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  • Lawrence Bailey

COVID: So, what do we do now?



I don’t know about you, but I’ve pretty much had it up to here with COVID.


Let me just say that I’m amazingly grateful to the NHS and agencies who have looked after us; who devised and delivered a vaccine and who continue to work to safeguard our wellbeing.


I’m feeling a lot less positive however about the actions of UK politicians. In particular, I refer to the ones who insisted they could “kill off coronavirus” but now reckon we have to “learn to live with it”. How did that happen?


After more than a year of official assurances that everything was being led by the science, and where decisions relied on “data, not dates”, there’s a sudden outbreak of ministerial deafness towards clinicians who think relaxing restrictions is a step too soon.


Throw devolution into the mix and the result is that we’re more confused than ever about what’s happening – and especially the role we’re supposed to play as responsible citizens.


I recognise the quandary for our leaders. Everyone is more than ready for some loosening up of the rules. That said, we’ve had our lives put on hold for far too long to screw things up now.


I’m not surprised by the poll which reckons over 80% of us will keep wearing masks in crowded places whatever the regulations. I’ve got one stuffed in nearly every pocket. I also still have enough hand-sanitiser to protect a small nation.


As regards the day-to-day stuff, everything takes longer and is more complicated.


I swear that buying my first home involved a lot less paperwork than the associated rigmarole of booking the mini-cruise I’m taking this month - and which isn’t even going to leave UK waters. Don’t even get me started on that elusive vaccination app.


Regardless of all the insistence coming from the usual suspects that normality is just around the corner, my take is that life is about to become a bit more of a lottery.


We’re going to be like previous generations who learned to live with the threat of atomic war and those who discovered that food rationing was to last for nearly a decade after the last war finished.


But at least we’ll be free ….. well, won’t we?




A day in a life of almost lockdown


It’s been a weird sort of week. Being urged by the likes of Boris Johnson to act responsibly was bad enough but then whatisface made an appearance.


I tried to dodge him, but he caught up with me in the supermarket carpark. First I was cheerfully accused of being a [expletive] sheep for wearing a mask. Then he shared that he would never [expletive] “submit” to [expletive] vaccination.


I’ve known the guy for decades. In the old days when I travelled by bus, most people would get off whenever he got on. Thus, as his tedious rant moved on to the subject of combatting isolation, I silently acknowledged that he knew what he was talking about.

Things did got interesting though when I mentioned how he’d insisted in a past encounter that the NHS should cold-shoulder people who put themselves at risk through obesity and substance abuse. Didn’t his refusal to be vaccinated potentially add to the burden placed on hospital resources, I enquired? As he thundered out a slew of impressive (but highly inaccurate) statistics, I briefly wondered why he’d never gone into politics. Just then, he stopped mid-sentence and exclaimed: “I forgot the [expletive] milk”, abruptly vanishing back into the store.


Like I said; weird.


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