Another day in this quiet little village called Lockdown. Boy is it quiet, too. At times of the day, there’ll be clutches if people out doing there daily exercise as instructed by the Government. Let’s hope they enjoy it. They stroll along, some keeping a few feet apart, some not so much. Then at other times, nobody. The place is growing into a town – a ghost town. And that’s a good thing, because it means people are taking the advice seriously. But it’s frustrating to hear the Deputy Chief of Public Health England say that distancing is what they’re concentrating on, and testing’s ‘a bit of a side issue’ – after all, it’s us who are doing the distancing, so what are the vast resources of the Government doing if not testing?
And the whole testing thing – jeez, what a mess. Different Ministers, appearing daily, throwing out different figures and promises, then backtracking and promising even more. This ‘side issue’, which could identify who has the virus and who has the flu (a not unimportant piece of information) and which NHS workers etc, currently sick, can return to work and help make up the shortfall, has been ignored, sidelined, spun, twisted, messed up, while the daily figures go on rising. Between the Government saying there aren’t enough chemicals, and the chemical outfits saying there is, and the Government saying there’s a shortage of lab capacity, and the labs saying there isn’t – it’s a complete shambles.
Then we come to Boris Johnson, a man who right now is a great advert for the saying, ‘be careful what you wish for, it might come true’. He appears from time to time, looking sick, blotchy faced, and trying to convince us that his Government has a grip – or at least convince himself. But he’s now finding out that his schtick of bumbling and buffooning his way through, of wanting people to like him as much because of his ‘character’ as in spite of it – it’s not working when the chap in charge needs to be commanding, be decisive, be competent. And one morning, he woke up and found it was him. Pity that a couple of weeks ago he was smirking how he’d been shaking hands with virus sufferers. How there was no need to halt large scale sports events. How testing wasn’t important, herd immunity was the real deal. How it suddenly wasn’t, distancing was. Now his red face appears and gives the air of asking us to believe in fairies….
Still, let’s hope he gets well. Unlike all those people who won’t if him and his Merry Men don’t get their act together very, very soon.
On the non-political front, what’s been going on today in Lockdown Mansions at Northcote Corner? Same as you, I suppose. A constant diet on TV of Covid-19 related news, with a bewildering array of experts, scientists and doctors, and their dizzying spectrum of advice. Oh, and the Daily Briefing from No 10. Actually, I’m only guessing that this has been the case all day – I only pop in and out of TV. At least I heard that Queenie will address her loyal subjects on Sunday. Whew.
Remember my three choices of reading for today? Well, I’m on the verge of choosing something else entirely – Julian Jackson’s biography of Charles De Gaulle. We’ll see.
And the big, exciting news of my day? Well, this morning, I slipped the surly bonds of Earth and touched the face of God. Ok, not quite, but I gave the guards the slip and broke cover to visit Asda for essential shopping. Actually, I just did the essential driving, so Irene could do the shopping. And what a first rate job she did – after braving a queue which stretched right around the building, she slipped inside and came back with bags which were satisfyingly full of not only necessities, but some non-essentials too. Then we crept back past the guards and back into house arrest. What fun.
I’ll close today’s missive with a sad note – that amongst the litany of deaths, which continue to climb apace, some more of those who have passed are nurses and doctors, who throughout have given such amazing service to this Country. While we should spare a thought for these victims, as for all victims, and their families, we should hope that our Government finally realises these sacrifices will be meaningless if it goes back to the disgraceful policies which have reduced the NHS to its current state; if it continues to let us down on the NHS; and if it continues to let NHS staff down by inadequate equipment, inadequate protection, and inadequate action. Let these deaths mean something positive in the future.