I tend to try & keep schtum regarding my political beliefs as I know how divisive it can be. However, as someone who lives 700m the now ‘wrong side’ of the southernmost ‘Greater Manchester’ boundary, surrounded by other wards reporting zero cases, I am beyond even my own low levels of expectation, at just how incompetently @10DowningStreet have handled the pandemic, particularly the communications.
I am a reasonably intelligent, sensible, and oft risk averse, 49* yr old – I refuse to acknowledge my non-50th back in early May, until such time as I can have a pint in the Marble Arch Pub, with my friends & family, & hug & laugh & relax with them. I may have to wait a while for the very last part of that!
Accepting that this is a unique and unprecedented situation that we find ourselves in, here’s a common mans summary of what we’ve been told:
1. We should all stay at home & isolate, but not wear masks because they don’t work, we don’t know how to use them properly anyway, and we need the meagre stock for front line workers. Oh, & herd immunity will be important
2. We should all go to the shops and pubs to help the economy and maintain a 2m gap, but not wear masks as there’s that herd immunity thing & were still short, but a mate in Goverment reckoned that for just £108 million, they could get hold of a few through their mate who set up a zero asset pest control firm
3. We should all go to work, and the shops, and pubs, and even try some mass attendance sports trials and if we can’t maintain 2m, then 1’ll do, if you turn your back or wear a cutdown sock over your mouth & nose
4. Now we need to all wear masks, or socks, or underpants over our mouth and nose if we go in shops because it ‘sends out the right message’, but we’ll allow you to determine what that message is. Unless you don’t want to, because we really can’t police it.
5. Some 15-20 year olds are allowed to gather in public places without masks or the need to socially distance, because we don’t have an ability to enforce it, they are seemingly totally immune and won’t be carriers, and we don’t want to upset their ‘don’t give a sh*t anyway’ parents
6. Those in Greater Manchester, can travel to other regions, and sit in a beer garden & have a Sunday lunch and a beer with mates.
7. Those in Greater Manchester can also employ a gardener & tradespeople around and within your home. But your Mam can’t come around and sit it your garden, if you not part of her ‘bubble’.
8. Those in Greater Manchester can travel to other regions, and sit inside a pub surrounded by non-mask wearing strangers, but you cant if you realise you know them & then socialise
9. Those in Greater Manchester can have a mate around and sit on the driveway or pavement and have a socially-distanced chinwag because it’s not a private garden or an indoor space.
10. If we want kids to be back in schools in September to allow workers with children to work, we may need to close the pubs again as a trade off, because it may have been a cock-up to have eased lockdown in June as the herd thing doesn’t seem to work
11. We shouldn’t be getting lockdown obese, so here’s £50 to get your bike fixed, so you can cycle down to ‘Notspoons to utilise the government-backed cheap food voucher system and eat an 1100 calorie vegan all-day brunch, and thus feel much better about your lifestyle
12. Whilst there, take advantage of big-brewers from the SBDRC, who spoke to their mates in Government, who are effectively lowering the Small Brewers Duty Relief being paid by smaller, agile, more creative and now competing smaller brewers, allowing them to serve you a pint for £1.28, which is lower than cost, to further close down the market and, in a UEFA-esque move, protect an industry cartel
13. All that said, we will continue on with the strategy of pomp, bluster, catchphrase and occasional joke, combined with a disproportionate, reactive approach to local flare-ups, known by some as the “whack-a-mole way”, occasionally mumbling herd immunity if pushed.
So in summary:
– Singing “Happy Birthday” takes 20 seconds or so
⁃ Wear a sock on your face. Or don’t
– Blame someone else. It’s not our fault, or yours, it’s someone else’s.
⁃ Meet strangers in enclosed spaces but not friends or relatives, if you end up the wrong side of an arbitrary line drawn through the middle of zero-case communities
⁃ Don’t get fat, ride your bike to a Restaurant & eat goverment-subsidised chips & cheesecake
-don’t drink Alcohol-based hand wash. Ever.
Enjoy “Lockdown2 – Revenge of the Sh*t”!