Challenging times indeed. I’m not alone though in seeing that the current approach taken by Boris, which runs counter to the more cautious approaches we’re seeing in other countries, reflects a devil may care attitude towards the majority of the UK population. We’ve heard from the beginning a trivialisation of the effects: that many more loved ones in the “vulnerable groups” – those with underlying health problems – will die. A mantra that belies an attitude of “acceptable loss” which is more in tune with military planning than the preservation of life in peace time. If you are vulnerable you are just collateral damage in this vision of society, continuing business as usual would allow the development of herd immunity – a very controversial as yet unproven concept to apply to an virus which is not fully understood.
Yesterday, as usual I fetched shopping for my elderly mother. Just the usual supplies she needs for the week as she is unable to get to the shops. I couldn’t help but notice that the usual small branch of Sainsbury’s was busier than usual. This morning when I went to get my own shopping the car park of a large supermarket was nearly full, something I have only witnessed (and avoided) in the run up to Christmas. Seems like the “herd” are not fully trusting of the government’s attempts to reassure us all will be fine.
Many of us are considered by our government to be expendable. After all the voting is over and Boris has a comfortable majority. Perhaps we should take our “expendable” status to our hearts and become superheroes. The Expendables can fight back. We can show that we prioritise looking after our vulnerable over propping up our economy. The governments plans are geared towards offering better protection to the wealthy, even the self-isolation tips assume that you have a home large enough to self isolate in!
So how can I act in a way that doesn’t aggravate the situation for those who are the most vulnerable?
- reduce consumption by making the most of the food we have at home.
- continue to support my mother’s health and wellbeing with frequent phone calls and delivery of supplies where possible.
- make maximum use of the internet to keep in touch with my students and colleagues who are looking for advice and support. My #virtualexchange expertise will be of use.
- BAN the phrase “keep calm and carry on”
- Call out all attempts to prioritise economic activity over the wellbeing if humans.