Never one to mince his words Tom McCann is back with another very personal view of how the pandemic and being deprived of our freedoms has affected society. And he asks what’s been the point of it all if after more than 30m people have been vaccinated we are still unable to be released from lockdown?
Our vaccination programme is the envy of the world… at least I think that’s the message the government is trying to feed us, so why then does a recent report by the seemingly all-powerful advisory group SAGE suggest that a full release from lockdown restrictions in June could result in a wave of hospitalisations equal to January’s peak?
So I’ve been wondering what’s the point of the 30 million vaccinations (and counting) and a year spent in and out of freedom and lockdown? It really is beginning to feel – to me at any rate – what’s been the point of it all?
If even after all the research, development and manufacturing of vaccines and then the vaccinating; if even after all this time spent away from our loved ones and from the things we love that make life what it is – or is supposed to be; if even after all our collective sacrifice from loss of career and education to even life itself, it seems as if none of has been enough – so tell me someone, what was the point?
There is no use in debating whether or not the previous or current lockdowns were right or wrong. They are part of the past now. People must answer for those in the future but that is a matter for then; for now, we must ask how much longer can we live like this, without all that makes a human life worth living?
I could wax lyrical of lost loves and lost chances; I could write about economic factors that I don’t entirely understand but understand well enough to know we’ll all be so fucked (excuse the language but that is how strongly I feel) in five years if we don’t return to normality sometime soon that we may as well all give up now—but it’s useless.
I could ask questions about whether or not it is right or wrong to be asked—or rather demanded—to give up so much of my youth, so much opportunity and money and to receive nothing in return except the bill for it all after the fact for which I’ll pay through my taxes until I die and those who were protected are all long dead—but it’s useless. Any questioning is culled and called compassionless; you ask what we’re doing and you’re answered “what’s right!” but who even agreed on moral rights and wrongs in the first place?
…the emptiest platitude that ever did exist – that ‘we are all in this together!’
I didn’t ask for any of this. At times it feels as I was gaslit into accepting it; that I am being gaslit into acquiescing to the idea of losing even more of what are supposed to be the best years of my life to protect a generation who have long ago lived theirs, and for what? I have not even received any gratitude – as a matter of fact it seems of late I’ve received the exact opposite; for as the vaccination rate increases so too in near perfect alignment does the rate at which people agree with vaccine passports.
For a year been we’ve been waterboarded with what is perhaps the emptiest platitude that ever did exist – that “we are all in this together!” and yet, as we seem to all be leaving this pandemic finally, we are not leaving it together at all, with all those vaccinated seemingly happy to return to normality and see their loved ones again, while the people who were never at risk from the virus languish in lockdown even still having spent so long and so much protecting these very people.
So much for being all in it together, eh?
To which you’ll no doubt hear reply of, well, it’s just selfishness to ask the rest of us to stay locked down for you; that we must revive the economy and it can be quicker done if the vaccinated are free; that it would be immoral to keep those who are protected locked down for the sake of the few who aren’t.
Okay. I’ll accept that. With a condition: to say too that it was selfish of those at risk to ask the rest of society to lockdown along with them, for them; that the economy would have been better off if not for the rest of society locking down along with them, for them; that it was immoral to ask at all the many who were not at risk to lockdown along with the few who were.
But I won’t ask that. Who would I be to ask a thing as callous as that? I couldn’t—how could I?