Wednesday, 6 January 2021

The View From my Virus Soapbox

Anyone who used to be a regular reader here, in the days when I used to blog EVERY DAY, is probably having heart failure at my return!  Yes, it’s been a while but there have been various reasons for that.

To begin with it was time related – between writing books/working on the musical adaptation of 'Stilettos & Stubble'/self promoting and also caring for my mum, there just never seemed to be enough hours to sit down and write a regular post.

Then I got to the point where there just didn’t seem to be anything of any interest to blog about.  I guess I lost faith in myself and along with it my mojo - what would be the point of blogging about baking sourdough bread from scratch or the benefits of cupboard sorting during lockdown when so many others were already doing it?

Having said all that, the last few days have made me realize that I want my voice back.  Watching TV, listening to the radio, popping on to Twitter or Facebook: everyone has an opinion on what our world is going through right now and we all want to be heard.  Of course we do – we’re scared, we’re confused and we’re seeing our lives change in ways we never imagined possible.  Through this fear and confusion, I see people going head to head in battle with their differing opinions – some more vehemently than others, some convinced they have the whole situation sussed and some who, quite frankly, shouldn’t be allowed out in polite society EVER – let alone during a lockdown.

So, with my newfound voice, here’s my take on our new world – you won’t all agree and that’s fine.  All I ask is that I’m treated with the same respect that I would treat someone with a differing opinion.

  • NONE of us know where this virus came from or how long it’s here for but it IS real.  Those claiming it’s a hoax or a conspiracy made up by the big guns for a ‘re-set’ need to spend a day in a hospital or lose a loved one.
  • NONE of us know how it will affect us personally unless we’ve had it. Yes, it can be as mild as a cold or flu for some but, old or young, it can still be a killer or leave long term effects.  Those refusing to believe it can be serious are simply sticking their heads in the sand.
  • NONE of us know for sure if masks work to protect us but if you refuse to wear one or refer to them as ‘face nappies’, PLEASE just stay at home.  I don’t want you in my face and I definitely don’t want to hear your opinions on how your human rights are being taken away. Tell that to my mum’s generation who wore gas masks, shivered in air aid shelters, lived on rations for years and were evacuated away from their loved ones.
  • NONE of us can possibly say that we envy Boris Johnson his job. He’s not perfect and I’m not a fan but would any of our current politicians have done a better job?  No one in our history has had to deal with a situation like this and I think we have to remember that, to a certain extent, Boris is just the face and the voice.  He ISN’T the sole policy maker - he has advisors, decisions are made and then he delivers the news. His bumbling, upper-class, pompous twang doesn’t do him any favours but that’s simply who he is.  I don’t think we can hold him wholly responsible for the mess we’re in – one man does not run our country and it would be naïve to believe that.
  • NONE of us enjoy Lockdowns but the reason they’re not working is because of the selfish few who don’t believe that they apply to them.  The rise in cases, particularly over Christmas, speaks for itself.  This virus hasn’t got out of control by people going for a walk or taking a quick trip to the supermarket.  My advice, if you’re REALLY anti-lockdown is, the quicker you do as you’re told, the quicker they will come to an end. Human rights again?  Tell that to the old lady you infected in the supermarket because you chose to party over Christmas and then refuse to wear a mask. Honestly. I’m sick of excuses and sick of the ‘I’m alright, Jack’ attitude.  We’re not ‘all in this together’ because of the selfish brats who refuse to play by the rules. Yes, RULES.  I think you’ll find that for society to remain civilized, they’re kind of a necessity.
  • NONE of us know how quickly the vaccine will be rolled out or how effective it will be. Boris was wrong to put figures and a time-stamp to the first tranche – if he fails, he’ll be under attack again but he’ll also be criticized for being evasive if he doesn’t. Will he never learn?  My personal thoughts on the vaccine as a dreaded anti-vaxxer?  If you want to go ahead and have it, I have no issue with your choice so please respect mine.  Personally, I think it’s too soon to be sure of side effects, allergies, efficacy and the need/timeframe for re-inoculation. Also, as stated in last night’s press conference, it is now recognized that vaccines cause viruses to mutate, so where does the merry-go-round end? I’m really happy for those who see it as a passport to freedom without questioning it at all but, just occasionally, I’d like to see people interviewed on mainstream TV or radio who have a different point of view – I feel they (we) are being silenced and that worries me.  I’m also slightly confused as to how vaccinating the elderly and vulnerable is going to get our country back to some kind of normality, as we’ve been promised.  These aren’t the people who have been spreading the virus, are they?  Am I missing something here? Surely the young, the healthy and the Covidiots will continue to help the virus grow.
  • NONE of us –politicians, the general public or even the scientists– are definitive experts on this.  This is a completely new strain of virus that we are learning about every day. We can spout our views and opinions until the cows come home but, at the end of the day, it changes nothing. Right now, Covid-19 is the boss of everyone whether you believe in it or not.

There.  Stepping off my soapbox.  If you’d like to leave comments – feel free. If you’re rude or offensive, they won’t be posted. Healthy debates welcomed but not abuse.  In the words of our Queen – ‘We WILL meet again’ but I think we need to be adding the next line now – ‘Don’t know where, don’t know when’!

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