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STAY SAFE: The Abuse and Neglect of Care

Sinead Murphy

The global ‘lockdown’ has sought to defy our capacities for analysis, with its shock-and-awe impact on what has been our way of life. I begin, then, with a more banal scenario, which makes for rather dull reading, but from which it is possible to scale-up to an understanding of ‘Covid19.’

*

My six-year-old son, Joseph, is Autistic, and in the second year of his schooling at a ‘mainstream’ institution. Towards the end of February of this year, I received a phone call from his teaching assistant, about the application of Vaseline to his lips. A banality, to be sure, and yet those who care for young people with Autism will know that no detail in the cut and thrust of daily life is too banal to become of material importance to the comfort of everyone around.

That morning, I had noticed that Joseph was beginning to suffer from chapped lips – in the windy northeast of England, not very unusual. Everybody knows, of course, that if you do not use some kind of protective balm, you have to be very disciplined to resist the urge to moisten chapped lips with your tongue; everybody also knows that this serves only to worsen their condition.

As with many aspects of life, however, this mundane one, when in play in the context of Autism, is potentially much more serious. It is not possible to explain to Joseph that he must not lick his lips. If you are in time, you can apply the appropriate balm, although it is also not possible to explain to Joseph that he ought not to rub this off immediately.

Neither is this something that you can simply, physically, prevent him from doing, as you can prevent his dismounting a chair, for instance; you can hold back his arms to stop him, but he cannot, during that time of restraint, be brought to accept it as he can be brought to accept having to remain on a chair; the call of the sensory is simply too overwhelming, and the distress of being asked to ignore that call, simply too profound.

So, the hope is that you have caught the drying lips in time, that your applications of balm are sufficiently frequent, and that the residue that remains from its being every time wiped away is enough to soothe and to defuse the situation.

If things do not work out well, the chapped lips, within a few hours, become sore, at which point Joseph adds to his constant licking of them an equally constant rubbing at them with his hand and his sleeve, which causes them to become more sore, and leads him to begin to be distressed by this soreness and to indicate that he would like it to be removed, although any attempt to soothe it – applying some kind of cream – will be resisted and cause further distress and will be undone by more immediate rubbing.

The worst result is that a large patch of Joseph’s face, around his mouth, becomes cracked and bleeding, affecting his ability to eat and drink comfortably and generally to be in the world with any ease, none of which can be discussed with him or explained to him. The whole situation can last as long as two weeks. Hence, on the morning in question, I applied Vaseline to Joseph’s lips a number of times before school.

When we arrived at the doorway of his classroom and were met by his teaching assistant, I explained the situation, applied more Vaseline myself then and there, and handed over the tub, indicating that I wished it to be used regularly throughout the day. Joseph’s assistant was aware of the potential gravity of the situation, and readily agreed.

Then, later that morning, I received the phone call, letting me know that, having seen the tub of Vaseline being produced and used, another teacher had questioned whether Vaseline was named in Joseph’s file as a product that could be applied to his skin and whether I had read through and signed any document that proved that I was accepting of such a product being administered by designated members of staff at the school.

The answer to these questions was no, and no, and so I received a call to inform me that no further application of Vaseline could be made to Joseph’s lips without my having first signed a paper to testify that this was something I agreed to.

I drove to the school, was talked through a printed form, which I signed, and after which the Vaseline was used as I wished it to be, but at least ninety minutes had passed in the interim, during which Joseph’s lips had deteriorated from lack of attention, and a situation that might have lasted one day went on to last, in this case, about five days. But more disturbing to me, during that time, than the sight of Joseph’s broken lips was the consciousness of what had made them so, of the defining aspects of this so-banal slice of his institutional care.

Most defining of all: the abdication of care, for the sake of a more explicit enterprise, one that, unlike the lowly duties of care, admits of protocols and their documentation, regulation, assessment and review. This enterprise is an offshoot of care, or it would seem to be, but is so overgrown as to suck the life out of care in rendering it salient and fit for insertion into the institution’s documentary boxes.

This is the enterprise, not of care, but of safety, an achievement that is apparently related to care – perhaps even to the most careful of care – but that actually works against the grain of care, in its mission to bring clarity to that which would remain in the shadows and to pin down that which can only run free; in its determination, in short, to administer care to its death.

For, the enterprise of safety is an enterprise that trades on the careful management of that to which care is essentially indifferent: risk, in all its measurable gradations, as what is, without question, to be averted.

It is the rendering salient of risk, then, that is the great achievement of our institutions’ focus on safety; risk, abroad as avoidable and to be avoided, and fear of which lends to every instance of its documentation and planned mitigation the heady sensation of salvation, of the certainty that we do, after all, really care.

Next to this, the unheralded banality of plain old care offers little indeed to satisfy.

*

But all of that was many months ago, between which time and now, the northeast of England, like most other regions, became a ghostly place to live – no more encounters at the doorways of classrooms; no more classrooms, no more doorways, no more encounters. As the global media bombarded us with the threat to us all posed by the ‘Coronavirus,’ the government instituted responses to that threat that, only a few weeks before, were surely utterly unimaginable.

The crisis, we were constantly reminded, was a fluid one, and fact not that easy to distinguish from all the hype. But one thing at least was very quickly undeniable: the stunning readiness, on the basis of almost non-existent data, with which the populations of previously-advertised-as ‘liberal’ democracies accepted an erosion of their most fundamental liberties, such that their sitting at the bedside of a dying relative, their strolling at the beach with a friend, their sharing a glass of wine with a neighbour, their sitting on a park bench to watch as the world goes by, were, all of them, banned, perhaps even punishable by arrest, imprisonment and fines.

The readiness, you see, is all; how prone we were shown to be, how poised, for the comprehensive dissolution of our arrangements for living. So prone, so poised, that this ‘unprecedented’ situation simply must have had its precedents.

And so it had. Not least in the matter of Joseph’s Vaseline. Surely a trivial affair when compared with the ‘Covid’ crisis, and yet with precisely the same characteristics as have played out in the new disease.

Most obviously, of course, there is that salience of risk and wholesale aversion to it, which made the furore around Joseph’s Vaseline as it made the furore around ‘Covid19’; whatever the virus’ toll will finally be, remarkable almost immediately was how naturally it came to us all to posit its spread and then move to avoid it.

So naturally, and so untempered by any weighing up of the risk of the virus against the prospect of economic, social, personal and political upheaval, that the identification and avoidance of risk is clearly, for us, by now a second nature. We have been, this time, so apt to see a threat and move without hesitation to escape it, that we are revealed as a population already set-up to hedge against risks that are placed in stark relief, at the expense of attending to anything else.

Certainly at the expense of attending to our care.

Affected by our aversion to the perceived risk of the spread of ‘Covid19’ was just that suffocation of care by safety that was notable in the scenario of Joseph’s Vaseline. Anyone might have expected that the ‘Covid19’ virus would have called for the exercise of especially assiduous care, over those who contracted it or who might have contracted it and were the most vulnerable to its effects – data suggests that that was, in the main, people who were over seventy and who already suffered from a serious disease.

This heightened requirement for care would have made demands on us personally, of course, as well as on government structures, equipment and personnel.

And yet, taking care of the vulnerable was not the dominant response to ‘Covid19,’ which, from its first appearance in our midst – here in the UK and in most places around the world – prompted, not so much the care of those vulnerable as measures to ensure the safety of us all.

Perhaps for the first time in history, those who were healthy found themselves quarantined too, with the injunction to Stay Safe trading between distanced friends and families as if we were all of us somehow in danger.

And this direction of our energies towards our safety did not only cause us to neglect our duties of care: as in the case of Joseph’s Vaseline, it constituted a direct erosion of their very possibility, our concern for everyone’s safety actively stifling many of our hopes of being cared for at all, by each other and by the organizations in which we also deposit that responsibility.

For all that our attention was oriented towards the efforts of ‘key workers’ on behalf of us all and to ad hoc upsurges of support for each other, it is not possible to deny that the overriding effect of this pandemic obsession with our safety was exposition and active depletion of the many ways in which we still did exercise vestiges of care over one another – it is not simply, then, that we did not for a while have the time or the energy to care; many aspects of care were explicitly out of bounds, against the rules, unsafe.

Visits to the isolated elderly: unsafe; honouring the dead and their survivors: unsafe; support for the disabled: unsafe; even life-saving treatment for cancer: unsafe. So many aspects of care, not just overlooked but outlawed, or, at the very least, rendered vaguely ill-advisable.

Even that gate which you might have held open, only a couple of weeks before, so that the woman behind you with the push chair and the shopping bags might the easier pass through, was allowed to swing shut on her approach; this most mundane piece of care, become somehow unsafe.

And when the gate banged closed, we did not look behind sheepishly or apologetically, or perhaps we did so only for a short while, as we only smiled for a short while at those from whom we moved two metres away. For, very quickly, our lack of care for one another came to be exercised triumphantly, as proof of our keeping each other safe. Which is the great recompense of trading care for safety. It enables what taking care of one another does not offer. It enables us to signal our righteousness, to show it, to measure out how much we really care and then declare it to the world.

Care would circulate indistinctly, you see, and is not nearly so satisfying to our managerial sensibilities, which require rigid markers not implicit understandings, and whose impulse always is to refract our interactions through some apparently neutral sign system, though such a system works mostly to block those interactions under the aegis of their mere refraction.

It is this that explains the debacle of Joseph’s Vaseline, as the banal add-on duty of applying it a few times to his chapped lips was so readily forsaken for the opportunity to signal how good his school is at keeping its students safe, in the ready-and-waiting slots on generic documents, appropriate for submission to regulatory bodies that have the remit to award a school as ‘outstanding’ if the signals of its really caring are sufficiently loud and clear.

Nothing hidden, nothing unacknowledged, nothing unrewarded: the unhistoric practices of care exchanged for the blazoning signals of our Staying Safe.

If there is anything unprecedented about the current crisis, it is not its stifling of our care of each other by its overwhelming concern for our safety – our care of each other has long been thus stifled.

It is that it renders so blatant the tension that exists between the false friends of safety and care as to have made the reneging upon care of each other itself the signal of our concern for each other’s safety, bypassing the bureaucratic language and the documentation that were still required in the case of Joseph’s Vaseline, in which simply not applying the balm did not yet suffice to show how much we really cared; when we steered clear of one another during the ‘lockdown,’ when we did not visit our neighbour, when we avoided helping to carry the bags or to open the door, when we did not hug or kiss or even shake each other’s hand, every minute and miserable deletion of the rituals of care was itself the siren of our great and global virtue.

*

Care, then, has been well and truly stifled, literally right before our eyes, by our ever-growing need of being seen to care. And no easier way of being seen to care than to signal our concern for our safety – false friends indeed, safety and care, when pursuit of the one implies the same thing as shameful neglect of the other. No care is care enough now that is not its hyperbolic signal; no care is care enough now that is not to be seen and from afar; no care is care enough now that is not the highly visible promise of our safety.

High-visibility is a well-established trope in our society, a growing phenomenon well before the arrival of ‘Covid19.’ As we have wandered lonely, it has long been a host of neon that has gladdened our gaze – whole swathes of high-visibility arm bands and gilets and jackets and backpacks and bottles and hats and gloves and socks and shoes, worn at all times of the night and day, under the highest of suns, and in the most remote of country retreats.

As if visibility, unaugmented, is just not visible enough; as if one is hidden in plain sight, unseen…and therefore unsafe, the curious link between being seen and being safe forged by a line in outdoor apparel. Our common-or-garden being in the world, not seen enough so not safe enough – not on the commons, not in the gardens.

Groups of children, in the morning light, skipping in high-visibility hand-in-hand the few short steps from their breakfast club to their school. Only the chance that Staying Safe affords us, to show how much we really care, can explain this garish excess; only our growing need to show that we care, to see that we care, to wear our caring hearts on our sleeves.

PPE is an acronym newly tripping off our tongues, but we have been in Personal Protective Equipment for quite some time, drawn by the beautiful simultaneity of its ensuring our safety and signalling our care, loath to take it off, lest, with it, we doff that certainty, ever more difficult to establish, that we care and are cared for.

But when everyone is neon, what then? What ultra high-visibility will be our signal then? How, then, will we see that we care? How far are we from calling forth the dangers from which we must keep each other safe, just so our signals can grow brighter and more brash, just so we can be sure we really care?

Or, are we there already? One and a half million people died last year of Tuberculosis – a highly infectious and preventable disease of the lungs. ‘Covid19’ too is a clear and present danger, but is it not also a concoction, a phantasm of extraordinary threat to merit the signalling of extraordinary care? It is certainly a land of opportunity: as the risk of unaugmented visibility is compounded now by the risk of unfiltered respiration, the chance to signal how much we really care opens onto new and fertile territory.

Hence the scramble for a mask to wear over our mouth and nose. Hence the rash of home-spun copies – in the colours and patterns of shirts no longer worn to work – fashioned with enterprise by a population that has long been unable to bear the unproclaiming diffuseness of care, a population that does not care and does not feel cared for if the sirens of salvation do not sound.

And sound loudly – the business of signalling, yet another of our society’s inflationary sectors, requiring ever more salient signs, ever louder sirens, to be seen and heard over the general glut and clamour. When the distances are increased so the signals can and must increase too.

Across a chasm of two metres or more, you had better be and you can be very loud and clear. So we step away from each other – further and with greater ceremony every day. And we don the masks of dubious protection and drown out the despair of lives that have just been cancelled with an almost hysterical display of our virtue: breathing itself, now riddled with risk, and the chance to Stay Safe, that is, to signal how much we really care, abroad as never before.

It is curious, though, is it not, that the eyes are allowed to stay open. Hardly a coincidence, that the eyes are the last to go. Nil by mouth; nil by nose; nil by ears too, long plugged with their pacificiers. But the eyes, wide and alert. Darkness falling over our other senses, and not so gradually, but the eyes left to see, floating cartoonishly, disembodied. After all, nothing that is not seen can be believed.

You can look, then, all you want. But you certainly cannot touch. The mask that leaves the eyes, partnered by the gloves that take the hands, sheathing them in a surgical second skin that is so much cleaner than the first one. Even winter gloves, loose woven; even kitchen Marigolds, flapping about the wrist. Anything but the skin that can touch and be touched, though the virus cannot pass through it as it can, we are told, enter via the eyes.

In the UK at least, it is the mantra of midwives and mothers-to-be: skin to skin with your baby, and not a moment to lose. Talk is of forming a bond, of easing anxieties, and, ironically, of protecting against infection. But the talk is almost wild, its rationale lying well below the reasoning, in a latent awareness that care must be established, and quickly, before all hope of connection is blocked, before this new being loses its immunity to signal, for which immunity we pine without knowing it.

We anticipate our own renewal by this virgin life, gloriously unable to see; to forgo, for a few precious moments, the heavy heavy work of being seen to care, and, simply, to care. And we sense that skin to skin is the way to do it, the way to be infected by unseeing, unsignalling care, and that time is not on our side, though the all-importance of immediacy is cold comfort to those women who give birth too anaesthetized to care. We still sense it, then: that care lives on the skin. That to care needs the touch of skin to skin – even if our rush to establish that care in the moments immediately after birth shows that we also sense, and desperately, that the chance to care does not come around very often…

Or, indeed, ever again. For, now that the gloves are on, what is to become of care?

When you cannot touch at all, when you are not even within touching distance? Can you care for someone if you cannot touch them? You can signal your care for them, sure; in fact, to signal well, you had better be at a distance; the further, the better your broadcast. But care, from a distance? Care, at arm’s length? What of caressing, stroking, holding, lifting, massaging, washing, rubbing, kissing, the skin to skin encounters of care?

We say that we are touched by someone, if what they say or do or are or have been awakens us to care. We care when we touch and are touched. But now this touch is against the rules.

Even to stand close enough to touch, even potentially to touch: infectious, unsafe.

A final stab from its false friend: safety renders care into contagion. The first product to sell out at the beginnings of the virus-crisis was hand sanitizer, as we washed and washed our skin that might touch and be touched, scrubbed it so hard that it dried and cracked and flaked away, casting our last hopes of care to the four harsh winds. When Stay Safe is Stay Clean, care is only the filth it would slough away.

This virus is certainly a reality, even if it is a fairly mundane one. But it is also an imaginary construct, a chimera of our desperate need for control, a fantasy of the extreme blockage and rigid management of all that is diffuse and runs free.

The virus, in other words, is care, our control-society’s hallucination of care: lethally indistinct and wildly circulating. Control-society’s nightmare, become the dream of ultimate containment.

As for touch, we are consigned now only to its simulation, to ‘keeping in touch,’ with the technologies so conveniently at the ready, to that barely-touch that the screens of our devices will tolerate, to that contempt-for-touch that is all they will endure.

*

Two centuries ago, when other institutions, of education and of health, began to be established, care was so obviously anathema to institution that we shied away for a while from attempts to manage it, content merely to oversee the dissolution of its varied pre-industrial forms, in which care circulated in households and communities in a manner constitutive of their fabric, in which care made part of the ‘commons’ – those unregulated, those diffuse resources, that are now under watchful lock and key.

The population of England at this time, plucked from its care-commons and without an institutional substitute, succumbed quickly to an average lifespan of only twenty years. But, in time for nurturing a stronger, longer-lived workforce, and in time to assuage escalating lobbying against the atrocity of its living conditions, early hesitation in instituting care at last came to an end and care was admitted on condition of its close confinement, within the walls of a new institution, a soft institution unlike those of health and education: the institution of the home, which, for all that we are used now to regarding it as a space natural to human life, is, as we know it at least, an invention of the nineteenth century.

People before then had a roof over their head, of course, and prepared food and slept soundly and gave birth and died away, but all of this was done in spaces quite unlike the enclosed, specialized, cordoned off, curtained in, home of the Victorian era.

Even as late as the early nineteenth century, houses, including large and rich houses, were built to contain relatively few rooms, with relatively huge windows and doors, wide casements and balconies, their inhabitants enjoying a mixed economy life that was outward-looking, public.

It took the beginnings of the effort to institutionalize care for the home as we know it to emerge, a domestic space for the simultaneous exercise and containment of care, staffed by a new kind of worker – another invention of the institutional age: the homemaker, a woman, a shadow of her former self, whose life was destined for the very first time to remain systematically unseen. It was with tremendous caution, then, that care entered into our institutional society, curtailed to the shadows of effort and enterprise, unsignalled inevitably, for care does not admit of signal, without price or wage, indistinct still, but stripped of its other essential aspect, for it had ceased to circulate, being kept within the walls of the purpose-built family home.

Only once care could be safely let out again – only once care could be rendered distinct, that is, made subject to the criteria and strategies and regulations and assessments that are the other side of the coins of price and wage – did the home begin to be established in a more visibly institutional way.

Care once again ventured out of doors, but it no longer circulated freely and was no longer indistinct, the care of children, old people and those with special needs being gradually accorded its price – the lowest of prices, of course, for care is still potentially the gravest threat to the society of control. So entered the care home, an institution whose rendering distinct, open to measurement and monetization, of the achievement of care sounded the death knell of care.

The care home: staffed, of course, almost exclusively by women, who trade duties of care in their own home for duties of care in a more explicitly institutional home, and who use care homes to care for their own children and old people in order to care for those who have traded being cared for by the unseen and unpaid work of women in their family for being cared for by the hardly seen and hardly paid work of women they have never met.

The care home, and its more recent underbelly, home care, in which the newly-distinct taking of care re-enters the home that had incubated it for so long, completing the circle of non-care to which care has been consigned by our society, so that those women who might have cared for their own families in their own homes, indistinctly though contained, instead care for other women’s families in other women’s homes, distinctly and still contained.

The pushing around of care between women in the shadows or just out of the shadows of life and work, a low-temperature laundering of the life of care by women who increasingly cannot care.

For, of course they cannot care – how could they? They do not know your old father and mother. They do not know your small baby. Drawn from the ranks of the most disadvantaged and signalled as all but worthless, they must simulate an effect – care – to which the institution in which they work is opposed.

A survey in 2018 by University College London, which questioned staff at care homes all across the UK, found that there is abuse and neglect in nine out of ten of them. No surprise. A study from ten years before, quoted by Silvia Federici in her essay on ‘Eldercare,’ found that half of those working in care homes in the US made use of food banks to feed themselves and their families.

These women are tired. They are hungry. They miss their parents and children, and are expected to care for the parents and children of others. Of course, they neglect and abuse. Just as most women do, in their situation…

Shortly after I gave birth for the first time, I received a communication from the UK National Health Service – a leaflet, on steps to take if you felt the impulse to shake your baby. I tossed it away. Shake my baby? Shake that tiny, sleeping being, so reliant, so sweet?

But a baby does not always sleep and is not always sweet. And after interrupted nights and days of taking care of a baby with colic, who was crying for no reason that I could understand in a home to which nobody came during the day, I experienced, for the first and not the last time, the impulse to shake him, from frustration and exhaustion and a loss of any sense of connection with a world in which the normal rules apply.

I think that many new mothers experience this, locked up – locked down – in a home whose carceral effect is so belied by its advertisement as a place of warmth and care that you have not even the consolation of resenting your prison but must look to yourself to explain your temptation to abuse and neglect.

New mothers are not vindictive any more than care workers are. But when you are installed in institutions of care that actively annihilate the possibility of care and yet expect you to imitate it in the shadows of life: that will make an abuser out of anyone.

Care is abused in the home. Care is neglected in the home. For, the home has strangled care’s vital components: circulation and indistinctness; commonness and immeasureableness. In the home, care, which can only run free, undergoes its double containment.

Which made it all so very fitting, that it was to our home to which we were expected to retreat, not, of course, for our care, but for our safety. Our home, in which we were ordered by our governments to STAY, in which we were ‘locked down’ – a term from the carceral system to which the home has always been apparently juxtaposed. Prisoners in our own homes – the idea used to express a contradiction.

But, of course, it never really did, as those women could have told us who have stayed and worked in homes for years and years. Home is the prison that was being prepared for us all along; destined, having killed all the ways that we might care, for its seamless repurposing as the institution of our safety, all that is left to us once care has been put beyond our reach.

Meanwhile, the great and tragic irony is that it was in the care homes that you were most likely to die with ‘Covid19.’ In these repositories of the old and the infirm, where should have begun our protection of the population from the virus, the obvious ‘front line’ from its very beginning.

In the care homes, they died by their thousands, falling silently into that chasm between the false friends of safety and care, not safe because they needed to be cared for, not cared for because all we could do is Stay Safe. Died in their thousands, without the touch of a human hand, while Do Not Resuscitate documents did their deathly rounds.

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Kathleen Lowrey
Kathleen Lowrey
Jul 22, 2020 8:32 PM

A beautiful, brilliant essay which I will be sharing widely. Thank you.

KarenEliot
KarenEliot
Jul 20, 2020 3:44 PM

By some way the best article OffGuardian has published in the five years or so I have quietly mostly lurked here.

A few days ago, as part of a discussion I ‘attended’ (Zoomed? Teamsed?) at a Zombie University in SE England, I ventured to sway a quorum of frightened people considering the first draft of a “Covid Code Of Conduct”. This was the work, mainly, of a senior HR Professional.

The Code decries ‘normal’ (yes, they dignified the word with scare quotes) everyday behaviours (the exact words) such as passing a drink to our friend, or sharing food. And there were about 15 pages more of this tragic bullshit.

In the same ‘meeting’ I waved my Hidden Disability lanyard with ‘ face covering exempt’ card at the webcam. “Could we at least include an image of this, and other alerts of its kind, to discourage the Mask Stasi?” My hope was that some of the students, assuming any show up to the Very Nearly Bankrupt University in Zombie SE England this September, might be spared interrogation by the Virtue Police of yore.

We shall see.

Thank you Sinead for so eloquently writing of What It Is Like.

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
Jul 19, 2020 10:42 PM

If you comply, and wear a Face Mask. If You do Not Resist – and say No to These Evil Psychopaths, then this really is The End of The Human Race.
 
We can no longer dance and sing. How long are you going to put up with this?
 
Have you lost your spirit?
 
Has your soul been Destroyed?
 
Do you want me to Quote George Orwell’s Review of Arthur Koestler’s Scum of The Earth or do you want so see Status Quo again – what’s left of them. I don’t think they are all dead yet.
 
You bunch of brainwashed Morons. I am not Impressed. Do Something.
 
Get a Life. Us humans are actually O.K. We are reasonably safe to mix with.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsoiOLVIA3M
 
Get off your arse and Dance, and tell ’em to do go away, and do something else, if they give you a hard time. (politely of course)
 
Tony
 
 

John Goss
John Goss
Jul 20, 2020 9:11 AM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

I might not have quite put it like that Tony but you’re right. Everybody should be “Rockin’ all over the world”, or visiting the CBSO, theatres, football matches, barbecues, discos, cultural events and having a good time rather than kowtowing to those who would have us enslaved.

hope
hope
Jul 20, 2020 11:17 AM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

Indeed Tony, that is precisely how I have felt, and I think we should each try to rebuild as much as we can that human life. For example having discussion groups and activities, whether it be music, sports, dancing, or learning/teaching science, literature, arts and crafts,
to begin with from our homes, for those who like us are not scared of humans, and realise the dehumanization in progress.
 
Also I would like to recommend a video by the psychologist Sam Vaknin about the effects, possibly long term, possibly permanent, of the lockdown and all the measures we are having to live with. I think it might help even those of us who are usually strong, and withstand external circumstances, those of us whose satisfaction does come more from creative work, which no one can stop us doing, those of us who fully understand and are analysing the events from every likely angle. Because what we are living through is so extreme its also having an effect on us, not just on the deluded”, and to hear someone talk about them can be helpful, even if on us the effect is probably temporary and will disappear within days of regaining a minimally human life, unlike those whose thinking process are being affected.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kfY3OLDtgQ&feature=youtu.be
 
 
 

hope
hope
Jul 20, 2020 11:58 AM
Reply to  hope

I should add that only the first part of the above video is of real interest, afterwards its more about psychosis and so on, which at least to me, becomes too much anchored into an analytical scientific” vision of humans which I think leaves out the essential, labels people, and therefore reduces, the jargon itself is itself limiting.
But the first part is more about the effect of the measures of each of us and that can be helpful, and remains a sufficiently general more human analysis than a reductive scientific” one.

John Goss
John Goss
Jul 19, 2020 9:36 PM

Your article, Sinead, demonstrates cause and effect, in this case an opportunity cost from people in all innocence trying to protect one another from a perceived threat against the spin off neglect of more important attention elsewhere. The trouble is with the control mechanisms established early in this scare, thousands of patients with other illnesses have died from not getting attention. This doctor, Mohammad Iqbal Adil, explained very early on what was happening in hospitals. The establishment rewarded him by getting rid of him. Speak up and you are on a black-list. It is what has prevented many other medical personnel from speaking out, or having to speak out anonymously.
 
https://www.bitchute.com/video/sAJPLQ0n8Cxw/

Rachel
Rachel
Jul 19, 2020 11:05 PM
Reply to  John Goss

they dont speak out coz they are crooks takin hush money from terrorists. this dr on the other hand is a good man showing he is on white list of honourable people.

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
Jul 20, 2020 12:16 AM
Reply to  Rachel

They don’t speak out, because they are terrified. It’s O.K. you or me, giving our point of view of them, but we are not standing in their shoes – and seeing it from their point of view. Many REAL Doctors and Nurses, just carried on Working – Doing Their Jobs, and doing their Best to Save Peoples Live, as best as they could. I personally know one of them. She didn’t know what the hell was going on either – but she is a Nurse, and dedicated herself – her entire life to saving people’s lives, and bringing them back to health. She just kept on working. It’s her job. So far as I know, she hasn’t done that much Tik-Tok Dancing, but I haven’t seen my Sis for a couple of weeks, and when I did she gave me and my wife both a big hug and a cuddle, and wasn’t wearing a mask.

That is real life, not the crap you see on the TV Screen.

We are all vulnerable, despite our innocence and goodwill.

If we don’t complain, The Stasi will be round next, knocking on your door, before they burst in and kill your dog before finding you.

“You have written something we do not approve of on the Internet”

Tony

Rachel
Rachel
Jul 22, 2020 9:04 PM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

they are crooks who have been injecting kids for years. they have heard about and seen the damage yet continued taking the money, did not research or care.

John Goss
John Goss
Jul 20, 2020 9:05 AM
Reply to  Rachel

As Tony says: “They don’t speak out, because they are terrified.”
 
This is from a letter republished in OffGuardian allegedly from a consultant at a Surrey hospital.
 
I had agreed to give an interview to an anti lockdown activist in which I would have revealed my identity. I have since changed my mind and only feel able to give an anonymous statement.”
 
and:
 
“At the start, staff that questioned this [why other departments were virtually empty including A&E] were told that we were being used as ‘redundant’ capacity, kept back for the ‘deluge’ we were told would come. It never did come, and when staff began to question this, comments like, ‘for the greater good’ and to ‘protect the NHS’ came down from above. Now its just along the lines of, ‘Shut up or you don’t get paid’.”
 
 

Howard
Howard
Jul 20, 2020 5:20 PM
Reply to  John Goss

I think it’s more sinister even than that. Black-listing dissonant voices adds fuel to the “fire” that burns inside so many, if not most, TV watchers – the idea that “If the lockdown were a big fraud, someone would come forward and tell us so!” And around and around the madness goes; back and forth.
 
“Your turn!” the news anchor tells his or her listeners. “Yes yes yes to everything you say! Your turn!” “Now your turn again, viewer!” till the end of time.

John Frere
John Frere
Jul 19, 2020 8:44 PM

Magnificent article. Thank you!
 
Made me realize once again how the seemingly insignificant choices we make day after day, both individually and collectively, prepare the ground for far-reaching changes in the world. When the times of crisis, real or fabricated, come, our reactions have been predetermined by a lot of little steps already taken, in the case at hand, choosing safety and no-risk over everything else.
 

Joe
Joe
Jul 19, 2020 6:26 PM

I don’t see the parallel with domestic safety behaviour at all. It is completely different.

Aldous Hexley
Aldous Hexley
Jul 19, 2020 5:16 PM

What remains consistent throughout these months is the officials’ complete inadequacy in explaining and justifying response to “the danger.” In the threads of these two recent O-G pieces I find one comment, receiving only minus ratings, that suggests the virus is in some way highly dangerous to some people only, and functioning in terms of “blood clots.” I have not heard this before, and the explanation is left general, as usual.
 
This paucity from “the authorities” in setting out the danger explicitly has been continuous, and an obvious indication that propaganda or mind-subversion is the first order of business for the fascists now running the globe.
 
We have obsessively examined the pseudo-science for months and shown it wanting, including bringing forth expert medical advisors. The authorities meanwhile continue with the same generalities and fear-mongering, the same chicanery with numbers-peddling and appeals to hysteria.
 
This is where we are now with a sort of chortling “oh yes we’re going to keep on with this, for years, you better believe it” from people like Newsom and Fauci. The only chance we now have is to say NO. We will not accept your bullshit any further. We will NOT return to the totalitarian experiments of previous eras. We WILL wake up.
 
 

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
Jul 19, 2020 5:04 PM

This is the story of someone with common sense, who wants others to apply common sense too.
 
Unfortunately, there are too many people looking to blame for anything and everything, more than prepared to sue and there are far too many lawyers prepared to take on unprincipled prosecutions because they can earn money doing so.
 
Informal decency is always trumped by indecent legalities.
 
Shame, but that is why so many enjoyable pursuits have been totally tamed and/or proscribed.

Judith
Judith
Jul 19, 2020 9:42 PM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

Those were my thoughts exactly. Life is litigatious.
 
I worked for community centers with child care for years. We would have had to do the same thing. Call the mom before applying the vaseline if there was not a signed form.
 
Because in the event the little boy went home with a new cut around his lip, it is sad to say, there are parents who would sue. And if you did not have that piece of paper with a signature you were all in trouble.
 
This brings to mind the whole covid tyranny. I don’t individualize governors, mayors and govt officials. They are demanding lockdowns because they want to keep their jobs. Period the end.
 
There might be some officials (in the USA) that are more draconian than others – but really – did I ever in a million years expect a US Governor, Senator, Congressman, Mayor, to actually stand at a podium and say “Nope. Not gonna do it” to the lockdown et al???
 
NEVER.
 
I already believe Trump, Pelosi, Fauci, Berks, Gates and that crew are bought and paid for compromised fronts. They are definitely going with the script.
 
As for restaurants, businesses, gyms, stores, any and all places where we shop, play, eat, drink, etc – not only do they have to abide by mandates – or else incur fines or if they stand up to it, court cases – they, too could be sued.
 
All it would take is one person saying they contracted covid19 after eating at such and such a place that didn’t have an arrow on the floor, or the waitress’s mask was loose, and there you go.
 
EVERYONE is liable these days. And, sadly, there are many who would take advantage. If you have already lost revenue from the lockdown I suppose you are going to do everything you can to keep your business going.
 
I’m not suggesting this is the only reason that everyone is going along, but I do think, from my experience, it does come in to play.
 
 
 
 

Howard
Howard
Jul 19, 2020 4:58 PM

If you walk up to someone, take out a gun, say “I’m going to kill you,” and shoot the person dead – that’s just about the only way you can make your intentions more obvious.
 
For years, the media (yeah: that media) has been decrying solitary confinement as a form of torture – even as the most malevolent form of torture. So what does the media do? It turns around and does its level best to help force solitary confinement on the entire population.
 
And the “funny” part is how many people can’t see that.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
Jul 19, 2020 5:05 PM
Reply to  Howard

Why on earth do you think the media represents your interests?
 
They are solely interested in revenues and profits and their weapon of choice is emotional disturbance.

Howard
Howard
Jul 20, 2020 3:15 PM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

The media doesn’t represent the public’s interests – and they’ve made that point crystal clear. But even crystal clarity seems to be too opaque for most people. Otherwise the glaring contradictions would leap right out at people from their TV screens.

Gary Weglarz
Gary Weglarz
Jul 19, 2020 4:29 PM

When one analyzes various government responses in terms of whether, or how, they were designed to “protect” those most vulnerable to covid (or any other seasonal flu for that matter) – one cannot help but notice actual criminal level policy decisions. One example involves nursing home patients, who literally by definition were the “most vulnerable group” not only due to advanced age, and co-morbidities, but also by virtue of containment and proximity to their fellows while imprisoned within an institutional setting.
 
Yet for a critical period of time New York, New Jersey and California all “required” nursing homes to accept covid positive patients returning from their hospital stay, and also refused to allows nursing homes to test for covid status for new admissions from the community or the hospital.
 
What comes to mind for me is the parallel to our willful genocide of Native peoples here in America. What exactly would one conclude if a Native person was hospitalized for small pox, but was required by law to return to their reservation thus insuring the infection of many others with that deadly pathogen? This is hardly rocket science.
 
New York in particular became the American MSM “poster-child” for the supposed horrors and lethality of covid, and yet it was a very deliberate completely unsound and unscientific policy decision that insured the unnecessary deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents, rather than any particular virulence of covid.
 
 
(“AP count: Over 4,500 virus patients sent to NY nursing homes”): 
https://apnews.com/5ebc0ad45b73a899efa81f098330204c
 

ame
ame
Jul 19, 2020 6:47 PM
Reply to  Gary Weglarz

Same in u.k and last week they sick fuck pretenders in charge blamed the care homes and staff for people dying also the immigrate migrant in Leicester for being nonsocial distancing which created the so called first ever local city l;ockdown.(see a pattern here)
 
now isnt it interesting that U>k USA and E.U all had the same type of policies done at the same time !!
I no people in EU and the military went into the care-homes to check on them, never ever done before and elderly people got ill after some died after the visit.
 
was very dark and sinister and social media actually stop some of the stuff as NHS CCG ( Clinical commissioning group)stopped issuing DNR on the most venerable in some areas and some people did not even no they had them put on their medical file until there carer family member checked
 
NHS CCG said DNR was put on some people file by accident whilst the local surgerys blamed NHSblamed blame deflect deflect
 
 
 
 
 
 

John Ervin
John Ervin
Jul 19, 2020 11:34 PM
Reply to  Gary Weglarz

DESPERATE CRIME PARTNERS… [‘R US (of A)]

The math of these people must become troublesome at some point, before coming waves.

As in, “Where’s the plausible deniability” of huge crimes, however much buried beneath medical babble, media, masks etc?

Exhibit A:

Japan

24K + “confirmed cases”.

USA

3.78 MILLION “confirmed” cases.

Absent an absolute cooking of our books, how can we account for 60 TIMES as many “cases” as Japan ?!!

And Japan (most importantly: NO LOCKDOWN):

985 DEATHS

USA

142,000+ DEATHS.

We have a little over double their population, but it still works out to about 60 TIMES as many US dead as Japanese. And that’s WITH a deep deadly lockdown, to Japan’s none!

The defense rests. Any sane jury sworn in would not be out an hour, for return of a guilty verdict in a global case of desperate crime partners.

Its not really an evidentiary issue, it’s de facto: crimes, fraud, murder, ruination, bankrupting power grab and so on. It makes 1929 look like amateur hour.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Jul 20, 2020 10:21 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

BBC reported on this, and that Japanese are maskophiles, but still were at a loss to explain the few deaths, despite much changing of the subject.

In a chart with deaths per million, UK was way out in front of everybody, with Japan and China near nil.

USA had 400+ per million to Japan’s 8 and China’s 3.

But now the (pre-planned CYA) is to use soiled mouthpieces like Hancock to say, “well those numbers can be readjusted downward, now that we are clear about our accounting mistakes.” Or, Etc.

Then, as a perfect synchronized swimming event, and on both sides of The Pond, Trump got testy with Mike Wallace on Fox yesterday, saying the death numbers, etc, are bigly hyped (great CYA for BOTH sides, eh?) and NYT reports the Donald’s “untruths’ according to their staff presstitute David Leonhardt, at the very top of the page, this morning in my subscribed free “Morning Briefing” (beats their Paywall, now they are recently just everywhere online, for everything corporate).

Ain’t “free” NYT Propaganda grand?

John Ervin
John Ervin
Jul 20, 2020 10:07 PM
Reply to  Gary Weglarz

Yes, but the biggest tipoff of the connection to genocides of Native America is that they are going to greatest lengths in their narrative to disguise it.

It’s those crimes of omission, ever more so, these days, than commission, the ones they studiously don’t report at all (let alone half-retractions that they put in the back pages) that really are the biggest red flags.

I look for those all the time at Wikipedia, because they are as good as proofs, guilty verdicts (well, except for the harsh sentences and reparations), when they omit certain well known (documented) clues.

Like the George Floyd psyop fiasco, their over-production values and ubiquitously staged fake uplift support, complete with cheerleader squads as at sporting events, is a real index of the deeper (corporate, slaveholders) “animus”.

Eyes Open
Eyes Open
Jul 19, 2020 3:58 PM

Everything makes sense once we understand that the capitalist ruling class runs the world. All roads lead to the ruling class.

Neoliberalism defines our lives. It manifests by valuing those who are able to work and produce profits (for the ruling class) and devaluing those who are unable to work and produce profits. So, the old, the sick, the unemployed etc..

It’s hard not to be labelled a conspiracy theorist after reading about Gates’ vaccines, China’s social credit system (destined for the West) and tracking/monitoring technology such as ID 2020 and Covi-pass.

Warnings about the new dystopian Covid-19 vaccines from a video by Dr Carrie Madej, DO are surreal. (Some objective scientific scrutiny on this topic is overdue.) Likewise, a video of an interview with Bill and Melinda Gates in which Bill Gates smirks as he says ‘just wait for the second wave’. It made me think – has all this been contrived? The additional nucleotides found in Covid-19, were they put there?

Has Bill Gates extended his Microsoft business model to humans as a type of sophisticated protection racket? Be regularly vaccinated by Big Pharma and protect yourself against future (man-made?) viruses.

I am happy to be labelled a conspiracy theorist, because if it’s true, then the reality is too frightening to conceive.

https://medium.com/@aarondavidsonn/the-health-passport-a-green-light-for-tyranny-545298e108d

Willem
Willem
Jul 19, 2020 4:28 PM
Reply to  Eyes Open

‘ The additional nucleotides found in Covid-19, were they put there?’

Why would they? Any yearly flu season could have produced Covid19, so according to Occam’s rul ‘‘they’ did not put them there.

‘If it’s true then ‘the reality is too frightening to conceive.’

That is Neo’s problem in the matrix (or actually Nozick’s problem with his dream machine)

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
Jul 19, 2020 7:49 PM
Reply to  Willem

I had to watch The Matrix 3 times, before I started to understand it. My kids got it in one. I remember watching it on a Spanish Island with them, in August 2002. I hadn’t read a newspaper for a week, and then I bought The Sunday Times. The second week of my holiday, was largely personally destroyed for me. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, but had absolutely no reason to believe it was not true. If that can happen to two kids in England, it can happen to my kids, or anyone’s kids. I was shocked to the core. However, that may well have been the intention. After 9/11, the next phase of terrorism – designed to frighten us all.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGOMkQcKRVs
 
I now think Huntley was innocent of the crime of murder, and that if it happenned it was most probably someone from the local airbase, who had history. However, I am not sure it happenned at all. The Madeline McCann thing was much the same theme. I always thought the parents were innocent, but they had strong connections to the Tony Blair Government, and maybe actors for all I know.
 
The Evil is most certainly showing its face now.
 
Tony
 
 

Peter Jennings
Peter Jennings
Jul 19, 2020 9:09 PM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

There is some compelling evidence regarding the sentence for Huntley. However IMO the McCann’s are definitely hiding something. Mr McCann seems to have a very bad temper and some of their friends were later charged with handling or dealing child pornography.
 
And then they had an audience with the Pope and that explained everything. They were too big to be touched. They had British police and media spinning their stories and providing protection from the very start.
 
They are now probably very rich. and no longer rub shoulders with normal people. The Portuguese police did not think they were innocent and neither did Richard Hall – youtube who investigated the matter very thoroughly.

Judith
Judith
Jul 19, 2020 9:57 PM
Reply to  Eyes Open

Oh I think this has all been well planned out. In fact I’d go so far as to say that the first batch of vaccine -with whatever concoction they’ve come up with for now – has been all set and sitting on the shelves – just ready for the desperate throngs who want to get back to normal.
 
I’ve seen the videos you have mentioned.
 
In a number of his videos/interviews James Corbett and guests have spoken to the fact that whatever we are seeing in the news as some new innovation has actually been been developed and in the works for awhile. They are way ahead of us.
 
I mean, this (where I live) is the United States of America. We have technology and technological advancements that are beyond our imagination. Not too mention the same for other countries.
 
And we couldn’t figure out how to protect the elderly and immune suppressed without shutting down the entire world??????
 
The United States of America?
 
Space exploration, satellites, underwater transatlantic cables, nanotechnology, gene splicing, MIT, Harvard, Stanford??
 
And we couldn’t figure out how to protect the elderly and immune supporessed without shutting down the entire world???
 
Are we supposed to believe that “the greatest country in the world” could not protect …well, I’ve already asked that.
 
Sorry. Not buying it. And not wearing a mask.

Borncynic
Borncynic
Jul 19, 2020 3:47 PM

An article truely worthy of the Guardian. The type that the Off’s editorial team would normally point out as being superficially scathing of consequential, secondary issues whilst ignoring or even quietly endorsing the fundamental causes. Predictable story arc that ticks some of the usual markers – child disability, selfish society, loss of moral compass, topped off with some feminism.

covidiot
covidiot
Jul 20, 2020 5:43 AM
Reply to  Borncynic

you forgot to mention the main problem, the ridiculous academic writing style. no prize for guessing where the author is employed.

Zen Priest
Zen Priest
Jul 19, 2020 2:56 PM

Overly safety conscious people are repulsive. The hubris and narcissism of it. They are anti life. All manner of tyranny is justified under the guise of security.

Hank
Hank
Jul 19, 2020 12:54 PM

The left is a death cult.
 
They kill people off for the so called greater good. To the left the ends justify the means.
 
They are the cult of doom and gloom and extinction rebellion. They need to reduce human population like their friend Bill Gates and use any means possible even under the guise of “staying safe”.
 
Everything they stand for is pro death and not pro life.
 
 

George Mc
George Mc
Jul 19, 2020 2:01 PM
Reply to  Hank

The right is a death cult.
 
They kill people off for the so called greater good. To the right the ends justify the means.
 
They are the cult of doom and gloom and extinction rebellion. They need to reduce human population like their friend Bill Gates and use any means possible even under the guise of “staying safe”.
 
Everything they stand for is pro death and not pro life.

S Cooper
S Cooper
Jul 19, 2020 2:06 PM
Reply to  Hank

Try not take this the wrong way, but you sound like you a trying to channel this guy.
 comment image?format=mp4&s=8444b4464cc8a0aa03ac17c7d63d5934dcc0c4f6

S Cooper
S Cooper
Jul 19, 2020 2:23 PM
Reply to  S Cooper

George Mc
George Mc
Jul 19, 2020 3:15 PM
Reply to  S Cooper

Reminds me of that quote from the second X Men movie:
 

I was piloting Black Ops missions in the jungles of North Vietnam while you were sucking on your mama’s tit at Woodstock, Kelly. Don’t lecture me about war. This already is a war.

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
Jul 19, 2020 6:53 PM
Reply to  S Cooper

Extraordinary

Denis
Denis
Jul 19, 2020 2:23 PM
Reply to  Hank

What is “left”and what is “right” to you?
Is this the only way you can comprehend and separate people into 2 categories, left and right? Kinda like black and white colours, as if there are no other shades in between

S Cooper
S Cooper
Jul 19, 2020 2:58 PM
Reply to  Denis

Politically the term “Left v Right” is gibberish. Supposedly it had to do with some seating arrangement at the time of the French Revolution. Today it is meaningless.
 
What I resist and fight against are corporate fascism, oligarchy and tyranny. Does not matter what group or party it cloaks itself.
 
What I support and fight for is Socialism in the spirit of Eugene Victor Debs.

Bavid Matthews
Bavid Matthews
Jul 19, 2020 9:08 PM
Reply to  S Cooper

I agree – political left and right is no longer a helpful distinction. I came across the idea of Overton’s window recently – on Murray’s blog of all places.
 
“More free” is up and “less free” down – apparently Overton deliberately avoided right and left – central in the window is current policy and on either side of this are acceptable areas of debate. Over time the window moves; Overton suspected it was easier to bring about movement in a desired direction by large yanks rather than small incremental change.
 
So as an example of movement over time – 100 years ago(?) discussion of women’s suffrage as an acceptable topic; if you tried to introduce discussion of that now you’d be seen as barking mad.
 
So what we are going through now is an attempted sharp downward yank of the window, which unfortunately may well turn out to be successful. My enemy’s enemy is my friend – I don’t care if you’re left or right wing.
 

Hank
Hank
Jul 20, 2020 3:20 PM
Reply to  Denis

“What is “left”and what is “right” to you?
 
The left is socialism, fascism, communism, (Hitler and Mussolini were all leftist socialists). The EU is full of them, extinction rebellion, man made climate change, Bill Gates and what he stands for, so called progressives, green party and most of the labor/Democrat party. sexulisation of children in schools is leftist ideology.
 
Funny how this site takes about masks and how they don’t care for them yet it is the left that pushes them on people. And it is the left that takes away your freedom and locks you in. Funny how readers cannot see this. The left also takes away your freedom of speech and isn’t that why the editors left the Guardian?
 
 
BoJo is not a conservative, only by name but he’s policies are all left. NIgel Farage is a conservative and the man that got you out of the EU. Wasn’t Brexit because of failed leftist socialist policies?
 
Right is the opposite.
 
 
 
 

Howard
Howard
Jul 19, 2020 2:56 PM
Reply to  Hank

You narrow your focus needlessly. It isn’t “The Left” that’s a death cult – it is humanity. How else explain its history? All of what humans tend to call “greatness” and “great achievements” occurred during periods of “greatest” death and destruction.
 
The atom bomb stands to this day as humanity’s “greatest achievement.” Why? Because it still contains the “greatest” potential for total destruction. If not for the sake of destructive capacity, the lowly eraser would stand as humanity’s crowning achievement. Why? Because it is the acknowledgement of imperfection given physical form.

riccotelaly
riccotelaly
Jul 19, 2020 2:57 PM
Reply to  Hank

Globalism is the disease and a disease pushed by left and right – until people drop the artificiality of left right and remain fans boys (and girls) of the political left or right …. we will remain lost.

wardropper
wardropper
Jul 19, 2020 3:50 PM
Reply to  riccotelaly

No, ricc, we won’t be lost. We will ignore the fan boys and girls.

wardropper
wardropper
Jul 19, 2020 3:43 PM
Reply to  Hank

Please do us a favour and stop calling everything you disagree with “left”.
The people you describe are “right” in all but name, and neo-liberal is the term most generally used for them in any case.
If Marx himself is taken to be “left”, then we have to face the fact that he would have been appalled at what the so-called left are doing in modern society.
When you describe a murderer, or a thief, in a court of law, you do not think about whether he is also “left” or “right”; you think of him as a bad person, and that is exactly what your death cultists really are: No more nor less than “bad people”.
Using “left” and “right” just brings in a whole warehouse full of unnecessary historic political baggage which distracts from reasonable discussion of those bad people and what they are doing to us.

Hank
Hank
Jul 21, 2020 11:35 AM
Reply to  wardropper

“Please do us a favour and stop calling everything you disagree with “left”.
 
Well the left then need to do more right.
 
It has nothing to do with what one disagrees with but what one stands for.
 

wardropper
wardropper
Jul 21, 2020 5:49 PM
Reply to  Hank

Even if there was such a thing as “left” in the 21st Century, you wouldn’t know what to do if it did something right, since your Cold-War “Putinbot”, “socialist”, “communist”, labels would have nothing to stick to.
Too many people are narcissistically addicted to their labels these days, which is an obvious distraction from what matters.
As for your last sentence, it doesn’t even make sense:
If you stand for truth and honesty, how can a dishonest label help you?
In any case, people always stand for what they agree with – if they can be bothered, of course.
The “left” in Britain perished with Tony Blair, and it is now unrepresented.
Everything is materialistic capitalism, and you’ll believe me when they come for the population’s pensions, waving “Even Newer Labour” banners…

Eyes Open
Eyes Open
Jul 19, 2020 4:02 PM
Reply to  Hank

We owe a debt of gratitude to the Soviet Union who sacrificed millions fighting against Nazism. The Red Army liberated the concentration camps.

covidiot
covidiot
Jul 20, 2020 5:57 AM
Reply to  Eyes Open

which concentration camps?
 
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn — The Gulag Archipelago

ame
ame
Jul 19, 2020 6:50 PM
Reply to  Hank

worlds biggest ever lockdown under conservatives GOP dumb dumb dumb dumb
this si so easy dumb dumb dumb
aimed at theee dumb dumb dumb

S Cooper
S Cooper
Jul 19, 2020 10:48 PM
Reply to  ame

Governor Death Virus in New York, the Murphy-Virus in New Jersey, the Newsom-Virus in California are not “GOP.” Eugene Debs saw that political scam/racket for what it was over a hundred years ago. Why can’t you?
 
https://www.deviantart.com/redamerican1945/art/Eugene-V-Debs-Republican-Democratic-Party-674343047

Ort
Ort
Jul 20, 2020 12:55 AM
Reply to  S Cooper

Debs was quite right, of course, but the partisan agenda driving the draconian lockdown measures isn’t coming from the GOP, aka Party of Cain.
 
It’s obvious enough that as a general rule, all of the Western Elected Misrepresentatives who bought into and promulgated the Megadeath Virus of Doom Big Lies, and have aggressively promoted the pathological, pernicious New Abnormal and its preposterous and draconian “public-health” schemes, painted themselves into a corner– or put themselves out on a limb, take your pick.
 
Whether they took this approach from cold calculation or panic, they became like the captain in the antiwar song “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy”– the old fools are apparently committed to “pushing on” despite the overwhelming “collateral damage” their ruinous folly is causing. Thus, in the US, all of the Gauleiters, lesser Elected Misrepresentatives, and public-health Gestapo feel compelled to perpetuate their reign of despotic destruction in order to save face– not to mention avoiding or postponing well-deserved blowback with grave political and perhaps legal consequences.
 
To this extent, inflicting increasing and perpetual misery upon the public is “bipartisan”. But the Democrats have another agenda: the “resistance”. The prominent Democrats who’ve taken the preposterous position of simultaneously supporting onerous lockdown measures and mass protests against racism that openly flout (or are officially “excused from”) the measures– including big-city mayors like NYC’s Bill de Blasio and Philly’s Jim Kenney– are serving as the saboteurs of the TDS-animated “Resistance” leadership whose monomaniacal priority is to remove Donald Trump from office ASAP, and by any means necessary.
 
I’m also reminded of the too-popular belief, or impression, that Republicans are warmongers, and that the Democratic Party, the Party of Judas, is “antiwar”. This perception that the Democratic Party is “antiwar” is ahistorical; contrary to the persistent popular belief, since the beginning of the 20th Century the Democratic Party has almost exclusively led the rush to war: Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Truman, LBJ.
 
Only when the Vietnam debacle became increasingly unpopular did the Democrats opportunistically develop an “antiwar” brand; afterwards, the Dems were only selectively “antiwar” depending on political circumstances. Yet the idea that the Democrats are generally “antiwar” persists.
 

covidiot
covidiot
Jul 20, 2020 6:48 AM
Reply to  Ort

but what about O’Bomber’s Nobel Peace Prize?
 

Ort
Ort
Jul 20, 2020 10:04 PM
Reply to  covidiot

As the saying goes, “You can fool most of the Nobel Committee most of the time.”

Steve Hayes
Steve Hayes
Jul 19, 2020 12:36 PM

The use of the first person plural diffuses responsibility to the point where it ceases to exist. If everyone is to blame, no one is to blame.

martin
martin
Jul 19, 2020 11:30 AM

 ‘Safety Culture’, meaning reliance on forms and procedures, and  ‘Duty of Care’ meaning personal liability can lead to a devaluation of personal experience, decision making and motivation. In my experience people do their best anyway, and make good decisions without legal threats or bonus payments.
 
In the oil industry where safety systems were sorely needed it worked great when a JSA (Job Safety Analysis) was a blank format where crews had to break down the job and hazards from scratch, but it didn’t take long to become a ritual where ready filled forms were pulled from a filing cabinet and signed off. At least it provided a breather, where before things were all done at a run with lots of shouting. My impression was that people just went back to relying on their experience and did the job the best way they knew.
 
I once did Teacher Training as a mature student, the graduate 1 year, and encountered a child in teaching practice who would run across the floor on his hands and knees. We were not taught about autism and I had never heard of it (1991).   I was unable to do much about it so pretty much left him to it, the other kids understood. But I was hauled up for it as not being in control. I liked teaching but I quit shortly after and went back to the oil industry. The National Curriculum had come in written in jargon ‘outcomes’, never ‘subjects to be taught’ and assessments were likewise. None of it had much to do with kids or the job, all seemed to me a construct from above.

George Mc
George Mc
Jul 19, 2020 10:45 AM

I think there is a more general and more disturbing movement going on here i.e. it doesn’t just relate to care. There is an increasing emphasis on a top down approach, a situation in which less and less decision is being left to those at the bottom i.e. those at the “coal face” and therefore those who really know what they’re doing because it is precisely THEY who are doing it. Instead we are coming to have more and more directives written in increasingly detailed language from those above who do not do the actual job and therefore HAVE NO IDEA what is required. What all this indicates is an increasing mistrust of “the minions” – I would say “the actual workers”. 
 
Teaching is an obvious instance. I have heard of teachers desperate to leave the profession because, although they love teaching, they are being given an increasingly unworkable tower of irrelevant baggage to implement re: guidance with marking of papers, implementation of lessons etc. And the ultimate irony is that all of this not only makes it more unendurable for the teachers, it effectively negates the actual process of learning for the children who are desperate to see an end to their school lives. 
 
But perhaps there is no irony? Perhaps this is the intention? After all, the bosses in the society do not want the plebs to think for themselves. 
 

Steve Hayes
Steve Hayes
Jul 19, 2020 12:38 PM
Reply to  George Mc

It is called Taylorism (after Fredrick Winslow Taylor) or Scientific Management.

Nixon Scraypes
Nixon Scraypes
Jul 19, 2020 4:46 PM
Reply to  George Mc

It’s hard to imagine that it’s not intended. There’s a lot of it in hospitals and care homes which I have been visiting a lot lately. Managers that really enjoy enforcing petty rules and refusing to impart information due to “patient confidentiality” and such. It’s a big bonus for control freaks. Just imagine what it will be like with more and more AI involvement and people like Neil Ferguson writing the programs! I’m thinking more and more that government inefficiency and stupidity is actually deliberate and horribly efficient.

Watt
Watt
Jul 19, 2020 4:48 PM
Reply to  George Mc

it effectively negates the actual process of learning for the children who are desperate to see an end to their school lives.’ 
So astute, true, and unbearably sad.

Grafter
Grafter
Jul 19, 2020 10:39 AM

Yes interesting points being made in this piece re our definitions of “care” and “staying safe”. It has, as the author suggests, reached epic proportions, fuelled by a compliant and irresponsible media hell bent in manufacturing a corrosive fear around a virus elevated to the equivalent of the bubonic plague.
 
Yesterday I visited two newly reopened pubs, one owned by a pub chain the other owned privately. In the first the long bar itself was devoid of any standing customers and all drinkers had to be seated where a beverage would be served to them by a suitably dressed waitress who closely resembled something from a hospital operating theatre. As I surveyed this scene I was approached by a young man wearing a black T shirt with bold white lettering screaming out “PUB SAFE”. “Sorry sir” he said “stay this side of the line. No drinking at the bar. You need to sit at a table”. I declined the offer and began to leave noticing on the way out the many joyless faces of the clientele dutifully sitting at their allocated tables. The bar I once knew as a place where conviviality and cheerful sociability was guaranteed had now been turned into a cross between a care home and a dentist’s waiting room. Will be giving this one a 2metre body swerve if passing that way again.
 
The second privately owned bar had a staff member at the door who was asking people to wait outside until a seat/table became available. Being a regular here I bypassed this formality and sat at a small table near the door observing the “New Normal”. The bar was built in the late Victorian era and has a magnificently panelled mahogany interior, full of character, with many polished ornamental brass fittings. Unfortunately the bar itself was roped off which seemed to give the interior the vague appearance of a funeral parlour, minus the coffin of course. Frequently, if the staff member at the door was distracted, other punters would wander in like wayward sheep only to be ushered straight back out again to wait their turn. Those who were allowed to enter came under the watchful eye of the manageress who descended upon them if they failed to ignore the hand sanitizer located inside the door before being led to a table. As in the previous bar, once seated, they were approached by a member of the waiting staff wearing the “normal” surgical gloves, designer masks and the ubiquitous plastic visor. Here one had to give one’s name and mobile number for contact tracing purposes if necessary. If you needed to relieve yourself entry stipulation was one person only at a time. Being a long narrow bar with entrance and toilets located at opposite ends one was not allowed to retrace ones step after relieving oneself but had to go out the back door, walk around the outside of the building and enter once again by the front door, remembering of course to use the hand sanitizer.
 
The staff were courteous and obviously had to adhere to this ongoing insanity. They were also keenly aware that job cuts had already been enforced in the trade and only those showing dedication to the cause would remain in employment. They have my sympathy. Overall it is truly depressing that it has come to this sorry situation and the more it continues the angrier I become.
 
 
 

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Jul 19, 2020 11:49 AM
Reply to  Grafter

‘Did you go and see the prisoners hanged yesterday?’ said Syme.
‘I was working,’ said Winston indifferently. ‘I shall see it on the flicks, I suppose.’
‘It was a good hanging,’ said Syme reminiscently. ‘I think it spoils it when they tie their feet together. I like to see them kicking. And above all, at the end, the tongue sticking right out, and blue a quite bright blue. That’s the detail that appeals to me.’…
 
‘There’s a table over there, under that telescreen,’ said Syme. ‘Let’s pick up a gin on the way.’
 
The gin was served out to them in handleless china mugs. They threaded their way across the crowded room and unpacked their trays on to the metal-topped table, on one corner of which someone had left a pool of stew, a filthy liquid mess that had the appearance of vomit. Winston took up his mug of gin, paused for an instant to collect his nerve, and gulped the oily-tasting stuff down. When he had winked the tears out of his eyes he suddenly discovered that he was hungry. He began swallowing spoonfuls of the stew, which, in among its general sloppiness, had cubes of spongy pinkish stuff which was probably a preparation of meat…
 
‘How is the Dictionary getting on?’ said Winston, raising his voice to overcome the noise.
‘Slowly,’ said Syme. ‘I’m on the adjectives. It’s fascinating.’
He had brightened up immediately at the mention of Newspeak. He pushed his pannikin aside, took up his hunk of bread in one delicate hand and his cheese in the other, and leaned across the table so as to be able to speak without shouting.
 
‘The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition,’ he said. ‘We’re getting the language into its final shape — the shape it’s going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When we’ve finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again. You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We’re destroying words — scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edition won’t contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050.’
 
http://www.george-orwell.org/1984/4.html

JohnEss
JohnEss
Jul 19, 2020 1:22 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Chilling, isn’t it?

S Cooper
S Cooper
Jul 19, 2020 4:23 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Executions as social and political control. The STATE’S (ie Corporate Fascist State) way of telling the populace (ie the proles) TO OBEY. That it means business. The more gruesome the execution spectacle the stronger the message. Sick!
 
If the war racketeer corporate fascists were so much against mass murder and grand theft would they be occupying (illegally) Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

Borncynic
Borncynic
Jul 19, 2020 4:05 PM
Reply to  Grafter

I’m finding the owner run places to be markedly worse with all the nonsense. Clearly the fear of losing their businesses has triggered them into turning the sanitation showboating into an Olympic sport.

Worse still are the waged staff members enjoying the rare opportunity to exert power. The low point of the weekend was having an infrared gun aimed at my head like a revolver before I had the chance to blink.

I’m also getting very weary of only being able to pick up every third word spoken to me by idiots wearing masks and visors simultaneously, often while standing behind a screen.

Watt
Watt
Jul 19, 2020 4:54 PM
Reply to  Grafter

Pretty much echoes my recent experiences. I’m now barred from my former local. Barred by myself, I might add. As they say ‘when you’ve tasted wine, vinegar no longer will do’!

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
Jul 19, 2020 6:21 PM
Reply to  Grafter

Grafter,
 
I feel much the same, though it is not from my own personal experience, though that of my wife’s a week ago. When she told me the new rules, and what the landlady of the pub (she is lovely – everyone behaves in her pub – think school class – brilliant teacher), told my wife, what I am not allowed to do – I said – well go if you want, but I am staying home. At the age of 66, I have no need to go back to school, to be disciplined – and told how to behave.
 
I completely empathise with the author of this piece. She is quite obviously an academic, using some words that I did not recognise, and an enormous number of them, such that I had got half way through it, and my mind was going round in circles, and I nearly fell asleep, and then realised I had only read half of it.
 
At this point, I gave up, cos our Grandkids and their Parents were coming round for Sunday Lunch, and I was cooking it.
 
It was either my French or English Teacher in my Secondary Modern School in Oldham, who tried to teach me the art of précis. 
I am still rubbish at it.
 
Tony
.
 
 
 

covidiot
covidiot
Jul 20, 2020 7:19 AM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

I am still rubbish at it.
 
— not nearly as rubbish as the author of this oeuvre, who is, as you say, showing all the symptoms of advanced academia. probably a terminal case.

Eyes Open
Eyes Open
Jul 19, 2020 6:37 PM
Reply to  Grafter

Contrived mental cruelty, courtesy of our bent shyster class of politicians in Government. This is all designed to make us so thoroughly miserable that we surrender and offer our arms out to receive Bill Gates’ ‘flu’ vaccine, this winter (and every winter).

We need to be chipped, tracked and traced and then we’ll be free.

The analogy is a protection racket.

Judith
Judith
Jul 20, 2020 12:36 AM
Reply to  Eyes Open

Is anybody dating these days???
 
People are going to forget how.
 
I don’t want to make a joke of tyranny but what will the new pick-up lines be?
 
And for some reason that makes me think of a very popular ad in the 1960’s. Don’t know if it ran in the UK or other countries but if you lived in the US at the time you’d remember.
 
The new ad will feature a muzzle-wearing woman riding a on a swing:
 
“I dreamed I went to heaven in my Maidenform Mask”

Peter Jennings
Peter Jennings
Jul 19, 2020 10:28 AM

The urge to ‘be seen to care’ is baloney, just as a false spirit of care seems to infect some around Christmas time because it’s a custom, but usually doesn’t last past Boxing day.
 
Those wearing masks do so because they are either scared of peer pressure, want to social signal like crabs on a beach, or they are that careless that they actually believe the bullshit being told to them by shysters who just see them as cash cows. Society should not be pandering to those who fit into the above pigeon holes.
 
The nanny state is going to kill you with care and procedures. All the talk and gov’t advice is merely propaganda to convince the stupid and uninformed that gov’t has their back and their rushed vaccine from private suppliers will not give them brain damage.
 
I passed a wooman in a store the other day. She was wearing a mask, i needed to get by. I passed to close apparently and was met with cries of ‘unbelievable’.
 
It sure is.
We are allowing our democracy to fall into a idiocracy.

JohnEss
JohnEss
Jul 19, 2020 1:23 PM
Reply to  Peter Jennings

What’s a democracy?

hope
hope
Jul 19, 2020 9:54 AM

Isnt this the dehumanization that has been in progress for some time now? People are forgetting that without caring there is no humanity, and caring indeed involves physical touch.
Just a personal example: some years ago I lost the person I was closest to, and I certainly could not have survived without the warmth shown by both strangers and friends. I remember the next day I was going to a friend’s house to stay a few days and while I was waiting for her to come and pick me up from the train station, I told two unknown ladies sitting on a bench, my … died yesterday. They immediately took my hands into theirs, and smiled so kindly. Words would have been superfluous. Ill never forget them, though I do not know their names… Thats another thing I have found utterly cruel with what is going on, cruel is not the word, wicked? evil?: that those that have lost someone close could neither mourn properly — a funeral is a ceremony that helps those who are left behind to cope with the departure of the person they will never speak to again, never see again in this life. That they are denied the physical company of kith and kin, friends and strangers.
 
I have been very scared when a well known philosopher told me whats the problem, I watch the funerals on the internet. Since then Im truly scared of him.
 
This dehumanization is terrifying.

JohnEss
JohnEss
Jul 19, 2020 1:25 PM
Reply to  hope

Nail on head.
 
Wonderfully written.
 
Thank you.

Nixon Scraypes
Nixon Scraypes
Jul 19, 2020 4:55 PM
Reply to  JohnEss

I think cruel is the better word, it’s more personal,wicked and evil are somewhat amorphous.

Judith
Judith
Jul 20, 2020 12:46 AM
Reply to  Nixon Scraypes

I just wrote on the previous article about the same sort of cruelty that I have seen here in US.
 
The fact that so many elderly people are in care homes and have not seen family and friends in four months. It’s sinful. My oldest friend’s mom is 102. Sharp as a tack. Lives in upstate NY. My friend has not been able to visit.
 
I went to a wake last week. A fellow I grew up with. The death was unexpected. He was not elderly. His niece told me that his last days in the hospital he was allowed very minimal visitors and only one at a time. He had a wife, two grown sons and a few grandchildren. Plus 7 siblings.
 
Today I read an obit today in my city paper of a young man that acquired a form of leukemia 3 months ago. Ironically he studied oncology. It was a very aggressive cancer. His family wrote a paragraph specifically in the obit stating what a brave fight he put up especially given that because he was hospitalized he pretty much did it alone. He was only allowed visitors at the end.
 
My parents died in the past 5 years. I was with both of them when they passed. They were surrounded by family for weeks before they went.
 
If that were to happen today and I was told I could not be with them I would be writing this from a prison computer.
 

 
 

Ort
Ort
Jul 19, 2020 10:32 PM
Reply to  hope

“Cruel” is appropriate. “Iniquitous” also comes to mind.

Ergo
Ergo
Jul 19, 2020 10:13 AM
Reply to  sam2

What do you mean “Not hard if it has been”?

Ort
Ort
Jul 19, 2020 10:29 PM
Reply to  Ergo

I take it to mean that if the virus has in fact been isolated, it shouldn’t be hard to prove it.

Ergo
Ergo
Jul 19, 2020 10:47 PM
Reply to  Ort

Thankyou

JohnEss
JohnEss
Jul 19, 2020 1:27 PM
Reply to  sam2

The link doesn’t resolve. Change.org cannot find that petition.

sam2
sam2
Jul 19, 2020 9:42 AM

Have you tried CEASE therapy?

Ergo
Ergo
Jul 19, 2020 10:13 AM
Reply to  sam2

What is CEASE therapy?

sam2
sam2
Jul 20, 2020 1:45 AM
Reply to  Ergo
Willem
Willem
Jul 19, 2020 8:54 AM

In NL where mask wearing is not (yet) mandatory, I only see rarely people wearing a mask, like one in a hundred or even less than that, which is not extraordinary since the point prevalence of OCD is 1 in a 100.

I can only say this for myself with certainty, but if mask wearing in NL would become obligatory and I could not escape from wearing one, I would not wear it because it makes me feel safe, but because I would not want to risk the fine.

And if in that (fortunately still hypothetical) scenario, I would see an increase in mouth mask wearers from 1 in a hundred, to suddenly everyone, I would consider it far more likely that people wear masks because they (like me) don’t want to risk the fine.

Of course you can say that wearing a mask out of fear to otherwise pay a fine, is not very heroic. But heroism, as defined by WF Hermans, is being careless without punishment (Held: iemand die straffeloos onvoorzichtig is geweest). Fortunately there is also another way than heroism to defy the system, which is civil disobedience. But civil disobedience cannot easily be defined and depends on the situation. Henry David Thoreau could be civil disobedient because he had powerful and rich friends who could get him of jail. What if you have no such friends?

– Another way of being civil disobedient, is to not let them profit from your labor. But since most labor in westernized countries is bullshit anyway, I don’t think you hurt the system if you resign yourself from the bullshit workforce.

Maybe a way out of it is to pretend to do your bullshit work (for which you will be payed), while in the meantime re-educate yourself and employ yourself in some work for which you do not need the system and do not pay the system in order to survive (like barterdeals). Such civil disobedience, when done by everybody with a bullshit job, may starve the beast, leading to the freedom of not wearing mouth masks anymore and many other civil rights.

That will be a long struggle though… But I am sure there are also many other ways in being civil disobedient that may speed up the process: just let your imagination work.

Knives and pitchforks may work faster than civil disobedience, but who knows what comes after the knives and the pitchforks? Usually the pigs, who led from behind, then take over and nothing changes at Manor farm..

Simon Dutton
Simon Dutton
Jul 19, 2020 10:38 AM
Reply to  Willem

Usually the pigs, who led from behind, then take over and nothing changes at Manor farm..

 
Perhaps, perhaps not. This from 2012:
 

hope
hope
Jul 19, 2020 11:02 AM
Reply to  Simon Dutton

Possibly Willem was thinking of the second phase of the French revolution: the Terror period, from which I think France has not yet recovered. The genocide of an entire social class and with it of some of its best elements. Its often the case that the gentry or today the upper middle classes do produce the very people who usher in new ideas, which make a change for the better possible, people who by doing so stand up against their own social class.

Simon Dutton
Simon Dutton
Jul 19, 2020 1:05 PM
Reply to  hope

Yes, agreed. That eloquent video shows the first phase. The cycle is as old as politics itself, a revolution giving ultimate rise to a new form of tyranny.
 
But in these times we have yet to see the first phase. You can only push people so far, and it only needs a minority of the population to set things off.

hope
hope
Jul 19, 2020 4:39 PM
Reply to  Simon Dutton

Indeed it only needs a minority. Its always been a minority that has made sure that humanity gets through the worst times. But if you read my reply to Jane, even people of the country I live in who are worried about what is going on, despair of there being that minority there today.
Now in some other cultures, it is indeed different.
 

Jane
Jane
Jul 19, 2020 11:46 AM
Reply to  Willem

I know what you mean about wearing a mask to avoid a fine. In France it is going to be obligatory from tomorrow to wear a mask in shops or you will be fined 135 euros. What do you do? Starve to death? Never go out? Up till now I’ve avoided wearing a mask when I go to the shops. I had to wear one at a station in Paris because a policeman told me to. If I had argued I would have missed my train. The Town Council sent a few cotton masks to every household. I’ll keep mine in my pocket and pull it out and put it on when I go into the shop. I don’t care how dirty it gets; I’m not going to wash it. Cutting off my nose to spite my face, but I shop quickly so won’t keep the mask on for long. So far I have not met anyone who feels the same way as me about the disproportionate response to covid. I have fallen out with one friend and nearly fallen out with two more because I thought that like me they would want to look beneath the headlines and found out too late they didn’t. Luckily I have a garden and I enjoy reading.

Simon Dutton
Simon Dutton
Jul 19, 2020 1:07 PM
Reply to  Jane

Can you get medical exemption in France? In the UK (as far as I know) you can self-declare and do not need a letter from a doctor. But even if you need a doctor’s letter … well, let me say that having an imagination and access to a laser printer might come in handy 🙂

hope
hope
Jul 19, 2020 4:35 PM
Reply to  Simon Dutton

No there is no exemption, except for the heavily handicapped, who then have to put on this huge thing that looks like what welders wear.

hope
hope
Jul 19, 2020 4:33 PM
Reply to  Jane

Jane, Im also in France and I also feel the same as you, and have done exactly as you. In fact neighbours told me there were notices in every shop where I live that had made the mask obligatory for the whole of last week, so before it becomes legally mandatory. I had not noticed and went as usual everywhere without a mask, and was not evicted from anywhere. Now from tomorrow things will be different as it becomes legally binding. I did my shopping for the next few days, so wont need to shop. Then some kindly people I met through the OffG comments section who live in the countryside have extremely generously invited me to come and spend the next weeks with them, before I can go abroad. I hope to at least get through the first phase of these measures by being together with like-minded peoples away from big cities, before hopefully leaving for a country with no/less measures. I have in effect lost all my professional connections and friends on the covid issue, so its extremely isolating. Like you I read, and I write, so I can work from anywhere.
Thats a privilege: just think those who have to go to a workplace with these measures and wear a mask all day long.
 
So am slowly getting to know new people: someone in my neighbourhood invited me for lunch today. He’s elderly and remembers the occupation and collaboration period. He was then around 8 years old. He recounted the effect on children of having to sing Marechal nous voilà” at school, he recounted the passive collaboration of his family, how people accepted and collaborated (like even going to
sing songs with the Milicia and Nazis) just to survive, just to find food, how the will of the people can be broken. How he is seeing it all happening again now in a different way. How as he said generations, and certainly his, were brought up not to be able to think for themselves. He and his wife were saying that their grandchildren are unhappy with the measures and have had their future taken away from them, but that nonetheless they are not getting together rebelling, only getting together to drink in their respective homes, because in bars with the measures its dreary… That basically they are seeing the young accepting, adapting, that humans adapt to the worst. They said that today none of us had a life, yet no one was doing anything, and that in the country of collaboration not to expect anything similar to
Serbia happening. That the demonstrations here, like the other day, were as they said about someone having been brutalised by the police some years ago, that no one was speaking out against the masks in this country.
 

Jane
Jane
Jul 19, 2020 6:24 PM
Reply to  hope

Thank you, Hope, for your kind reply. I’m glad you’ve made new friends. I’m pretty much reduced to husband and kids. My son went surfing last week at Lacanau. You had to wear a mask to get into the bars, but once inside social distancing was the last thing on everybody’s mind, apparently, as they drank and danced till four in the morning. Have fun while you can because you don’t know what the government in its infinite wisdom will decide to do to us next. The prime minister says the rationale behind masks at this late stage is “preventive” to stop the virus coming back rather than “emergency” to stop it spreading. Probably a lot of people are prepared to put up with masks because they think anything is better than another confinement. A small price to pay for a semblance of normality as my husband says. He thinks I’m too obsessed with covid and his eyes glaze over when I mention it. But how can you not be obsessed when you are made to stay in your house for two months and wear a mask in a shop for no good reason? I live in the Puy de Dôme by the way and was changing trains in Paris because we went on holiday to Mont St Michel while my son was surfing. You needed a mask to get onto the island. I ended up finding my mask rather useful since it protected my freckly face from the sun. Every cloud.
 

Judith
Judith
Jul 20, 2020 1:04 AM
Reply to  hope

Off topic here hope, but how do you connect with offguardian commenters privately? I’m assuming that’s how you got to know them? Only asking because there are commenters that refer to other matters and events that I would like to further discuss but it would be way off topic on discussion boards.
 
I’m glad for you that you are exploring and taking action in directions that may lead to some sense of serenity with this.
 
What countries are you thinking of with less stringent measures – if you don’t mind me asking. Because I am wondering the same thing. Or can you direct me to some information sites where I can do some research on that?
 
Thanks.

hope
hope
Jul 20, 2020 8:08 AM
Reply to  Judith

Indeed Judith you raise an important point: how to get in touch with commenters without revealing your personal details publicly. Seemingly for some this is less of an issue, and they gave me their email address in a comment. However I learnt from a commenter highly concerned about anonymity that to do so you create an email address for this very purpose, which you can give in your comment. Then once the other person has contacted you there, you can reply from your genuine address and exchange real identities. What one commenter had suggested was that we go through the editors of OffG by sending them our email addresses and asking them to forward our emails to the other does not seem to work as they never replied.
 
About countries: Norway has no measures and seems among the best at the moment. Also their prime minister is the only one who has made a public mea culpa on TV saying they had been wrong with lockdowns and so on, and she apologized to the nation, and said they would stay clear of such measures, and just let populations get on with their lives. So possibly, Norway is the most reliable. Sweden is also fine for the moment (now if you’re afraid of the health effects of 5G, dont go there, as I think it may be already implemented in major cities at least).
The Netherlands only require masks in transports, so once you arrive at your destination, you can decide to walk or cycle anywhere you want to go to, or if you drive, rent a car.
Avoid southern European countries who seem to be more in the covid narrative. Germany has possibly the most substantial minority that is standing up to this narrative, however I believe you have to wear masks in all shops, so for a visit from abroad it does not help.
Im less aware about what is going on in East European nations, it may well be that some are fine.
 
Remember that in the UK you are exempted from wearing the mask if you are someone who gets distressed” and you dont need even a doctor’s certificate for that. So you can easily opt out, but in many continental countries like France there are not exemptions where the mask has been made obligatory. So you are for the time being relatively better off than some other places.
 
 

hope
hope
Jul 20, 2020 8:53 AM
Reply to  Judith

Judith Ive replied to most of your queries in a previous comment. I just forgot to add that I did not find any site listing the rules in the different countries. Its interesting that the sites google search or any other search engine for the matter takes you too list those with the worst measures, not those with no or little measures. So the result is that people will get the feeling that every country is supporting stringent laws. Since the beginning of this affair, I have found that search engines have become very censorious, and it is becoming hard to find veritable information, unless you already know where to look for them…
So regarding countries, I would suggest looking up their government web sites one by one. Anyhow these will be more accurate, and beware that some European countries are banning entry to other Europeans or requiring quarantines, even though they may have no or little rules within the country.
 
Hope this helps.

Judith
Judith
Jul 20, 2020 11:49 AM
Reply to  hope

Hope, thank you for taking the time to share all that information.
 
I will note it all and follow up.
 
Someone should start a Covid Clearing House.
 
And in addition to Antifa – Antima (sks) and Antiva (ccines)
 
Many thanks, again.

Seaweed
Seaweed
Jul 19, 2020 10:17 PM
Reply to  Jane

I don’t know if there are many outdoor markets near you but I do a lot of shopping there as it’s a way to support local farmers, the veg is grown locally so tastes loads better than supermarket veg, it’s more of a social event than the supermarket and it’s a way of supporting the cash economy as the powers-that-be want a cashless society, more control for them and less privacy for us. And no mask wearing required, well, at least for the time being!
 

Jane
Jane
Jul 20, 2020 6:59 AM
Reply to  Seaweed

There are outdoor markets which I use, but recently a group of organic producers set up a little indoor market, held four times a week, in a former Proxi. It tends to be patronised by the type who would be Guardian readers if they lived in the UK and wore masks, as did most of the producers, but I held out. I don’t think I’m brash enough to put the producers in the position of breaking the law by letting me into the shop without a mask. As for Leclerc, I go there for raw milk and lovely yogurts which aren’t sold elsewhere. So I’ll just have to put up with it. But I might put a rhinoceros on my mask in order to give a kindred spirit a chance to spot me.

Seaweed
Seaweed
Jul 20, 2020 11:12 AM
Reply to  Jane

I’m glad you are holding out, I am too, there are many others like us, we are not lone! I’m even weaning myself off chocolate as I refuse to go to the supermarket and it’s expensive to buy online, so I’m going to be very cranky for about the next week! I went to an outdoor market this morning, last week about 5% in masks, this week about 50%, but that still means 50% choose liberty, to be positive! I heard an old lady in her 80s say ‘do not touch, do not touch, do not touch!’ in response to seeing ‘do not touch’ scrawled on a bit of cardboard next to the fruit on the stall, she wasn’t happy…
But I do despair at the people wearing masks and it’s such an affront to our humanity and I hate seeing children wearing them. I’m lucky that I can prob get away without a mask long term as I don’t have children at school or work in a public space or use public transport though life has become a lot more isolated as the social events have mostly gone, and the creative arts have suffered a lot, with musicians losing gigs etc.
So here I am online, another voice saying, people wake up!!!! See what they are doing to us!!!! Use your brain!!!! Before it’s too late!!!!
 

Jane
Jane
Jul 20, 2020 3:29 PM
Reply to  Seaweed

I held out as long as it wasn’t compulsory. Now that it is, I think I’ll have to give in. I don’t go out much at the moment anyway. When I do I might put a little rhinoceros on my mask to see if any kindred spirit notices what I’m trying to say. My elder son has been in Thailand for the past six months where there was curfew but no actual lockup. To get into a shopping centre you had to wear a mask and have your temperature taken. In a far away country that could seem an exotic experience. He is coming back to France next Saturday. I wonder what he will make of all the masked faces.

Judith
Judith
Jul 20, 2020 12:59 AM
Reply to  Jane

Do you not have the medical exemption in France? Where I live if you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask you don’t have to wear one. If it is a private establishment they might tell you to leave, but generally they won’t.
 
And here in USA they cannot ask you what the condition is. Fined if they do.
 
So far I have been OK. My bank gave me a hard time so I said, OK, I’ll take my money and go elsewhere. I had a little chunk in one account so I was a bit smug. But I feel like you have to make a statement in any little way you can.
 
That being said, I have not had a problem in other shops. The staff all wear them because they have to, but many are young and probably don’t want to pick on an old lady!

Jane
Jane
Jul 20, 2020 7:02 AM
Reply to  Judith

Hope up above says there are no medical exemptions. I haven’t looked into it, but I doubt if my doctor would be willing to give me one.

Judith
Judith
Jul 20, 2020 12:54 AM
Reply to  Willem

I agree with you. Many people, who knows, maybe most?, are wearing the mask because they have to. I am holding out as looooooooong as possible.
 
And many people are wearing the mask because they are genuinely afraid of getting the virus. And if they only read MSM then they are justified at being terrified.
 
Where I draw the line in my tolerance is the people who are really using masks as virtue signalling. It makes me sick. I get it often when I am running. And it’s so blatantly hypocritical. I am petite senior citizen RUNNING by you in the OUT OF DOORS. But you race to pull your mask up as you see me approaching – with that fear-dagger look in your eyes.
 
If you are wearing the mask because you are one of those considerate model citizens who is protecting OTHERS from the virus, do you really think you are going to give it to me as I run by???? I mean I’m not Bolt, but I do a pretty good clip.
 
NO, the truth is your scrambling to put that mask on because you’re angry that I am not wearing one and you are going to one up me.
 
What a study in human nature.

Seaweed
Seaweed
Jul 20, 2020 10:55 AM
Reply to  Judith

What annoys me is people who wear masks when they are driving alone in their cars as it’s dangerous for everyone else as they aren’t getting enough oxygen! And the same thing as what you are saying, do they think they are going to catch it from me or give it to me as they drive by??? I wish people would just use their brains.

Judith
Judith
Jul 20, 2020 11:44 AM
Reply to  Seaweed

I’ve already heard one mother say that she will not let her child ride on a school bus with a driver who is wearing a mask because of the reason you pointed out.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Jul 19, 2020 8:21 AM

Poignant, especially on the pressures that lead to abuse in care homes. Also the pressures on mothers in particular, but all of us in general, to be “seen to care”.
 
We can’t blame only the state if we go along with it. I recall a report from Germany that celebrated a year without deaths in schools by drowning. Great news on the face of it — but zero-sum thinking.
 
This was achieved not by a national effort to teach every child to swim – but by telling children to avoid water. Water is dangerous. Don’t touch.
 
Avoid is a very different mental process to beware. We should indeed be wary as in, ‘engage brain’. Beware involves thinking. Avoid is reflexive.
 
Zero-sum thinking pervades policy these days from dangerous dogs acts to climate policy but this virus is the best example yet. Viruses can be transmitted. So everybody stay away from each other. Close the borders. Isolate. Everybody quarantine. Everybody social distance.
 
I wrote two or three months ago: “Under this policy, as pursued in NZ and a lesser degree, Australia, the moment an infected person enters the country they’re going to have to rush home to cower under the table – or stay there until a vaccine does or doesn’t materialize.” And so it transpired.
 
Limited thinking is indistinguishable from stupidity if our actions end up hurting ourselves and others. Our answer, as a society, should be to illuminate people out of this stupidity – instead we censor words like stupid and idiotic and treat any criticism of state policy as subversion.
 
This is bordering on mental illness on a society-wide scale.

covidiot
covidiot
Jul 20, 2020 9:16 AM
Reply to  Moneycircus

I think we’re looking at “bordering on” in the rear-view mirror.

Ergo
Ergo
Jul 19, 2020 8:14 AM

Terribly sorry.
Couldn’t understand this paper.
Didn’t get the premise and the ideas didn’t connect convincingly enough to hold my interest.

Jan J
Jan J
Jul 19, 2020 8:56 AM
Reply to  Ergo

Sorry to hear that. While I agree it’s somewhat “meandering” in style it does contain a lot of great insight about “care” in our society. Maybe you should contemplate reading it again in light of some of the comments here?

Ergo
Ergo
Jul 19, 2020 9:09 AM
Reply to  Jan J

Thanks, I may try again.

covidiot
covidiot
Jul 20, 2020 9:17 AM
Reply to  Ergo

don’t worry, it’s written in Academese, not English. maybe that was the problem.

Ergo
Ergo
Jul 20, 2020 9:44 AM
Reply to  covidiot

Well covidiot..love the name…
Just between you and me it was written in drawl.. talking on the phone to mum…type language. Too loose for my liking and not academic enough!
Thanks for caring…😍

Loverat
Loverat
Jul 19, 2020 8:12 AM

Really interesting. Perhaps its an unconscious bias that I always warm to people from the North East . I can’t see a bio for the author although there are one or two Sinead Murphy’s in academia.

So, would be interesting to know, especially if this is from a newer writer.

covidiot
covidiot
Jul 20, 2020 9:20 AM
Reply to  Loverat

there are one or two Sinead Murphy’s in academia.
 
one of which, has apparently now graced us with their erudition. normal people don’t write like that.

bob
bob
Jul 19, 2020 6:42 AM

A most succinct and apt precise of our times. The distinction between care and safety is notable. Control underscores the safety mantra. It is foul and it is criminal.
 
I can talk of receiving a letter from my GP practice, saying appointments are no longer available. That a phone call (triage) will be all that is allowed in the first place. That if you are ‘invited’ to attend the surgery you must wear a mask, have temperature taken and possibly have a covid test – you may not even see a GP rather a head nurse or a physiotherapist – before any further investigation takes place.
 
I hear that shortly you won’t be able to stroll into A&E anymore, again, rather you have to phone up, describe the issues and await an ambulance if you are deemed ‘serious enough’ for treatment.
 
You do not show any care to people by closing down healthcare
 
If that is being ‘safe’ – safe for whom??
 
This is the most despicable part of the ‘new safe normal’ being imposed upon us
 
For a regime that claims it want to save lives – it’s a funny way to show it
 
This is murder and depopulation
 
 

Marilyn Shepherd
Marilyn Shepherd
Jul 19, 2020 6:26 AM

Bravo, well said, I too am shocked at the hysteria that has accompanied a non existent pandemic. I reckon the whinging in the west killed it and bored it to tears early on so it stayed home and we are left with carnage.