I’m not a cynic by nature but when lockdown was first announced I really couldn’t see the general public getting behind it. My concern was how hard the police were going to have to work to enforce the situation without the appropriate statutory powers to enforce it. I knew that the many good, honest decent people would take responsibility but what about the many thousands that embarrass us by their completely outrageous behaviour in our pubs and clubs week after week, or even worse, the morons who drag Britain’s name through the mud in holiday destinations across the globe. No, it didn’t bode well for what was absolutely central to our ability to get the spread of this disease under control.
How wrong was I. The vast majority of people not only appeared to hear the message but to genuinely understand its criticality to public health and chose to accept the strict rules imposed for the greater good. Actually, it wasn’t long before we were witnessing the type of behaviour that people across the world used to associate with being British, kindness, care for others and outstanding bravery. The latter being showcased on a daily basis by our amazing NHS and Emergency Services, supported as always by the world’s best Armd Forces. we even pulled together nationally on a Thursday night, week after week, to recognise and thank our heroes. To my mind, this terrible, frightening virus that was claiming lives by the thousands, may leave us with a most unlikely legacy; a refreshed sense of common decency, care for others and a real sense of togetherness.
Then, as we edged ever closer to a controlled relaxation of the lockdown, the sun came out. Almost instantaneously, we started to throw away all of the benefits we had built up through isolation and social distancing, to visit the beaches. No thought to an almost inevitable second wave of Coronavirus, something that we were all aware was like to happen if we lost our national grip on reality. The last weekend was a disgrace to watch, thousands upon thousands of people simply ignoring the safety rules; the same people who had helped us build up hope that we might avoid a second wave and the further loss of innocents to this nightmare disease. all for a splash about in the water, really.
We are all different I know, but surely right minded people don’t think it is a good idea to drive all the way from Birmingham to Bournemouth beach in the current situation. That’s only one example and I wholly recognise that the vast majority of Brummies’ would not even contemplate doing so. The problem is it only takes a few from a range of areas to place our country back into a potential disaster scenario. The real sadness is I have no doubt that none of the people who attended the street party in Bristol, hundreds of beaches over the weekend, or indeed, Anfield last night want to see more deaths in our communities. The reality however is their actions are likely to deliver that outcome; will the same people be as bullish and as selfish if the next wave takes their parents or grandparents……..I leave it at that. #wereinittogether #thinkofothers #stopbeingselfish