Be honest, those who supported the “lockdown” policy and believed it would be all over soon: did you actually read the report that put us into it to find out what was in store for us? Somehow, I doubt it.
Yet, even without looking at Ferguson’s hopelessly wrong report (click here to see just how hopelessly wrong), it was plainly obvious that it wasn’t going to be over in three weeks, and that we were moving into an era of what I would call a Medical Tyranny, or Health & Safety Despotism, take your pick. Why? Because once a people have accepted that these actions are right and proportional to the threat of a virus with a similar mortality to a bad flu season, how exactly do you propose going back to normal? If hysteria, fear and panic are created on those kind of levels, rather than calmness, reason and proportionality, all you’ve done is set a new benchmark for all future threats, from which there is only one escape — that is, to admit that the whole thing has been a monumental blunder, and vow never to repeat it again.
One of the few people in the public eye to really grasp this was the Swedish epidemiologist, Johanne Giesecke. Where others appeared to look not much further than the end of their nose, he was looking way off into the future, not just in terms of the Swedish herd immunity strategy (which is, I think, now largely achieved), nor the economic and social consequences. No, he also foresaw with amazing prescience the conundrum we would face, whereby on the one hand we could not keep lockdown indefinitely, since it would destroy our society:
“But then, what next? No democratic society can remain in lockdown for many months or years. Their economies cannot withstand it, and the public won’t allow it.”
Yet on the other hand, according to Giesecke, we wouldn’t be able to lift it fully, because having acted in this way for such a virus, we’d have to continue with the same treatment for every virus of similar lethality that comes along, or even the same one if it doesn’t go away, because we had created a precedent and because public fear would demand it:
“You’ve painted yourself into a corner. What are you gonna do for the next 30 years? I don’t know how you gonna handle that. But that’s your problem!”
Well quite. What are we going to do if Covid-19 comes back in the winter? Or Covid-20 comes along next year? Not to mention Covids-21,22,23 etc? Or maybe even a really bad influenza? Are we going to shutter our economy every time? Are we going to quarantine millions of healthy people again? The precedent has been set, the fear has been created, the Pandora’s Box has been opened. How do we shut it?
Although the worst aspects of the national physical “lockdown” may have been lifted, what I would describe as Psychological Lockdown is here to stay. We see it in the increasing pressure, and soon-to-be state-mandated wearing of face coverings, which is something I had previously associated with some of the more intolerant regimes in the Middle East. The mandated wearing of these secular burkas is hideous, dehumanising, and extremely unnerving, and the thought of my children having to wear these things and cover their faces is most distressing. It is remarkable that people accept being told to wear these things by a Government which just three months ago went out of its way to tell us that they were unnecessary and that there was no evidence for their efficacy (which there isn’t). I also find it incredible that people can blithely put them on now, of all times, when deaths from the virus have almost come to an end, and yet it doesn’t occur to them to ask why — if the things are oh so necessary — the Government advised against wearing them in March. Is this cognitive dissonance on steroids? Perhaps, but then again, I have recently come to realise that many do not simply believe that the Government follows the science; they believe the Government is the science, even if that involves believing utterly contradictory messages from day to day, or month to monthPsychologically locked down.