Your correspondent has recently been inactive in terms of contributing to the Rust primarily because he has been busy on intensive but boring domestic/administrative matters of little consequence which has prompted him to shelter under our magnificent guiding editorial principle that “If you ain’t got nothing to say, stay quiet”.
Today I return to the fray with some reflections upon the state of the nation under the latest developments in Covid-19 crisis.
I do so with some humility as no doubt regular Rusters will be as full to the brim with the saturation media coverage as I am and therefore I face the real and present danger of (1) re-heating what they already know or have concluded for themselves, and/or (2) preaching to either the converted or those with polar-opposite opinions!
Anyway, here we go:
It seems to me that after a decidedly poor December – Boris duly living up to his pathological desire to be liked at all costs by instigating a “Five day break around Christmas for families etc. to get together” right in the middle of what was clearly going to be a growing major Third Wave Covid-19 crisis and immediately afterwards having to do a monumental U-Turn which caused more serious public confusion than ever – so far in January the Government has got a much better grip on things.
The daily statistics and trends have driven home – even to the loony “anti-vaxxers” and the Tory Party/right wing libertarian-freaks who don’t seem to give a row of beans how many people die just so long as the business community gets back on its feet – the seriousness of the current situation and something of a “Blitz” mentality has again enveloped us.
Which might be a good thing in terms of the long to medium term goal of extricating ourselves from this trough of “numbing” existence under Lockdown 3, save for the fact that what I observe on a day-to-day basis barely resembles a lockdown at all.
Overnight the newspaper websites have been headlining the chaos that developed at Heathrow yesterday as travellers gathered in various terminals and queues at flight gates etc. took an age to pass through.
The crush that developed meant that any notion of social-distancing went straight out of the window.
In no time at all Heathrow had become a “super-spreader” hot spot as many – journalists, celebrities, ordinary folk et al. – gleefully recorded, sending pictures and videos out on social media.
Inevitably all this demonstrated once again (with bells on) was the complexities of desperately “trying to get business back on its feet” when nobody has thought the processes and systems through properly and – as a direct result – the entire project has become a counter-productive disaster, almost certainly achieving the exact opposite of what was intended.
In circumstances where the nation is supposedly under a requirement to stay at home and only go out for “essential travel” – and then only locally – I’m afraid that in the area I live there is scant evidence that anyone is following it.
On the contrary – one my one excursion for exercise (a half-mile walk into town and back to visit the Post Office) the traffic going in both directions – I was about to type “flowing” but that would be a misnomer, it was practically grid-locked – was barely a car light of that you’d expect mid-afternoon on a blazingly hot August Bank Holiday Weekend. If more than 10% of the drivers were on “absolutely essential travel only” I’d be very surprised.
Ditto with the hordes paddling along the pavements.
I’m not sure whether people are wilfully defying the propaganda that our lords and masters are pumping out or have just got fed up with living life like this and, after weighing up the risks, are simply making their own personal decisions as to what they’re going to do each day.
The possibility that it is the latter was given weight by the content of a phone call I received from my daughter Grace which roused me from my afternoon nap.
She began by announcing that she was still alive – her way of registering that I hadn’t bothered to ring her for at least a week – and then we had a lively and amusing chat for about half an hour.
She admitted that she was currently bored to tears with the latest Lockdown, simply because she could not get out and was reduced to communicating via Zoom, “Facetime (whatever that is), WhatsApp and text.
As someone with an active mind and a relatively high-powered job – along with many of her mates in the same boat – she was finding being on maternity leave with a son (now three months old) hugely frustrating and boring.
Basically, so far, it seemed that 90% of her existence was tied exclusively to his.
If, after a feed, he should ever nod off for twenty to thirty minutes, this is grabbed by her and her “other half” as a rare opportunity to do something for themselves.
Otherwise is it baby, baby, baby … with no respite. She summarised her state as “stir crazy”.
And there’s nothing she can do about it … and there’s no end in sight.
Elsewhere I note that – according to the Daily Mail – the SNP has announced that if they win the May Scottish elections then they will immediately call a new official Independence Referendum and defy Boris to take legal action to stop it going ahead.
I have no idea where my Rust colleague Simon Campion-Brown is holed up, or indeed how he’s faring under Lockdown 3, but my hunch is that – in response to this news – he’d be climbing onto his soap-box to recommend to Boris that in response he should call an immediate Referendum on 31st March as to whether the UK population wishes to expel Scotland from the UK.
Hopefully it would produce a massive “Yes” majority and the rest of us could not only be rid of “the Scottish Problem” once and for all … but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon would be forced to put that development in her pipe and smoke it, some two months ahead of her own intended little “game” at the end of May!