Call me “Captain Foresight”, but I knew the proverbial shit would hit the proverbial fan back in February. I remember buying a bottle of hand sanitiser for my bag along with an extra bottle of Carex in Wilko – and an extra tin per food shop, too – “just in case”. I remember the number of people wearing masks on campus rising a bit. I remember reading that thrilling novel called “the news” reporting on the mass deaths in Italy at the time like some kind of plague-zombie-plot. I don’t get why the government didn’t. We’re now one of the worst hit nations in Europe – and not for a lack of foresight.
I was more than fine with the first lockdown. “Flatten the curve”, or as the Prime Ringmaster of the United Kingdom dubbed it, “Squash the sombrero”. Fine by me – too little too late, even! Deaths and cases were kicking off. I was – still am – anxious about “Eat out to help out”, about my upcoming return to university, about offices and kids returning to school.
But the current talks of “lockdown 2” – curfews, reducing the number of people who can meet to 6… they don’t add up in the slightest. As I said to a friend – over instant messaging, of course – “What the fuck’s a curfew going to do?? Is the virus fucking nocturnal?”
Nevermind the fact that the government is hellbent on keeping pubs open like the “Nothing to see here!” scene from Naked Gun, or sending people into offices and schools like some kind of Covid-era General Melchett – which is apparently not the cause of the current rises, which are instead apparently all “the young not obeying lockdown”. To me all the actions from now are clearly not driven by any protection of people but of business. The drive to send people back to offices is to keep Pret and office rents afloat, clear as glass.
I’ve been saying for months that it’s no coincidence the worst hit countries in the world are often the ones under the control of right-wing populists – of Trump, of Boris, of Bolsonaro, of Modi. “Elect a clown, get a circus”, so the saying goes. But now it’s very clear the circus tent’s crashing down, and it’s going to kill people.
10 September 2020