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If you want to dob somebody in to the Police for doing the things you want to yourself – please don’t. Have a silent party in your head and celebrate that you have enough self control instead

March 31, 2020 Leave a comment

img_5432With a week of the shutdown gone and the shelves starting to look like they get restocked regularly too, it is the monitoring of the shutdown and social distancing rules that are perhaps cause for our most immediate concern.

You may think that I am about to go off on a tangent moaning about the overreaction by the Police. But in the age of political correctness where all public servants are afraid of their own shadow in case they should become accused of doing the wrong thing, the Police are likely to be doing what they interpret as being right. Sadly, the days when common sense ruled and worldly Police Constables would be encouraged to see most value in striking the fear of god into a miscreant rather than detaining, fining or giving points to them are over. We have simply reached a regrettable place where neither they nor we can win.

No. My reason for writing about this today is the changes to our behaviour since the shutdown began and the sudden urge or temptation on the part of some to pick up the phone or message the Police and dob in a neighbour or someone you know for going out too much, going the the wrong places in their car, or in fact anything they are doing agains social distancing rules that we would now like to be doing ourselves.

Right now, most of us are showing a lot of good will and patience to accommodate and support the social distancing rules. But it takes a lot of self control to simply switch off the freedoms that we had only days ago and observe them quite literally in the real spirit of how they have so far been laid out.

Yes you can call people selfish for not observing social distancing rules religiously. You can lose your shit with them and suggest that they are a threat to yours or others lives. But the reality is that none of us actually know what may or may not be motivating anyone to break social distancing rules – if there is indeed any reason for them breaking them at all.

What if they are suffering with mental health issues and are desperate to get outside? – please bear in mind that just because to you someone may look or sound perfectly healthy, you simply don’t know what’s going on for them inside.

What of they are trying to get a break from a challenging home environment and maybe domestic abuse? – again, few of us see, hear about or understand the realities of what goes on for others behind closed doors. Abusive environments are not always physical in the way that they work and both MEN AND WOMEN may be desperate to get out and get a break just so that they feel they can survive.

What if there are other reasons for them going out or doing what they do, that could be easy to understand and would be acceptable if they were happening to you?

Of course some of the people flouting the social distancing rules are either unaware of them, couldn’t care less or are simply stupid. But making any of them the guilty bastards for a situation that none of us chose to be in in the first place is not something that will end up being a happy choice.

Calling one of the Police ‘Coronavirus Hotlines’ might be your motivation and personal choice. But in these circumstances, the Police will feel obliged to come down heavily on people just because they feel that the (media) spotlight is now on them and that they therefore have no choice.

The Police do have better things they could be doing like chasing real criminals if their efforts are not required by the Coronavirus Crisis elsewhere, rather than punishing people for things that they would have no good reason to know about if someone had not decided to make them wrong.

We all need the Police resources available to be focused where they are needed most. Some of that effort will be spent on people who are not only flouting the social distancing rules, but are breaking them to hurt or endanger others, or to exploit the shutdown because criminality is their conscious choice.

Let’s not take any of our Police Officers away from where their attention and focus really needs to be. Doing so could really cost lives.

When the shutdown is finally over and things return to whatever the norm will then be, the chances are that any one of us would feel guilty for outing anyone during the shutdown for anything that when it has finished will no longer be wrong.

Save yourself the mental anguish and give whoever your sinners are the benefit of the doubt. Because for whatever reason they are breaking the rules, the chances are that they don’t have the level of self control that you have yourself.

For that reason alone, they deserve your understanding and humanity. Just like you and I   would want to receive it from others if we broke the social distancing rules innocently or for some overpowering reason that made it feel to us that we had no choice.

 

 

The World cannot stay stopped until a vaccine is found. Difficult choices need to be made

March 31, 2020 3 comments

No, the novelty still hasn’t worn off. We are being good humoured about the shutdown and it feels almost remarkable how quickly we have all adapted to standing in staggered lines, following taped distance lines on the floor, and stepping into the road to make space for other walkers or waiting for someone else to pass.

But this is now. Only 8 days have passed.

If you make the mistake of watching non-stop news coverage, you are likely to be slowly turning mad. The coverage is disproportionately negative or just focused on the personal tragedies and the challenges that are being faced by all the emergency service personnel and above all the NHS Staff who are involved.

Nobody could or should try to take away what is happening for the real people and patients on the front line. But a big problem for us all is that the very nature of media and television today gives the immediate impression that all of this is what is actually happening right now in our front rooms.

Yes, the risk that any of us could go through the same is very real. But the reality of Coronavirus itself is that it will not affect everyone the same.

However, the response, or rather the shutdown has already effected us all, and it’s going to affect us all a whole lot more. It’s affecting many people in ways that may not already, but soon will be causing them – and perhaps you – a great deal of pain. The chain reaction of debt, homelessness and businesses closing down is likely to become like a never-ending downward cycle where the impact will be multiplied as it ripples out more and more and starts to impact on all of us, not just as individuals, but as a whole.

Like most meanings lurking in the subtext and hidden in plain sight of all current political speak, the elephant in the room behind all the daily Downing Street Briefings is this shutdown in its current form cannot end either until everyone has caught the Virus (this dreadful term ‘Herd Immunity’), or a Vaccination has been found, tested and rolled out so that everyone is know to be immune.

Testing on the scale that would make it practical for everything to return to normal isn’t available and is unlikely to be so anytime soon. In fact, the Government managed to conduct around only 7000 tests last Saturday – whereas across the UK we have a total population of 60,000,000 or more.

When and if large scale antibody testing is available, the problem remains that many of us will to have caught the Virus and we still don’t know if people can catch Covid-19 multiple times. So if everyone were just allowed to return to normal at that point, there could again be a significant peak and demand for the NHS, and we could end up having a repeat of the shutdown any number of times.

Whilst the Government has the power to maintain the Shutdown or indeed to make it worse, it is very questionable for it to do so in these circumstances, because in terms of all of the knock-on effects, impacts and consequences that are hitting people and affecting our lives in other ways.

The Shutdown – or a series of them – cannot go on or be maintained for the many months that are now being talked about as a bare minimum. To do so will break what is left of the economy, any ability the Government still had to reduce the National Debt will evaporate and the inadequacy of the financial help given even to people who think they are safe now will make life difficult for so many people that the solution to the Coronavirus problem will have turned out to be significantly worse for the majority of people than it will have been to facilitate the cure or rather treatment of the few.

That is of course is if the consent of the Public for the Government to rule in this way should remain the same as it is now. Odds are that it won’t.

We know that many people have probably already had Covid-19, or that they will suffer very mild symptoms if they do. At some point soon, the emphasis will have to shift from everyones lives being stopped to focus on preventing people catching the Virus, to allowing everyone to restart and get on with life, then only focusing on what happens when they contract Covid-19 when they do.

The current approach is solely focused on preventing the NHS from becoming overwhelmed without real consideration for how the shutdown to facilitate this is impacting on every other part of life. The shutdown is based on too many variables, unknowns and the fear that has taken on a disproportionate value in the reality and thinking of politicians and their advisers who are only equipped to think subjectively and not objectively about the wider picture and the problems that their actions are going to cause.

As soon as the great British Companies and collaborations that have come together to build ventilators and support the expansion of the NHS effort have done their stuff and there are field hospitals set up around the Country to support a realistic level of critical need, it is essential that the Country be allowed to return to work and our normal activities are allowed to resume.

The hard truth is that not everyone will be ill at the same time, even with no social distancing in place, and that whatever happens a still significant number of the people infected with Covid-19 will regrettably die. We all have to accept that just like cancer, accidents, many other lesser-known diseases, illnesses and medical conditions – and of course the seasonal or winter flu, this is just another route added to an inevitable list of reasons from which all bodies will at some point die.

Rather than turning the UK into a Police state, it would be much better for the Government – to treat EVERYONE like the adults, responsible parents and carers that the majority are and put in place the systems and procedures that will encourage people to present themselves either for care and treatment or self-isolation as many already are. If nobody is going to lose out in any way by doing the right thing, it will work effectively and efficiently as everything restarts and keeps running. Then before you know it, ‘Herd Immunity’ or whatever you name you want to call the place where we actually need to be will become a real thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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