THERE now exists a new breed of post-pandemic citizens: those who, even when once continually violated by government’s brutal public health policies – and who vented their grievances at the time, but masochistically refused to suspend collusion in them – nevertheless now display a penchant for recalling the events of those two tumultuous years through rose-tinted spectacles.
You’ve doubtless met one of these curious specimens, the mutant progeny of the likes of James Delingpole’s celebrity lockdown ‘turncoats’ – I enjoyed the quiet roads; it was lovely to have paid time off work; I appreciated the slower pace of life; I had time to reassess my life; they now reminisce with fondness, longing even, despite the myriad privations of the time.
How quickly they have forgotten that their elderly vulnerable relatives were forced into solitary confinement, that the personal growth of their children was stunted, and that scores of businesses in their county went under, never to resurface, for example. And the rule of six? We don’t typically invite more than six over at Christmas and New Year anyway.
These people – the retrospectively indifferent – are dangerous; their nonchalance lethal. Their trivialisation of a protracted period of wholly unnecessary national trauma is the fertile ground on which the faux-compassionate, grubby, politically driven power-grab policies of any future public health emergency may be easily sown. They, not the virus, are the real corroder of liberty and reason.
It’s an absolute disgrace that I have to wait six weeks for an appointment with my GP, they nevertheless have the gall to whine. I am being constantly redirected to an online service! Well, what did you bloody expect? I try, but often fail, to resist spitting in near-total disbelief.
Last June, for the sake of my sanity, I managed to tear myself away from any further analysis of the pandemic and its multifarious, dystopian social offshoots, yet as I attempt to resurrect former rhythms of life, its ghosts nevertheless continue to haunt. Unfortunately, this endeavour appears to require a great deal more effort than I originally suspected: the psychological fallout of having endured two years of white-hot anger and localised ideological alienation – not to mention the universal ban on all that makes life pleasurable – not scrubbing off as easily as I’d imagined.
I acknowledge that the Government’s outrageous scorched-earth campaign of behavioural manipulation – their mainstream media-based nudge project the hysterical antithesis to the ‘keep calm and carry on’ ethos of old – was at times so nuanced, aggressive and all-pervasive as to hoodwink even the more level-headed among us. But, that even now, when it is patently clear that all original apocalyptic prophecies driving their lockdown narrative were inaccurate to the point of farce, the rose-tinted-spectacled nevertheless still choose to review the totally disproportionate demands made of us as if replaying some titillating soap opera, is beyond disastrous.
I shudder to recall the events of the pandemic, and unfortunately am witnessing the real objectives underlying the reprogramming of our sensibilities coming to fruition all around me: the crafty dismantling of our health services, and their subsequent reinvention online for our ‘safety’, and the prising open of the obscenely lucrative market for inadequately tested ‘medical advancements’, just two of the more obvious battles won in the fight to create drone-like paying customers for the unhuman technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
I am in no way ready to forgive those flagellants for whom the prospect of a rerun of said public health soap opera merely provokes indifference: those seeming fetishists now boasting, with some sort of perverse bravery, that they actually didn’t really mind the fabric of their lives being torn apart, as if it had been akin to mere experimentation with some mildly taboo branch of erotica. At least we don’t live in Ukraine, they proffer. What a slick pandemic-policy escape route that invasion was. So very, very handy. Immaculate, some might say.
Perhaps it is a failing of mine, but I feel these people do not yet deserve forgiveness. It is not a question of their complete lack of contrition, but rather one of their total Disney-esque idiocy: a force of ignorance with power sufficient enough to collapse the moral universe, and which therefore constitutes an existential threat of sorts to us all.
Perhaps one day I’ll be capable of forgiveness, but I shall certainly never forget, and I’ll be damned if I ever catch myself looking back on the pandemic as having been some captivatingly weird reprieve from the mundanity of the daily grind, and not the disgustingly cruel horror that it was.
Even as one who managed to rise above the hysteria, see around the smoke and mirrors, and through all the canards, red herrings and rebrands, it appears that untangling myself from regardless unwanted alterations to personality may sadly, for the time being at least, remain a job half undone. Each and every run-in with a deluded self-harmer is a disquieting reminder that the real architects of any future wars on morality, ethics, and self-governance are not ensconced in Whitehall and above, but are in fact all around me.
It’s a mighty and counterintuitive ask indeed to forgive those you simply cannot trust. How therefore can you be at peace when they inhabit every domain of daily life, and when at the slightest external prod they will happily dismantle everything you (and supposedly they) hold dear, whilst having the temerity to mock your agony to your face?
The march of the pandemic automatons continues apace. Just how many are there?