Covid Christmas

The UK government has announced some kind of 3 family ‘bubble’ for Christmas. [1] In effect the recommendation is to mix young people (such as students) – with their elderly relatives for 5 days. Just about the right time to absolutely ensure transmission. Of course a lot of people are going to die.

This is another (and entirely predictable) bungle in the series of already deadly bungles committed by the reckless people in charge.

There are 2 reasons for this insane (from a medical point of view) decision. Firstly; all modern governments in the UK are continually desperate to connect with the people, to find a populist touch. (Johnson in particular seems to avoid taking any decisions which could make him unpopular). “Giving” the people Christmas is just such a populist touch. No matter that, in reality, they are giving the people Covid.

The second reason is based around the idea that had they not done this people would have done it anyway. Here is this case badly stated by the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakefield:

I think it was very clear to us from the advice we received at the Cobra meeting, but also from what we hear in Wales, that unless we found a formula that allowed people to get together over Christmas, people were very unlikely to be willing to stick to the current level of restrictions that we have here in Wales. So the choice was between a guided form of meeting over Christmas or people simply making their own solutions.

And that is what they are afraid of, terribly afraid of, “people making their own decisions”. That is – they are afraid of losing control. And being seen to lose control. The mask of the tyrant musn’t slip. Populism and tyranny – government in modern Britain.

We can note that government scientists have been lining up to give media interviews about how foolish this is. [2] The catch-all excuse for everything “we are following the science” seems to have been abandoned.

This decision is, like so many of the fateful decisions taken by this government during the epidemic, guided wholly by (what in other circumstances might be an admirable) instinct for self-preservation. The most notorious being the care home killings when care home residents were sacrificed to avoid the media spectacle of the NHS being overwhelmed. [3] I knew that Britain’s political class was venial but the sight of them literally sacrificing tens of thousands of elderly and vulnerable people for the sake of their political careers still caught me by surprise. There are, apparently, no limits, and no depths they won’t plumb if they can get away with it.

Notes

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/24/christmas-covid-uk-plan-lets-three-households-mix-for-five-days
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/25/uk-scientists-warn-third-wave-covid-after-christmas
  3. https://thenewobserver.co.uk/2020/10/04/amnesty-report-confirms-uk-government-needlessly-allowed-thousands-to-die-in-care-homes/

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer