Today New Zealand announced that they officially have no cases of Covid-19 at all and so have lifted nearly all of their lockdown restrictions.
Here in the UK we can’t say the same.
Although I’m going to try and be calm while I write this post, I’m incredibly angry about the way our Govt has handled all of this.
Firstly of course, there is the years and years of neglect of our key services – the NHS, social security etc – by successive Tory governments. This has led to the fact that all our services were effectively being held together by the goodwill of the people that were [over]working within them.
Secondly, there is the fact that the government front bench was selected based on the strength of their support for Brexit, rather than their actual suitability to run a government department. Pick your favourite incompetent minister from Raab, Hancock, Patel, Jenrick, Rees-Mogg, through to Boris himself. All have, so far, proved themselves to not being up to the job of actually governing.
Next there is the delay in acting, the initial promotion of the herd immunity strategy, the lack of PPE, the shipping of patients from hospitals to care homes, the failed track and trace, the weak messaging, the ‘urging’ people back to work before it was safe to do so, the mixed messages about schools, etc etc.
At this point I need to point out that I am clearly not an expert on this and I’m not suggesting that the situation the government was in was anything other than incredibly difficult. I’m not even suggesting that I could have done a better job of it – but then again I didn’t ask to be Prime Minister. The difference is that Boris did ask to be Prime Minister and then has failed dramatically. I’m not saying that *I* could have done better, but there are plenty of people who could have done.
But now of course we get to the Dominic Cummings situation.
What I am angry about here is not so much what Cummings did – I mean obviously I am a bit – but how it was covered up, lied about and generally excused by the government.
If Cummings had come out and said:
“I’m sorry. I did what I thought was best for my family in the circumstances, however I now accept that it was wrong and I should have stuck to the lockdown rules.”
then all of it would have blown over within a couple of days. But instead we got the “good father” bullshit in pre-packaged quotes from the government and they twisted and contorted all the previous ‘rules’ to ensure that Cummings hadn’t broken any.
It was the absolute contempt for the rest of us that came through during that episode that has of course been the root cause for all of the delays and poor performances so far. What is really the issue here is that this government actually doesn’t give a shit about you and I. They care about their own interests and that’s all.
From a personal perspective for the last four weeks or so (ever since Boris went on TV ‘urging’ people back to work before it was safe to do so because he was more concerned about the economy than people’s health) I’ve struggled to sleep. I suspect that it is to do with my brain trying to process my anger at the situation – but whatever it is it’s horrible and not something I’d like to go through again. I’m knackered.
So what’s next?
Well, our numbers are coming down, but I expect there to be a second spike. This will be caused by the V-E Day celebrations, by people being ‘urged’ back to work and by idiots congregating on beaches on bank holidays. It will of course, however, be an opportunity for the racists to come out of the woodwork and blame it on the recent #BlackLivesMatter protests.
— As an aside on that – if you spout white privilege nonsense about ‘all lives matter’ then please take some time to read up on the subject and think about what black men, women and children have to go through every day. While I know that I’m not perfect and I have a lot to learn I will call out as bullshit comments from my friends and contacts on social media as and when they need calling out. —
But with such a feeble government that has shown it has no plan and cannot communicate clearly the policy it does have it will be left to ‘the people’ to make their own decisions about how and when we come out of this.
For me that will be about keeping as much physical distancing in place as possible – I don’t like the term social distancing as I want to be sociable with as many of my friends as possible, although I accept that it’s not possible to be *physically* close and to hug them. As opportunities to take part in ‘normal’ activities slowly open up again I will join in if I am confident of that physical distancing can happen. For me this will mainly be tennis and swimming.
I think that I and others will look to meet more friends at a distance – no packed beaches, but maybe a distanced picnic, glass of wine in a back garden, or a walk.
I’m hopeful that by adding a bit more ‘normality’, a bit more social contact that I will be able to relax (and sleep) and that life will get on and not feel on hold. Obviously, I want to hug, to go to the pub, to go out for meal, to date, to take my son to the cinema, but for many of these things I will hesitate even when they are opened back up.
But of course the most important thing that I will do is not forget this time and vote against this government, these individuals, that party at every opportunity I can in the future.