Permanent Tourist

The personal website of Mark Howells-Mead

You can’t protect people against themselves

The world is screaming itself hoarse about the coronavirus and the media is only encouraging them. So much so, that the public here in Britain seem to be moving further and further away from following formal and informed medical advice.

People get sick, people get better, some people die, and politicians do their best or worst to deal with the situation. Either for the benefit of the people they are trying to serve, or for their own personal or political benefit. In Scotland, the First Minister has been going a step further than the Prime Minister of the U.K. after each cross-national meeting, which nay-sayers seem to think is a political move. Others seem to think it’s an effort to combine public health and safety with a need to keep the economy going. Either way, the number of new cases per day are rising sharply and limitations on visiting other households in the populous south-west haven’t seemed to make much difference 1.

The rules have been extended to the whole of Scotland today, and only time will tell whether the rules are making any difference. This also hangs on the key factor of whether the public actually bothers following the rules; if not, then the public only has itself to blame if the restrictions are increased.

I am doing my best to ignore the tabloid media and braying masses online, and to take things at face value instead of interpreting them. If the rules are that I should wear a mask in public places, so be it. A visit to a shopping centre was quite stressful, thanks to the number of people who don’t understand how to wear a mask, their inability to follow simple directional arrows on the floor, and the number of people who are choosing not to wear masks at all. Britain being Britain, it’s not allowed to question these people’s choices because “not all disabilities are visible”.

The only choice is to avoid public spaces as much as possible and look forward to being as isolated as possible in Cumbria in a couple of weeks, and getting home soon thereafter. The stress of being in the unfamiliar country which Britain has become is getting to me, and the longer our stay continues, the more I’m looking forward to getting away from it.

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