Ploughing my way through acres of holier-than-thou virtual signalling on social networks, it reminds me, as if I needed reminding, what a mess we are in with COVID-19. Boris Johnson’s government, its members chosen purely on the basis of loyalty to enabling the hardest possible Brexit, instead of ability, blunders aimlessly along with mixed messaging, indecision and incompetence, leading to anger and fear among the public. We’re angry and frightened, as well as being weary and tired and we lash out, at least verbally.
The mantras are endlessly repeated. ‘Hands, face and space’ and ‘Stay (at) home, protect the NHS, save lives’. Then we look around and we see people out enjoying a jolly miles from home or completely ignoring ‘hands, face space’ as if the message is meant for someone else.
Yet I don’t blame ‘the people’ for all our problems because it’s more nuanced than that. There can be no excuse for not washing your hands, unless you are a regular customer in a Wetherspoons where I understand it’s compulsory to not wash your hands after having a pee. Of course, face coverings protect our fellow woman and man. And it should not be that difficult to maintain an appropriate social distance. It’s just that we’ve heard the words so often, it’s easy to regard them as just words. For the purposes of this blog, I have never once broken any of the government’s rules which makes me perfect, apart from the fact that my nose appears to be growing, Pinocchio-style.
When I read people complaining about the busier streets, buses, trains, shops and all the rest of it, I feel like pointing out that many more people have been told to carry on working during this third wave of the virus. Workers have not chosen to carry on working during the pandemic: we have been told to in the same way that we were told we were going to be furloughed in the first wave. The idea, put forward by the red top vessels of hate, that workers have any say in whether they go to work is nonsense. So, with more people at work and more children back at school, more people are out there doing their bit to spread the virus. I would be more than happy to follow the rules and stay at home, but I have no choice in the matter. Like everyone else, I do what I am told.
Eventually, if we are lucky, vaccines will save us. It’s what we do as the vaccines are being rolled out that matters. If the current strategy – if that’s the right word: I don’t think it is – carries on, the virus will continue to spread and more people will die. If I was King of the World, I would shut pretty well everything down for the rest of the winter and make the stay at home message mandatory for all except genuine frontline workers. Leaving things as they are just drags things out.