enough, it seems. To question SAGE’s (and therefore the government’s) approach is tantamount to being a flat-earther.
It’s illegal to hug
Last weekend a man was arrested on the edge of Hyde Park for hugging strangers. He approached several and asked each, “Would you like a hug?” The police looked on and then eventually arrested him for (presumably) willfully breaching the Covid restrictions.
Another piece of footage circulating on social media appeared to show a woman being arrested in her own home. Her alleged crime was that she had filmed the interior of a quiet, near empty hospital.
You see, you can’t be doing that. You can’t live like a normal human being and you certainly can’t produce any evidence that might contradict SAGE or the government.
I don’t think Covid-19 is the biggest threat at the moment. I think we’re more at risk from mass hysteria, lack of any critical thinking, and the inablity or unwillingness to admit that mistakes were made and a change of course is needed.