This is an attempt, in what feels like a bit of a temporary hiatus, to try and assess where we are with Covid restrictions and vaccine passports. As will always be the case with an exercise like this, events may well conspire to swiftly date this. Even if this is reduced to a mere snapshot in time, it’s always useful to take a few steps back to try and assess where we are and to work out where we’re going.
Here in England, many of the Covid restrictions have been lifted. There are obviously caveats in that many schools are still insisting on pupils wearing masks, even though the government guidance states this is no longer necessary. Transport operators are still ‘requesting’ that their passengers wear face masks when on crowded platforms or trains. It’s the same with the supermarkets. Anecdotal reports suggest that compliance with mask wearing is declining, albeit there are wide variations with this depending on location and demographics. Obviously in any health care setting, wearing a face mask is mandatory and being enforced.
Vaccine passports? Some venues have implemented them but thankfully, the take up to date is nowhere near as widespread as was initially feared. A lot of that may be down to the fact that those venues insisting on proof of vaccination before entry have found actually having to implement and police this is more hassle than it’s worth. Also, it’s only the bigger venues that are part of a chain that would theoretically have the resources to implement vaccine passports. If they’re finding it hard work to do this, there’s no way any of the smaller, independent venues would even consider following suit. However, having said this, there are those in government such as Sajid Javid who are still pushing hard for a wider take up of vaccine passports – we still have a long way to go before the threat of these are fully lifted once and for all.
Overall, there’s a kind of a feeling that at least in England, we’re starting to leave the restrictions and mandates behind as we return to a semblance of normality. Note the use of the term ‘semblance’ because after the last two years, nothing is ever going to be the same again. The psyops inflicted by the government’s nudge unit has done untold damage. This ranges from making people so fearful, they have hardly ventured out of their houses in the last two years to the toxic divisions between those who have swallowed every word of the narrative and those of us who started to question it way back in the spring of 2020. Divisions that make those over Brexit look trivial by comparison. Divisions that have ended friendships and relationships. Divisions that have lost us comrades. Divisions that have made us more atomised and fearful.
Are we really through with it here in England? Firstly, the Coronavirus Act 2020 is still on the books, albeit it’s duration is only supposed to be for two years and should in theory, expire on March 25. As long as this Act remains on the books, there’s always the danger the government could start to re-impose restrictions for whatever reasons they see fit. As far as we and many others are concerned, the Act needs to be repealed with immediate effect. The implementation of the mandate for all National Health Service workers to be jabbed or face the sack has been paused – presumably on the realisation the ensuing staff shortage would bring the service to its knees. Pausing the implementation of a mandate is not the same as scrapping it. There’s one slight problem – to repeal legislation and permanently lift mandates, you need a coherent government. At the moment, the UK government is in chaos as a result of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, being caught up in the row over parties held at Downing Street at the height of lockdown in the spring of 2020.
Cast your mind back to 2020. The restrictions in place then were harsh. Visiting a sick loved one in hospital was pretty much impossible. Attendance at funerals was strictly limited. Over zealous staff at funeral services even intervened to stop people physically comforting those who were grieving. We were obliged to queue outside of supermarkets and were only allowed in a handful at a time. Yet at the same time, politicians and officials were partying at Downing Street. The outrage is over the fact that many people were making sacrifices while the partying was taking place. The real take away from all of this – the elephant in the room – is being studiously ignored. Namely that those partying in Downing Street knew the rules we were being subjected to were disproportionate in relation to the actual threat we faced, which is why they felt perfectly safe being in close proximity to each other.
With the government in chaos as the pressure piles up on Johnson, not much is going to happen until the situation is eventually resolved with a new leader. One that may well be more receptive to and compliant with the agendas of the likes of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Those baying for Johnson’s blood should be careful what they wish for. Mind you, many of those doing the baying may well be very happy with what would basically be a WEF stooge in place. We do live in strange times which have revealed the inner authoritarian in too many people.
As we’re in what can best be described as a hiatus, how are people feeling? Relieved that it appears to be over but there’s no sense of euphoria. The restrictions and divisions of the last two years have left people feeling stressed out and exhausted. However, looming on the horizon is an increase in inflation and a massive hike in fuel bills. So, it’s a case of staggering out of one shitshow only to be confronted by the next one hurtling down the line towards us. Quite how a stressed out and mentally exhausted populace is going to react to this is anyone’s guess. It is however, a reasonable assumption that things are going to get ‘messy’ as a growing number of people are pushed towards their breaking points.
While many people here in England await what they hope is the end of all this, some eyes are turning to anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine passport protests that are happening overseas, the most notable one being the ongoing truckers protest in Canada. Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media have barely mentioned it to date. However, it is starting to feature in some reports, presumably on the basis that given the sheer size and potential political impact of the protests, they’re pretty much impossible to ignore. Let’s just say that the media coverage has not exactly been without some bias. It was this that prompted us to produce our previous post featuring a number of ‘on the ground’ reports and reflections from Canada: An attempt to redress the balance – 4.2.22.
As ever, too many so called ‘radicals’ have chosen to either ignore what’s been happening in Canada and a growing number of other countries, or to denigrate and smear it. What we are witnessing is in essence a working class uprising that encompasses people from across the political spectrum and the many who stand outside of it. The kind of uprising that makes the distinctions between left and right increasingly redundant. This is because of the emergence of new divisions between the majority of us who want freedom from government (and corporate) diktat and the significant minority who see the state and the corporations they serve as having a role in ‘guiding’ our lives.
We’ve made the point that in any uprising, the majority of people will not have a perfectly formed political outlook – although what that actually means is a matter of some debate! It’s this point about uprisings that we have tried to address in this piece here: Dealing with reality… – 2.2.22. For the so called ‘radicals’ to either ignore, or worse, denigrate and smear what’s going on, or even worse than that, to actually sabotage it is an abrogation of duty that to be brutally honest, is absolutely unforgivable. History will not forgive these renegades.
The two of us behind this blog have been activists in one guise or another since the late 1970s. We’ve seen and experienced a lot. On the basis of that, we can categorically state that the situation we’re living through now is unique and one that will go down in the annals of history. History is written by the winners. We have to do everything we can to make sure we’re the ones doing the winning.