The role of the citizen in the Covid dystopia is to applaud the state, not question it. Every Thursday night, on your doorsteps or your balconies, you must clap for the benevolent state and its gracious health service. Big Brother loves you and you must love it back. Vast propaganda billboards remind us of this duty. From Wembley Stadium to motorway hoardings to the front windows of the most respectable citizens’ houses, the same three words loom, like an omnipresent reminder to the masses of the only opinion you’re allowed to hold in Covid Britain: ‘Thank you NHS.’
The despotic instinct runs riot. We have seen police officers telling people to get out of their own front gardens, to stop walking in the Peak District, to get off park benches and return to their house arrest. Snitching is the only thriving business. By the end of April, British police forces had received 214,000 calls from Covid Britain’s willing army of spies. ‘Always the eyes watching you’, as Winston Smith put it.
New rituals ensure order and obedience. A face mask, like a burqa in Afghanistan, signifies your fealty to the new religion: social distancing. ‘Stay two metres apart’, the relentless propaganda instructs, even though the medical benefits of such distance are far from clear. People do the awkward pavement dance to avoid getting too close to passing strangers, and take their place in long, silent, fractured queues outside supermarkets, keen not to displease any lockdown fanatic who might be watching.
Not only is work strictly regulated in this one-ideology nation – so is play. There will be no hugging of people from outside your household until autumn at the earliest, says Matt Hancock, the secretary of state for human touch. A survey found that some people (possibly as high as one in five) are breaking lockdown to have sexual intercourse. Sex is an illicit activity in Covid Britain, as in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Hancock is our one-man Junior Anti-Sex League keeping a watchful eye over citizens and their wandering hands. In Orwell’s dystopia, ‘the sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion’. Same here. Just ask Neil Ferguson. He lost his job for having sex (when it should have been for his dodgy models).
According to Wired magazine’s UK Website, England won’t complete its easing procedures until (ironically enough) the Fourth of July:
Alongside the alerts are three steps the government is introducing to ease the lockdown. The first of these steps commences on May 13 – when some restrictions on who can go to work are being eased, as well as the ability to meet one person from another household and the allowance of unlimited exercise.
There are no confirmed dates for steps two and three of easing the lockdown but the government has set out its ideal timings. Step two could being from June 1. This step would allow a phased return for schools, with pupils from reception, year one and year six being allowed back into classrooms. “The government’s ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review,” the government says.
Also in step two could be the reopening of “non-essential retail”. The government has not outlined the types of businesses that it considered to be non-essential retailers in any detail but it is not thought to include pubs and similar firms.
Step three, which may happen from July 4, would see the reopening of some of the hospitality industry and other public places. When this point is reached, many of the remaining lockdown measures would be eased. This may include the reopening of hairdressers, beauty salons, pubs, hotels, and leisure facilities such as cinemas.
“Still More Evidence That Lockdowns Were A Massive Waste Of Time, Money, And Lives,” Issues & Insights, a spin-off from Investor’s Business Daily, argues: “This isn’t to say that no action was needed to cope with this uncharted virus. That’s not the argument any of these researchers are making. What they are saying is that the lockdowns weren’t based on sound science, and that far less intrusive measures would likely have been just as effective, if not more so, without destroying the economy. To be sure, there are studies claiming that the lockdowns reduced infections and saved lives. But as JP Morgan’s Kolanovic noted, ‘Unlike rigorous testing of potential new drugs, lockdowns were administered with little consideration that they might not only cause economic devastation but potentially more deaths than COVID-19 itself.’ Where’s the ‘party of science’ when you need it?”