There are random things about how some people are behaving now that Covid-19 is sweeping across the country that I find absolutely baffling. Here are a few of them:
- Couples going shopping together. What’s that all about? We’re told to travel only for basic items, yet friends of mine who work in retail tell me that for many people, it’s business as usual. Do people not trust each other to buy the right stuff?
- In the last ten years, we have chosen to elect four successive governments who have imposed dreadful austerity on the country, which has inflicted misery and pain in the most vulnerable people and has seen huge cuts to frontline public services like the NHS and brought about a crisis in social care. Last week, many of us stood at our front doors and applauded our frontline NHS and care workers. Have we finally twigged that cuts to frontline services have consequences?
- There are now petitions for everything, including one for the government to pay money to company directors, in the same way the government has done for employees and some, but far from all, self-employed people. Where were these petitions when governments were freezing benefits for the very poorest people?
- How come government now wants to end, however temporarily, the scourge of homelessness? Where was this compassion in the last decade as numbers of people with nowhere to leave escalated?
- Why has the prime minister ignored the very rules he told the rest of us to obey regarding social distancing? He told us he was “still shaking hands with everyone”, he was part of what was effectively a rugby scrum in the House of Commons last week and he posed frequently when very close to others?
- Old people appear to be some of the very worst people for ignoring the social distancing rules. I have heard some absolute horror stories of social gatherings, including of people going for a little ride in the country for some fresh air. I was told about one couple who drove to Chew Valley Lake and found themselves when the cafe was closed and locked up.
- I was told of some grandparents who are still childminding their grandchildren to enable their own children to carry on going to work. What part of social distancing do these people not understand?
The whole point about this blog is to convey my bafflement at the actions of so many people who are carrying on like nothing has happened, as if they don’t understand the tragedy that is about to unfold across the land. If people really on carrying on ‘as normal’, as if life hasn’t changed, then they haven’t been paying attention, they’re in denial or they’re completely stupid.