I did one of my regular walks the other Sunday. It takes me from my back door up through the woods and fields to what I call ‘the tops’. Once I get there I sit on the nicely shaped rock I always sit on and enjoy a cuppa* and bask for ten minutes or so in distant views of Derbyshire’s Peak District. It’s an easy walk, once you get up there, and it’s about seven miles in length. Perfect for creating a thirst and with it the excuse for a beer.
On my way back I tiptoed through the farmyard so as not to wake the dogs and followed the dusty track down to the road, which is about the half way point. And then, because of roadworks, I had to wait a short while for a line of cars to pass before I could cross.
As I watched the cars my attention was drawn to the last three in the queue, all of which had a sole occupant and each of whom was sporting a face mask. I remember wondering at the time if that was some sort of a record.
And that and its tangents became the theme for the rest of the walk, much of which was spent in consideration of the thought processes these mask-wearers had employed in the course of deciding to mask-up.
What purpose did they believe the mask served as they drove along, alone? Had they been me, would they have worn their masks for this walk in the fresh air and winter sun with, once the cars had passed, not a soul in sight?
You can understand nervous types wearing a mask when they mix with the general public, but wearing one when alone, in an air-conditioned car? Just how nervous are they? Solitary occupancy of a car has got to be one of the least likely environments in which to catch a bug. Why use a mask to protect yourself from others when there are no others about?
Even after a visit to the pub and a couple of pints of my favourite ale I was no nearer to finding a convincing explanation. Had they recently had a passenger in the car whom they feared had left behind a few stubborn Covid gremlins that couldn’t be evacuated? Had they been wearing the mask and forgotten to take it off? Or maybe they’d got so used to wearing one they felt uncomfortable without it?
Who knows for sure. My take is that many mask-wearers are intimidated into compliance by a combination of government pressure, horror stories and the fear of attracting opprobrium for not following official direction.
Initially I had little sympathy for people who ‘took the mask’, especially the solo masked driver whom I always dismissed as having lost their common sense. But my attitude has mellowed. And I’ve come to see them as victims of the nightmare narrative conducted by government, mass media and health service and designed to intimidate and control. The solo masked driver is a product of that nightmare narrative.
The population has been terrorised. Perhaps the government should be referred to its own ‘Prevent’ organisation.
Government and ‘experts’ got together to plan how best to manipulate the population into doing its bidding. They came down on the side of terror. Now isn’t that an odd way for a servant to treat his master?
Establishment bods must have been laughing their sides sore as the gullible swallowed everything, hook, line and sinker, no matter how daft. Masks, social distancing, isolation, tests, sickness, death, pandemic, a couple of inches off the bottom of classroom doors. Some gave the game away, they couldn’t keep a straight face. Hancock was one. Every bit of his own bad news was delivered with a snigger. And there’s that celebrity doctor. The one who said we should wear masks while swimming. He was literally laughing as he told us. Boris is the same, he can’t stifle the smirk.
And yet for all the politicians’ clearly observable insincerity, people have gone along with them and their ‘experts’. They allowed themselves to be brow-beaten into following the government’s sage (sic) advice, no matter how absurd.
But why did the government opt for the bully-boy approach? And the opposition was with them, demanding even more compulsion. Why didn’t they just get people onboard? If they knew their explanation of events and plan of action wouldn’t be followed without force why didn’t they revise them? It wasn’t as if they were sound, it was obvious for all to see that they were riddled with contradiction. And instead of doing the easy thing, allowing logic to be their guide, they doubled down on idiocy and painted themselves into a corner. Why? Were they afraid logic would lead in the wrong direction?
The main responsibilities of government are security, public services and social order. And in carrying out its tasks government has a duty to act in the best interests of the people whom it serves. What is government for if not for this? Opposition has a role too, to ensure government acts for the people.
That’s how it’s supposed to be. The Covid fiasco shows that that’s not how it is.
If the government was guided by our best interests it would have treated us as adults. Instead of ‘do as I say not as I do’ we’d have had it explained how the evidence and the arguments led to the proposals. What we got was a government cock and bull story that left everybody confused, especially the government. Their problem was that the facts didn’t tally with the narrative and had to be manipulated or hidden, and sometimes both.
Hiding behind experts
At times the politicians hid behind ‘experts’ claiming they were ‘only following the science’ but even the experts couldn’t give us a straight answer. According to my old uncle, ‘An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he knows everything about nothing’. That just about sums it up; these ‘experts’ clearly don’t know enough about their subject to explain it to the rest of us.
The emphasis on the mask was a microcosm of the establishment’s response to the ‘pandemic’ – idiotic beyond words. In order to restrict the inhalation of a virus the advice was to restrict the inhalation of oxygen and the exhalation of waste products by covering mouth and nose with a cloth. Yeah, good idea. And so it was with the pandemic. They learned about a virus with a 99% survival rate and acted like it was the bubonic plague. They cancelled urgent operations, they closed schools and shut down businesses. They turned a health issue into a health, economic and societal crisis. The politician solves the problem by making it worse.
Their explanation of problem and solution was a tangle of incoherence culminating in the actors in this farce never quite knowing which story they were supposed to be telling at any particular time.
I suspect this is why the ‘do as you are told’ option was chosen as opposed to us being included in the discussion. They had so little confidence in the narrative, force was the only option; their argument was so weak it couldn’t bear examination. So eager were they to do their masters’ bidding they forced it through and ignored the impact their terror tactics would have on the physical and psychological well-being of the people, but since when has our well-being ever been their concern?
They were ‘only following orders’. Not ours though.
* You guessed it, Grandma T’s.