With lockdown extended, it seems only logical we have lost track of the days and weeks. How quickly did our everyday rituals break down? Monday doesn’t mean anything more than a Wednesday or a Friday or even a Sunday- they are all just days. A part of me is already missing the lockdown, even though it has not ended. A feeling of dread of not wanting to return to the status quo, of waking up and going to the office or picking up kids from the school. Even something as simple as getting up from your bed, logging onto the computer to work, from the comfort of my sofa, seems too much to do now.
I am trying to avoid the news – or more so the commentary that comes with it. Yesterday, the death toll went down below 500 and the rate of infections was recorded as being lower as well. Not surprisingly, this bit of information was not sensationalised in the media. Instead, we were told to take caution, as the weekend might have delayed the actual numbers. It seems anything to indicate we are suppressing Covid- 19, is not worthy to be celebrated. You would think, people of today, would be more clued up, around the way the media works by now and their fear mongering nature. Yet somehow out of all this, Piers Morgan of all people has somehow become the unofficial spokesperson for the nation. It’s gobsmackingly shocking, how people from both left and right wing, have all banded together in their unequivocal support for Piers with his arrogant and brash style of surface dwelling questioning to government ministers. He has successfully managed to come out looking like a saviour in this crisis. Brandishing the government ministers, exposing their incompetence and questioning them about testing and PPE for NHS Staff, like that is the answer to this whole thing being defeated.
Instead of using his so called journalistic platform to question and hold the government to account, he seems to be enjoying telling them off for everything they are doing wrong, scoring points with the public, tending to their vulnerable side and their ever distrust of the government. It’s as if somewhere along the way, the public have forgotten that there is no right or wrong way to deal with an illness of this catastrophe. But probably it’s just human nature that we need someone or something to blame, to harness our anger at something and supporting the likes of Piers.
What is amusing, are the rhetoric which are coming out from all of this- the accusations that the government doesn’t care about our lives and the utter shock around this belief. It’s seems laughable that the public are accusing the government of being something, that has been common knowledge for many of us.
The purpose of the lockdown has never been to saves lives, it maybe a hard truth to accept but none the less it is the truth. The purpose has always been to avoid the NHS being overloaded with too many patients that could ultimately lead to a collapse. This is why, Save Lives and Protect the NHS are uttered in the same breath. Saving lives had to be put in there to appeal to our humanity.
Are the government cold hearted and want people to die? Of course not, but it shouldn’t come as a shock to people that this government probably lacks the empathy or sympathy needed to mourn or try its hardest to prevent lives being lost, to them it will always be numbers and statistics. Our country’s record in the last two decades has hardly been of a government that is overfilling with human compassion.
In the last two decades, we have been involved in two massive wars (Afghanistan and Iraq), one ethically immoral and another, an illegal invasion in false pretext. Both resulted in hundreds and thousands of deaths and millions of people displaced. In the last decade alone, this government has interfered in Libya and Syria, with the same dire consequences of innocent lives as their previous two wars. Here at home, they had subsequently introduced austerity, effecting the most vulnerable of our society, leading to masses of people dying or committing suicide through the added mental pressure. Homelessness is rife and food banks (which was a rare thing in the UK only a decade ago) are on the constant rise and part of ever day vocabulary. The government catering for their friends and the elite, led an ultimately nationalistic and racist campaign to leave the EU, marginalising the ethnic minority as a problem. And how did we reward them? By giving them a majority in Parliament only four months ago. Even with a proven track record of supporting and implementing a long line of cruel and vile policies. So, does it come as a surprise that an establishment with such a track record, all of sudden doesn’t care about lives? Is it really such a shock? Or did we disillusion ourselves, thinking that just by living in the UK, our government would value the lives lost here more than the lives they have maimed, killed and destroyed elsewhere.
Maybe this is the time to start to rethink of what actions of the government we condone, regardless of where and when is taking place. For years we have stood idly by, watching the cold senseless nature of the powers that be with their actions and policies abroad and at home. They had not been put to account like they have been now. Is it really a surprise, when the rising death toll is not something they seem to be phased by or hard questions such as testing for front line staff or PPE for our NHS workers are just rolling of their back like a duck in water? Did we really have to go through this crisis, to know what many already knew. Maybe, if we had the level of questioning that we are doing now? We would have had a more efficient, reacting and compassionate government in our clasp.
Maybe, the likes of Piers should have used his aggressive manner of questioning ministers, when they initially clapped when voting down a pay increase to NHS nurses, or when Jeremy Hunt declared war with Junior Doctors. When austerity was effecting the most vulnerable of our society and leading them to early deaths, or when foreign investors were buying up all the property stock in London adding to the housing crisis, or when we intervened in Syria and Libya, or how exiting the EU was going to lead a shortfall in ordinary people’s quality of life and disaster for the workforce of the NHS. Instead we placed them on a high pedestal and now reaping the consequences of such a government.
Are we really supposed to be surprised and is it such a bold and earth shattering statement to say that the government doesn’t care about lives? I guess the silver lining, if there was any, out of this horrible situation, is that the whole nation can now see the very nature of what they have been ignoring for a very long time.
Are the government doing everything they can? Of course they are, but that is all they are doing. We need to find solace in the fact, that a compassionate government that put lives ahead of profit, is not the type of government we have and that has been the case for a very long time. Maybe at last, we can finally understand, that we can’t just ignore and support a government to roll out plans and policies abroad and here at home, if it doesn’t affect us. That we need to elect people on their nature and not on gimmicks and harsh hard line attitudes. If you think lives are important? Than hold the government to question, no matter where or who that life is. Maybe that way, you could have someone who puts people before anything else.
Stay Safe, Stay Home.