Home > Coronavirus > WE ALL NEED TO GET A GRIP PEOPLE: Because this is a Government that could react disastrously wrong to what is now going on

WE ALL NEED TO GET A GRIP PEOPLE: Because this is a Government that could react disastrously wrong to what is now going on

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Hands up. I’m not worried if I have to eat less or perhaps miss a meal or two and go without. The upside is that I could do with and would be happy to lose a few pounds.

But for my elderly mother (73) and her husband (87) who are as good as housebound and rarely go out, what those of us who are out shopping on behalf of the people we care about are experiencing has passed the stage of being ridiculous and has now become negatively profound.

Many of us have responsibility for someone else, whether it is each other, children, parents, relatives or someone else that we care for normally day-to-day.

But even if we live alone and have not one other person to think about, the reality is that the Coronavirus does not and is not going to recognise any of the differences that we might usually use to build ourselves up, to blame others or to simply use as an excuse to differentiate ourselves against others or to make ourselves out to be special or entitled in some or other way.

We really are in this together.

As I walked around the local Tesco Store this morning, looking for the aisle where the tinned potatoes should be available, I was already thinking the shopping list on the envelope containing the money from my own set of oldies was itself some kind of surreal joke. And as I stood there, looking at the collection of baked beans that at one end don’t seem as popular as the loo roll at the other, it became clear to me that the guy who was stood there surveying the carnage in the same way as me, was having the same, if not very similar thoughts. As he walked away, he looked at me, smiled and said “Thank God we aren’t at war”.

The whole experience, following on from the pictures of stripped shelves and queues of people with trolleys from across the Country made me realise just how shameful our collective behaviour has really become and question yet again how it is that things have really got this far?

We are not at war.

There is no shortage of food or essential items available to retailers.

Yet the experience that normal people are now facing in shops and supermarkets tells us something very different.

And it’s not that there is a shortage and we are demonstrating any form of rational need.

It says that the panic buying, fuelled by the non-stop ‘Coronavirus Show’ in the media and online, will quickly play into the hands of a Government led by politicians who got themselves elected for all the wrong reasons and are as fearful of the unknowns that are accompanying this dreadful outbreak as anyone else is including you and I.

Talk of being on a war footing and using emergency legislation to effectively turn this Country into a dictatorship – albeit an apparently temporary one – should be cause for concern in itself for us all.

But our behaviour, whether that be our attempts to fill up on everything at every opportunity – because those rules were meant not for us but for others, or because we are saying damn the ‘advice’ we have been given in London and elsewhere – because coffee, beer and socialising as if everything is normal remains the priority and overriding cause, is increasing the risk exponentially that the politicians who are leading us today will not only create but then use those very draconian measures to restrict all of our lives indefinitely and disproportionately. Simply because their own fears have been amplified by what is on the part of too many of us a self-serving, selfish and completely unnecessary response.

Think back to when you have been upset or you have been angry. Think about how you have spoken and acted. What was your response?

Did you ever get it wrong?

The politicians that we have today are no different. And when they cannot, will not consider or are unable to understand the bigger picture, the added pressure on them from the avoidable breakdown of what should and still could be a fully functioning supply chain today, to how we will choose to behave as the negative spiral that panic buying has started escalates into anger, frustration and potentially much more in the days and weeks ahead, will in all likelihood at some point precipitate a knee-jerk response from the people we have put in power, with consequences for us all that will be far-reaching and considerably much worse.

If we don’t do our bit to help others and to help ourselves right now by following the advice that we are being given – no matter how ridiculous or how it can only really be there for others as we might see it – we will all have played a part in giving our inept leaders reason enough to act in the way that you can be assured that they will do, just as soon as it is clear that they do not have any more options to try to get things moving and to get people to cooperate.

All-too-late, it will become painfully clear that our elected leaders simply lack the real world experience and understanding to think outside of the Westminster box, whether the Country is in the middle of a National Crisis or not.

The Chancellor’s failed attempt to help the majority of workers and businesses affected financially by Coronavirus this week has already demonstrated the lack of ability within this Government to step up and take responsibility because they do not understand the reach and depth of the responsibilities that we have entrusted them with, or will not make decisions to help the people who elected them that many of their funders and supporters simply will not like.

Either way, these are politicians that we cannot trust to act equitably, fairly and in the best or better interests of us all in each and every way that either they should or that they can.

However, surviving this Crisis is not about them. It is about you. It is about me. It is about the people we care about and know we can trust. It is about the power of decision that each and everyone of us has to do the right thing now on our own and with the people who are around us, that when taken and done together will become worth a hell of a lot more.

Let’s use the example being set by neighbours, by pubs and by volunteers across our local communities as the real guide. People like the Salvation Army man I saw with a shopping list and trolley this morning who are out there doing everything they can to fill the gaps and keep each other going in practical ways that are human and about a real sense of selflessness and community.

Let’s be inspired by real people helping other real people in real ways.

Let’s join them doing something that we all have the capability to understand.

The shop shelves will refill for us all if we stop overloading the trolleys and only take what we need for ourselves and the people we care for in the immediate term. That’s pretty much what we can carry safely in our own hands.

 

image thanks to The Sun / Mercury Press

The words added to the picture ‘There’s enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed’ is paraphrased from the quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi ‘The World has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed’.

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