Derek Taylor
Derek Taylor

Another month won’t matter

Like you I’m fed up with lock down. I’d like to get back to normal, just like you. The problem is that coronavirus hasn’t gone away. The number of positive cases goes up every day and the number of deaths is increasing as well.

It’s a game of Russian roulette. The likelihood is that if you’ve had the two jabs, you’re not going to get the virus. Those who die – and over 120,000 have succumbed – were unlucky. We’re not talking. though about coughs and sneezes; we’re talking about families who will be bereaved. We’re talking about children losing a parent, far too many people finishing up with the effects of the virus lasting for an indefinite time.

Frankly, I don’t want it on my conscience that I may have been the cause of their suffering by transmitting the disease. I’d rather continue on lock down until the numbers are as near zero as we can get.

A great many people don’t see it that way. They can reassure themselves that it very likely wasn’t their fault. They can make the excuse that most people have the disease mildly and recover, often without even staying in bed. That cuts no ice with the bereaved. Somebody out there killed their beloved.

There are, of course, many hidden agendas. People whose businesses have been wrecked and the government faced with gigantic balance of payments problems. In war there are casualties. But they are unavoidable and spreading the disease is not.

The government wants to be popular and stay in power. If they have to sacrifice a few thousand more people, they recognise that the voters want an end to lock down. They fear they will be punished at the ballot box if they don’t end the lock down.

When the history of the epidemic comes to be written in the future, the selfishness of the people will be condemned, but it will be too late. The people will have enjoyed the match, had a good time at the rave, started to get back on their feet with the business. If they don’t die with the virus, it will be seen as a sensible move. Except by the bereaved and those who suffer for a long time in the future.

The scientists, the experts, the GPs, know that we’re playing with fire. They don’t come out as a body and tell us they have no idea what may lie in the future. That there can easily be a third wave with all the grief it will involve. It isn’t scaremongering; they genuinely don’t know, but if Chris Whitty is harassed, we are losing the national consensus.

The press is no help. They know their readers want lock down to end and they are not going to alienate them. They concentrate on lost schooling, the effect on students and the problems of single families. These are justifiable concerns but they don’t lead to fatalities.

The government have a strong case for delaying the end of lock down by. a month.. The figures for positive tests, the steady increase in fatalities and the growing numbers in hospital are there for everybody to see. They may peak and start to go down; that would be a case for the end. At the moment, though, the statistics are against this happening. Until this changes, spare a thought for those who will be added to the bereaved and the long-term ill.


About the Author
Derek is an author & former editor of the Jewish Year Book