But they SAID

I don’t understand what their point is, the people who write this kind of thing, whether in the Telegraph or on Fox News or on Twitter.

The PM says these measures are designed to prevent a lockdown, but I am utterly convinced they’re the beginnings of one. If they are necessary because the omicron variant’s mutations mean it travels fast, and it has already been spotted nesting in the UK, logic suggests that cases will jump – which means more pressure on the NHS and on ministers to act. How many times have we been told “thus far and hopefully no further”, only for the PM to appear on television days later and admit, with regret, that we have to shut up shop?

What is he, six? He’s complaining that the rules change as what we know changes. Well does he think they shouldn’t? Does he think it’s someone’s fault that knowledge about a constantly mutating virus changes over time? What is his point?

The Government says we should plan for Christmas as normal, but these are the same people who said we could travel to France or Spain earlier in the crisis only to reverse-ferret and give us a few days to get home.

But could that be because of new information? Granted it could be incompetence or politicking, but it could also be because what they know about the virus isn’t fixed in amber.

They don’t know what they’re doing because they don’t know what’s going to happen (we don’t have the data on how bad omicron is) and because there is no silver bullet for a pandemic. We are double-vaccinated. We have been offered a booster. We were encouraged to think that science would lick this thing, yet at the first sign of trouble, we return to the same blunt methods of disease control we introduced last summer.

And? What should they do instead? Just throw their hands up and surrender?

It’s true that we’re not fully locked down, and our rules aren’t as draconian as in parts of Europe, but don’t swallow the propaganda that these measures, however proportionate, are “light”. Cancelled travel means divided families. PCR testing and isolation on return from abroad will hit the travel industry hard. Isolation if you come into contact with a carrier is a recipe for another pingdemic. Then there are the masks, compulsory on transport and in shops, which might do some good and bring a little comfort, but are also irritating, uncomfortable and an invasion of our civil liberties. This matters, or should.

Or, rather, masks might do quite a good job of reducing transmission, and the “civil liberty” of not masking during a lethal pandemic is not one worth writing heroic poetry about.

There are a few paragraphs more of the same kind of childish “I don’t wanna and I don’t hafta” bullshit. It’s all so stupid I don’t know how it gets so much ink.

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