Covid Ennui

BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN

I’ve had enough of this Covid rubbish. It’s so tedious.

One cannot buy a paper these days without Covid stories contaminating it. Fear permeates even the pages of the FT (which, in the opinion of many amongst its dwindling readership, has been rather too pink a paper for at least a decade now). Covid stats gallingly distract one’s gaze from the commodity prices as might Lady Nugee on the La Redoute swimwear runway at Paris Fashion Week. The shrill pitch on Covid curbs and restrictions from once sound publications is glass-shatteringly painful on the mental lugholes. And I do not give a fig about what the Mayor of Scotland says about anything – why on earth the rest of Britain should have to listen to that jumped-up bog brush droning on about Covid in the news I have no idea at all.  

How we are inundated with grifters left, right and centre – most of them have no more medical nous than the Krankies – daily spouting a fresh load of tosh about vaccines and the lurgy. There are once sane commentators who have gone completely ga-ga over Covid, either due to an actual sanity deficit or, cynically, to accumulate niche Patreon income from the easily led. I don’t tend to have the time or inclination to watch much television but when I do scan through the news channels, they are almost all blurting about Covid in between Dettol and bleach ads; their breaking news basically the same Covid-related ennui that has been breaking for years now on nightmarish repeat.

So, Covid is the great story of the 21st Century so far? Maybe, but it has grown into a veritably dull one.

Us conservatives should be shouting from the rafters about how our freedoms have been grabbed by Westminster and the global elite – it’s the ‘war’ of our generation? Really?

Sorry but most talk of freedom restrictions is an exaggerated crock of shite – anyone who’s ever worked in Westminster knows full well that even if there were statist freedom inhibitors in governmental ranks, none are sufficiently competent or long termist to engineer a cynical power grab. The UK is hardly Australia, which has gone as potty as uber-strict Bhutan. As for the global institutions, they have always been magnets – like the EU – for Science Po theorists, wholly unqualified in the University of Life. They often clumsily talk a dangerous game probably because they are, err, theorists. As for the Schwabs and the Strongs – they never live long enough to see their madness come true and are most often thwarted by Republican administrations who piss their fires out overnight, or Strauss-Kahn them into irrelevance.

Of course, I have profound sympathy for those who have lost loved ones, deep pity for those suffering from long Covid and I feel terribly sorry for those NHS staff who have had to put up with an onslaught at work, worsened by deniers and other wingnut loons who dare protest outside hospital gates, even threatening hospital trusts with daft legal threats. But don’t we all want to focus on something else now?

Frankly, the news cycle has been ruined by the bat disease. This is the dullest news period since Baldwin was PM. When Green Blob, Insulate Britain muppets and MPs’ second jobs comprise the alternative fare, really what is the point of the news?

Bring back Brexit. Bring back Steptoe Corbyn and his dreadful commie trolls – all is forgiven, you made for such wonderful clickbait. Ah, how we long for one of those weird Lib Dem sex scandals – nowadays there aren’t even enough of those freaky pansexual sandal-wearers to shock us all and outperv Rennard or Oaten. Even The Sun – at which I tend to enjoy a sneaky glance during my elevenses – is ranting on this very day about how getting a cold gives some protection against Covid.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh.

Perhaps you can tell. My frustration is growing.

It is not that I am wishing for another war or the return of John Bercow. Nor am I asking for anything near a revolution – I’m conservative. But how much longer can we exist stuck on this godforsaken Groundhog Day where the loudest voices are the quacks, the Opposition is as useless as a knitted condom and our Government comes across as troublingly lethargic and louche?

A colleague sent me news yesterday that Pfizer had faked some data, as if they thought that I might care a jot. I do not. Frankly, I do not give a damn. It’s all tiresome rot. I have as much interest in quilting.

Covid has been a global disaster for so many, for the economy and especially for children. The restrictions foist on us have been unpleasant and damaging for most and have initiated a period of joy and self-discovery for others. But, please, let’s all get over it now. Some houses in the street may well have been laid low by it, and no doubt the ‘Rona will lay low many more in future, but let’s get on with living now. Let’s focus on the exhilarating not the endemic.

Covid – and all those ranting about it (which, admittedly I have just done for these last 700 words) – go take a hike. Please. Just bugger awf.

Dominic Wightman is Editor of Country Squire Magazine.