Whatever the truth behind and about Covid – conspiracy theories continue to proliferate – there are certain truths that can now be deduced from the first wave outcome:
First, Project Fear’s Brexit-caused “economic catastrophe” pales into insignificance. Those continuing whines from the CBI and Sir Richard Branson fall on deaf ears now. It’s as if Covid came along at exactly the key juncture in Britain’s political watershed and made the relaunch of our nation state even more obvious. Even some diehard Remainers are openly talking about the importance of national self-sufficiency and, like many others, have been relying more on locally-grown produce. Sidestepping the growing EU Covid bill has been a cannonball well-dodged. Whether a trade deal is struck in coming weeks or after a no deal we shall soon see, but suddenly the idea of importing from afar – just as Brits are achieving in a highly competitive PPE marketplace – or searching that bit further for fresh markets, seems far less of a stretch. British businesses have had to be super-flexible to survive Covid so far – a no deal seems really quite manageable for many.
Second, the NHS is here to stay. During the Covid peak back in April there were more people clapping than not – even people who naysaid the NHS over recent years. The structure is flawed, the staff bill ludicrous, there are far too many managers, nepotism is rife and corruption is pervasive but better a system that the country loves, and everyone turns to in a national crisis, rather than a disjointed insurance-driven system. Maybe now, rather than pushing for radical metamorphosis or privatisation, people can urge more openness and reform of the national money-pit. AI can surely cut the staff list. Technology can surely cut the queues. Exposing corrupt NHS staff can certainly help eradicate the greed and the fraud.
Third, while we rely to a great extent on science and technology to be certain, scientists are as useless as most human beings in a crisis involving some novel threat. “Relying on scientific advice” just doesn’t cut the mustard. Professor Neil Ferguson may as well have been using chicken entrails to predict death rates. SAGE has proven not to be. Dr Fauci has as much idea as any doctor opposing him using different scientific methods to massage the same data. Science in a crisis is grey and flimsy – not as black and white as many had hoped. Take the washing of shopping for example – based on a flawed experiment overdosed in Covid. Masks? Let’s see how historians judge this passing phase – more likely crazy and panicky than of sensible mind, one fears.
Fourth, Radical Islam is a shallow, psychopathic publicity stunt. While the world has been consumed by news about death, the terrorists have been relatively quiet. Cowards that they are, they have been found out. Their groomers unwilling to venture outside their Luton terraced houses, perhaps, in fear of the plague – the death market cornered by a far more effective, deathly and world-dominating force. While no doubt they can take solace in their drones – still venturing forth to seemingly soft kufr lands disguised as refugees – their dark ways are now understood and exposed.
Fifth, the days of free love are over, unless a vaccine is found soon. Snogging dozens of different partners in one epic student night has become more than unhygienic, it could now be manslaughter. Likewise paid sex also seems passé – the bars and sex clubs of Sukhumvit and De Tham Street were sordid joints (to walk past, of course, and as seen on documentaries) in any case. Perhaps now the first world can find new ways of making future generations look back on Love Island as an embarrassing phase in our social history. The next phase should not be puritan, just less throwaway and richer in emotion perhaps.
Sixth, preparation for the next lurgy will now be recognised as a serious undertaking once this pandemic has been tamed or eradicated. Previous political leaders, like David Cameron, have confessed that they did not do enough. No doubt, as we concrete over more jungle and come face to face with creatures we were never meant to meet (let alone eat, or worse) there will be more pandemics to come. Of course, these could be human-created. Since the WHO has proven itself unfit for purpose, another way of binding the nations of the globe into concerted action must be found – the UN either disbanded and replaced or radically reformed.
Finally, the Internet is a life-saver. During lockdown without it more businesses would have failed. Zoom and other comms programmes have proven their worth. Chatting with family and friends online has kept some people (especially the townies in their boxes) sane. Rather than the British Government promising that all should have access, they should live up to their promises. They really must focus on rural areas where a decent broadband speed still remains elusive to so many. To be plague-beating, fibre should be universal and our farmers – who have worked through the crisis and merit far more credit than they get – must have access at a decent price.