After Johnson’s fuzzy and weak announcement last night, my government sent me a text (yes, they do have my number – where from I wonder?) this morning at 08.00 telling me to stay home and giving me a link to this page:
Although, at first sight, this seems more directive than Johnson’s “it would be terribly nice if you chaps would…” approach – I mean the background is black so it must be serious and the sentences are short and sound like orders – but it still doesn’t give any indication of how this will be policed.
How would anyone know if I was outside to get food?
What is meant by health reasons? – a medical appointment, a trip to the pharmacist or just a post.prandial perambulation?
And why doesn’t my government know that two meters converts to six feet seven inches, not six feet?
The advice for resident Brits to return home if they’re currently abroad, seems to hint that the UK or, more likely, Great Britain, will close its borders soon. I wonder, if it does that, how long the government will try to hold on to that splendid, Brexit flavoured, isolation.
I followed the link to the “Full Guidance” (to the layman, does that still sound like something short of an actual order?) and found this:
1. Staying at home
You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
That’s a bit clearer but still doesn’t sound easy to enforce.
This is Day One of what could be a lockdown that goes on for three months. It doesn’t feel like a holiday.
My wife and I both enjoy our solitude. We don’t have jobs to worry about or kids or pets to take care of. We ought to be able to sit in our garden and enjoy the sunshine.
Yet, the worry is still there.
The worry that the government is still not doing enough.
The worry that Johnson will use this emergency to take the powers that he will find a reason not to let go of.
The worry for all the vulnerable people we know, either those in poor health or in or close to poverty.
The depression that builds from being unable to do anything about any of it.