“People will die if lock down is ignored” so say the latest government ads. Meanwhile the government continues to ignore the very real threat of homelessness and destitution as a result of said lockdown, which is forcing people to leave their homes.
We, the people, agree to be governed by the state in return for certain protections, public health being one of the most crucial. Never mind that the government has deliberately underfunded and even sold off sections of our national health service (and it is this systematic disassembling of our public health system that is the primary cause for any shortfall in care) or that Boris the Butcher publicly declared his intentions to let the weakest among us die in the interests of herd immunity, devoid of any feeling that these are our family members they are referring to, the state has resolved to blame us, you and me, for the rising death toll.
A few days ago a local friend told me they’d seen a news report suggesting shoppers were flouting social distancing guidelines by queuing right next to each other at a supermarket on Kings Heath High Street. My friend passed by on a bus shortly after the footage was filmed and everyone was standing an appropriate distance apart. It was projected from such an angle that it appeared to illustrate the point of the story, that members of the public are ignoring government advice, which may leave them no choice but to enact a full lockdown, otherwise known as martial law. This framing of the situation, and worryingly by Channel 4, as dishonest and sinister as it is, should give us all cause for concern.
The government is aware that the death toll is about to rise sharply, it is aware that it is to blame for the state of the NHS. Compared to other nations, Britain chose to dally on its public health advice, giving conflicting and incomplete guidelines on how best to manage the situation. Children should have been taken out of school a whole week earlier than they were, we did in my family, so long as we were aware that we were “choosing to remove the children in term time against government advice”. My sister and her husband reasoned it was worth risking a truancy court appearance, to keep the children alive. In Saudi all school kids were immediately quarantined but life did not cease to exist, they continued to learn from their homes, their teachers providing virtual classrooms for minimal disruption to their way of life. Public spaces got a deep clean, the Jeddah based Arab News (equivalent to the BBC) put a face mask on its logo. Government, media, and the rest of civil society are working together instead of at cross purposes. They are spoilt for choice in their supermarkets, and nobody is living in fear of financial ruin. Commentators are comparing Britons to refugees because of the panic buying and resultant price gouging, two pre-indicators of a mass humanitarian crisis. It’s like the state took a bad situation and decided to make the worst of it, they’re still on track to stripping us of our human rights, safe in the knowledge there is no authority in the world that can make them comply with universal basic human rights.
I could very well be wrong and I can’t always articulate why I have a hunch about things but a pattern seems to be emerging among the victims of Covid-19 that raises questions about the type of care patients are receiving. At first we were told it only really affected the elderly, those aged 70 and over, especially if they also have underlying health conditions but we’ve seen much younger victims, even teenagers. Almost all are from working class backgrounds, at least the ones I’ve read about in the papers. Contrast their experiences with that of the rich and famous and it throws up even more questions. Prince Charles, at 71 years of age, is out of isolation. George Alagiah, TERMINAL CANCER patient, survived the coronavirus that killed a 21 year old Spanish football coach who died an hour after testing positive for Covid-19 and leukaemia. It could well be that the privileged have healthier lifestyles and increased immunity, they have better access to nutritional food (some reports have suggested high doses of vitamin C might afford better protection) and even individually tailored private healthcare. However, we live in a society that proudly boasts a 2 tier system of deserving, reveling in its greed and disregard for those less fortunate. I would not put it past them to favour curative treatment for the privileged, keeping the rest of us in the dark. It’s just another tool for the state to weed out undesirables, it has been party policy ever since they were elected.
The government had an opportunity to submit to the will of the people and work together as a society to protect each and every one of us. There is only one way to ensure we all make it through intact, through universal basic human rights that ensure we can continue living during this battle for our survival. It is absurd landlords can continue to demand rent from tenants who are not working and barely making ends meet.
People will die if the government continues to play games with our livelihoods.
People will die if the government does not step up and demand banks, landlords, employers etc back the fuck off the British public, allowing us to safely self quarantine without running the risk of destitution.
People have already died.