What Price Freedom Day?

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June 14, 2021

I wrote this post yesterday, but didn’t post it for various reasons. However, I am delighted to be proven wrong in regard to my point on the Government and PM not showing courage and true leadership; they have done exactly that and I applaud them for it. My original post is below.

Like everyone else I am looking forward to the lifting of COVID restrictions, but only when the time is right to do so. It has been a long, painful and heartbreaking journey since the pandemic arrived on our shores, but it makes no sense to take any risks for the sake of a few weeks of extended lockdown. Patience is even more important when you consider it is our younger generation who are now most at risk. Although many of them are dismissive of the threat, and we all accept that this is a natural stance, remembering how indestructible we felt at their stage of life, we must consider the bigger picture. Too many have already paid the ultimate price to underestimate the importance of this next key decision.
I have often remarked that language is everything, and it is particularly so when communicating to the nation. So, I must admit to real frustration with the press in their use of the term “Freedom Day”, which is unhelpful at best and simply reckless in reality. Surely it is more appropriate to champion a route out of lockdown that minimises the risk to the public and demonstrates our commitment to preventing further spread of this killer disease. We are in an incredible position of strength as a result of the most effective vaccination programme the world has ever witnessed, but we must remember how badly wrong some of the earlier decisions were and the tragic outcomes of those decisions. Is another few weeks really so much to ask to prevent another potential lethal wave of the pandemic. I personally fear that the Government and PM are too focused on trying to please everybody, rather than showing true strength and leadership, which is why language is so important at this time. Freedom gained through the acceptance of unnecessary risk and weak leadership could cost us dearly, do we really need to take that chance?
We should also give some thought to the fact that only 13% of the world’s adult population have been fully vaccinated, which is a truly terrifying statistic as we look to the future. It’s time to turn our attention to what awaits the billions of people living in countries with totally inadequate medical infrastructure over which to deliver the life saving vaccinations. Where the logistic capability to achieve the required distribution simply doesn’t exist, and the means to keep the medication at the requisite temperatures would take years to establish, costing money these countries simply don’t have. This pandemic isn’t going away just because the richer countries are starting to gain some control over it; it will inevitably rage across the poorer continents, devastating whole countries and leaving a trail of death in its wake. These countries and continents have nowhere to turn except to us, and we must be ready and prepared to help them or accept destruction on a scale we have never seen before in our lifetimes. These countries need us to get it right, because if we don’t then their chances of survival are significantly reduced as the pandemic takes a hold, as it inevitably will. Surely another month (or even more) is very little to ask when considering the plight of others and their reliance on our future help to save countless lives?


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