The world is suddenly getting much smaller. After yesterday’s reality check as the government’s experts, as well as Boris Johnson, explained the seriousness of Covid-19, there’s virtually nowhere to go, at home or abroad. Despite the reassurances, the country, the world, is beginning to shut down. Hopefully, the jokes are drying up and the complacency is being replaced by greater understanding of the grave situation we now face.
Johnson has come in for some criticism about the government’s policy and, for once in my life, I am going to defend him. Yesterday, flanked by the country’s leading experts on how to deal with Covid-19, he told it like it was and they explained the science. He looked like a man who hadn’t slept in a week, his face puffy, his eyes with huge bags under them and he has clearly aged what looks like half a lifetime since last week. For better or for worse, we have to believe him this time and it was his actual words yesterday that, I suspect, may have concentrated minds: “Many more families are going to lose their loved ones before their time.”
In my opinion, Johnson’s words were exactly right. The macho posturing from the “I’m not in the least bit worried” brigade is still out there, ignoring the science and the evidence, and not giving a toss about old people who will die because of the coronavirus but it’s okay because they had underlying health issues. Until they realise it could be their mums and dads who could be among the loved ones to be lost before their time. That’s enough anger from me. Because now is the time for unity.
We know that many are still panicking, emptying supermarket shelves and ordering extra freezers and I guess we must let this phase run its course. Hopefully, once they have filled their living rooms with enough toilet rolls to last a decade, they will regain their senses and show some love for the community and not be part of care in the community.
Christ, we’ve been divided enough for such a long time, not least because of the actions of one Boris Johnson, yet for now at least we have to let that anger and contempt disappear into the ether.
Yes, I’m frightened for me, as I am frightened for my family, several of whom are not young, nor in the greatest state of health, and I am frightened for my friends and people I don’t even know. Johnson’s words have struck a chord with me and when I have too much time on my hands, I am fearful of bad news to come in the coming weeks and months.
Johnson described Covid-19 as “the worst public health crisis for a generation” and now we’re going to believe him. His final words at the press conference were these: “Even if things seem tough now, we will get through this, this country will get through this epidemic… if we look out for each other and commit wholeheartedly to a full national effort.” Stirring words from the prime minister but the truth is that not all of us will get through this. I still agree with him, though.