I was watching the news yesterday evening and a feature on the protests in America. The main grievance that a growing number of them have is being ‘told’ they must ‘stay at home’, ‘quarantine’ and ‘social distance’. Just like the rest of us around the globe. They find it frustrating. So do we. They want to get back to work. So do we. They want their lives to return to ‘normal’ (whatever that is). So do we.
But, whilst the vast majority of us ( not all, granted) are compliant in this regard, there is an unsurprising surge of Americans who are simply saying ‘no’ and are now protesting at the restrictions. Their beloved ‘constitution’ being once again shoved in our faces for all to see and forensically examine. Except we don’t care. What we do see are a growing band of ill-informed renegades who are jeopardising their fellow citizens by their selfish and deviant behaviour. The ‘home of the brave and the land of the free’ and all that cobblers.
Home of the brave? Disregarding basic rules designed to protect everyone? That’s real brave. Land of the free? Because they believe that their constitution allows them to do whatever they wish? None of us have that luxury. Not even in old libertarian Blighty.
Whilst it has become increasingly clear that our Government didn’t act swiftly enough, were hopelessly underprepared and allowed certain activity to proceed when evidently it should have been halted; our behaviour as citizens over the last few weeks has undoubtedly started to show some promising signs. Not for the 16,000 who have died and their families but longer term. The death toll will rise and will greatly exceed the once considered ‘20,000’ toll but we do have to look to the future and the job of re-building lives, the economy, human interaction, life practices and a return to living. Whilst health must come before economy, in some senses it is only just so. We are witnessing cataclysmic changes to our economy with businesses folding and increasing numbers of people becoming reliant on the state and foodbanks.
But we are doing what we are doing for the sake of our future, the future of our children and grandchildren and the good of all of us. This is what makes the myopia shown by the Americans so perplexing. An inner rage they seem to always so easily exhibit by insisting that ‘we will not be told what to do nor how and when to do it’. It is truly scary to have watched pictures from beaches in Florida the other evening when hoards of them were running about freely as if released from captivity. But what does this actually show us? Only, I say, a callous indifference to their fellow man. A refusal to follow instructions although those instructions are coming from a strange lad, let’s be honest.
As we struggle with lockdown and all the problems and frustrations that it brings, I do console myself that I don’t have to encounter the nonsense being sense in increasingly large parts of North America just now. The beleaguered health service over there must be absolutely fuming…..and at their own people, too.
Stay safe, people.