The numbers resist any hope. They come thick and fast with rising tides. They tell us that we will soon reach the peak, the zenith of ITs destruction, but the dates for reprieve are continually being re-timetabled. IT seems to be winning. People keep catching and people keep dying. If you are admitted to critical care unit, your chances of survival are less than fifty percent. Fifty/fifty is luck, bad luck, and yet it is the only luck that we now have.
It’s just our luck to have a government that has cultivated a deep distrust of any state that is not our own. We have become an island nation once again; a nation that thinks of itself before all others. And yet, IT is international. IT is happening on almost all fronts, from the banking world of Germany to the jungles of Brazil. There are deniers, those that suggest that it is no more than a common cold or a variant of seasonal influenza, and those deniers will never accept any other truth. Those who die from this will have done so as a result of their own character failings.
In the UK, we are told to Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives (I accidentally misspelled Lies). Our government is doing everything for us and that includes telling the truth through their teeth. We didn’t follow WHO’s advice on testing because we are British and nobody has the right to tell us what to do, including those who would suggest that Life Jackets would be a decent idea for a maiden voyage of Titanic. Nobody could have forecast this, it’s unprecedented.
Now in the sink or swim world of the global pandemic, we are starting to feel the exhaustion of paddling madly, just to keep up. As each day passes, and more and more updates begin to spell out the message, we are staring some uncomfortable certainty in the eyes – more and more deaths and less and less people to save lives.
At the height of all this, the stand-in PM has suggested that frontline staff need to economise on their use of PPE (personal protective equipment). He obviously believes that the equipment is a valuable resource that should be used sparingly whilst the people using it are not as valuable. This was the party of outright liars who romped to victory at the recent election. Having done that, they probably believe that lying gets the job done as they have been caught out on their lies so many times and it hasn’t affected their standing. Perhaps that fault is not their but ours, a spoonful of deceit helps the medicine go down. I don’t find that hard to swallow.
I have taken to waking up in the middle of the night with things that suggest symptoms. For up to an hour, I will lay there inwardly fretting about my seemingly compromised mortality. This morning I had The Doors singing about The End – I was Kurtz and my heart was darkening.
The world truly has become a much darker place. We keep our social distance and shun our friends and neighbours. As each day passes we drift a little further apart. Social media has replaced positive interaction and we are beginning to live in those digital spaces that are virtual parodies of our ‘real’ lives. Some people have ignored the lockdown and have gone out of their ways to blatantly challenge it. Lockdown is something for the mugs who follow the rules and who happen to care about their responsibilities to the wider society. Ironically, IT has the freedom to roam, and to infect, and to kill. Yet, some of those disregarders will survive IT.
And all the deaths that are being recorded are not the full story. When the eye of the storm passes, we will be pulling the unseen dead from their homes for many months to come.
Then, who will still want the truth?