When he announced reductions in the Coronavirus lock-down measures last week, I asked the PM , that even when there are flare-ups in the disease, if he would resist the temptation to return to ‘collective punishment’.
Interestingly enough, in the USA the infection rate has continued to surge ahead, nevertheless their death rate peaked in April and has fallen dramatically ever since.
So, is the virus becoming less virulent?
Or, is more testing just identifying more cases?
Or is the disease being treated more effectively?
Certainly, the adoption our own UK breakthrough with Dexamethasone will lead to an even lower death rate.
At any rate, if lock-down was our original concept of a ‘cure’ for the disease, we now have to seriously ask ourselves whether this ‘cure’ is now doing more damage to not just our economic welfare , but also to our physical and mental health than the disease itself.
The reductions announced on Wednesday are welcome, but as I pointed out the PM at his previous statement on 16th June, there will be no economic recovery until we can jettison unnatural social distancing altogether. Of course, a yard is much easier to cope with than 2 meters but many drinkers will bridle at having to give their name and contact details to order a pint of beer.
Masking-up and standing in line is not what I consider to be retail therapy. Retail has to have an ‘offer’. We’ve all discovered that you can make purchases cheaper and more conveniently online. So, if we are to save our high streets, shopping will have to return to being a superior social experience, otherwise why would we bother making the effort.
In any event we are we are still a very long way from restoring normal economic activity. Swimming pools, Gyms, theatres, live concerts, beauty salons (despite a huge investment in PPE by many of them) all remain closed to us.
I accept that we are more than economic beings and I am delighted that the Churches are to restore public worship. But we are not to be allowed to sing. Will they fill the time with longer sermons?
That is unlikely to draw many of us back, having broken the habit.
I am tired of listening to pundits on the wireless, boring the socks off us all, as they bang on about how life is going to have to change for good (-no more kissing being the very least of it).
Don’t these puritans realise that most of us want to get back to normal, and not some concept of ‘the new normal’.
The only way back to normal is when we overcome our fears and begin to treat Covid-19 as just another of life’s hazards, like catching the flu or having an accident.
We aren’t there yet, give the medics a bit more time for a vaccine and cures, and we will get there. In the meantime, we all need to practice, as far as we are able, behaving a bit more normally.
And NO return to collective punishment.