Confessions of a lockdownist

Definition: Lockdownist: a person who advocates for the benefits of a real lockdown;

It’s easy to misinterpret the notion that Covid-19 gives us anything positive given the death toll, numerous people infected, loss of jobs and havoc it has had on everyday life. It has caused untold pain which cannot be ignored.

As we move into a “kind of lockdown” a few days before Christmas in the UK it has upset a lot of people. I’m not enthused by it but I have learnt to look beyond weak leadership and do what I think is best for me, my family…and the society I interact with and live in daily.

But what have we learnt from Covid-19?
What did lockdown teach us?
Is a vaccine the only answer?

Do we simply make our own decisions regardless of what government says?
Did we really have a perfect way of life before Covid?

Can we at least stop for a moment to think about these questions? It’s the last one that really makes me think.

Photo by Taylor Smith on Unsplash

I have ying-yang attitude to life. I’m cautious and planned in my approach to some things and completely leftfield and non-conformist in my approach to other things. The spectrum of my outlook and my life is wide. I’ve kind of embraced this more and more as I’ve got older.

Somebody told me it’s a positive trait to have which gives a lot of fuel to my innovative and creative approach, but I still have my foot in reality somewhat. I was quite humbled by this observation.

I have always respected change

I think change is challenging for me but again it’s interesting to look at the perception of others to change. The somewhat cliche quote “be the change you wish to see in the world” I’ve read in different forms many times but in these times I think it really hits home.

The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress

Charles Kettering

This quote by the inventor Charles Kettering is quite profound when looking back on 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic is a global change like no other in my lifetime as I sit in lofty London working from home. It’s important to highlight this and none more so than in the so called developed nations that have not experienced the turmoil of widespread poverty, on-soil wars and destabilization in recent years.

Within this year of Covid, the Black Lives Matter movement and subsequent protests following the murder of George Floyd forced western society to look in the mirror in a way not done before. The lockdowns and introspection allowed this to take hold. It represented an in your face moment to society in many countries that this has always been happening.

The quote talks of the pain and hatred of change but also the opportunity and progress it brings.

When I look at the human condition within the developed nations in Europe particularly, I suddenly feel like I am indeed becoming surprised with the result of the latter half of the quote….progress?

Where is the progress to this change?

You could interpret this as “the West hates change” but it’s not the right way to look at it. I rather think of it as not capable of the growth that is needed.

In the UK we could never just stop and have a “proper lockdown” and now it has become a dirty word. The airports remained open, people came and went “on business” to Europe and back, illegal gatherings of many kinds and a plain brazen “I will do what I want to do attitude” is rife. But unfortunately it is a mirror reflection of incompetent governance.

That is not progress. That is a human condition that is stagnant and in need of help. I do not see it changing anytime soon.

Our truth is plain and simple

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

We did not lead a normal life pre-Covid. I stick by this comment and will not sit on the fence. The rat race and stresses of life had already got people thinking…why? What makes you get up in the morning? While an elite are precisely where they want to be the majority are in toe to the system, but… it is an acceptable and content lifestyle for the middle classes.

There is an ignorance amongst many that accept that the haves and have-nots fit into the that’s just how it is bracket. An acceptance of debt, poverty and excess in every shape and form to give the illusion of success and fulfilment. A disrespect to public sector workers by the Government who for many years have squeezed the backbone of this society. Today I heard the NHS had a resource shortfall of 8,000 doctors pre-Covid in the UK…so with Covid what was the impact going to be?

But we never accepted this deep down. Offset by charitable contributions, an extreme me first attitude married with a sense of entitlement serves a life which allows the economy to chug along and maintain the position of a country like the UK does in the world.

It’s incredulous the current debate about whether children can miss the last week before Christmas and the impact on a child’s education. Firstly, it’s completely disrespectful to the hard working teachers and heads that come in daily to teach and have adapted to deliver online classes.

What is imperative is the support that is needed for those children who seemingly have a less than ideal life at home. That’s the real issue. The inequality and poverty. This obsession that if a child misses a day off school they will miss out on so much when highly valued teachers offer more than a few days off at school. Our truth is that we lived in a society that was so unequal pre-Covid.

Inequality was and is the long-covid of our time.

An artificial win?

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Photo by Owen Beard on Unsplash

It may be taken out of context that having caution in terms of the vaccine for Covid-19 beats the drum of me being an antivaxxer. I would dispute this.

There is nothing wrong with questioning where we are today. For me it’s not the vaccine but the journey we have lived through over the past year. Incompetent leadership followed by an entitled population who think they have the right to do what they please mirrored and led by…an incompetent leadership. It’s not the masses with this attitude but it is enough to have a significant impact.

I do not only question the vaccine, but more so the journey of how we got here.

With the festive season upon us the momentum of shoppers in the midst of a pandemic is still strong. The challenge of keeping an economy going versus keeping people alive seems to have been won by the former.

The vaccine has given hope to things returning back to normal right?

But what is that? Playing God seems to be the defining card that has been drawn. Not in terms of the vaccine itself but the messaging and expectation that we as humans can always control our own destiny.

It’s only attitude that will win

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Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

One of my best friends got me a wonderful present a few years ago that remains a valued piece in my home. It’s simply titled Attitude by Charles Swindoll and I have to be reminded of it from time to time.

It simply highlights what we can and cannot change and the choices we have. Most importantly that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. I have to admit I do not always abide by this this but as I sign off for 2020, I am convinced that the reaction to the impact of Covid is so profound in many ways. It’s the small events and choices that will hopefully make a difference.

Weekend freedoms

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I went out for my Saturday morning ramble — walk, coffee and overdue thinking about new projects and things to do. What struck me was that I was not willing to leave the comfort of my car to walk around the local shops which are-a-frenzy with Christmas shopping. I chose my health over joining what I saw was more risky, even though it’s one of my basic freedoms. It may come across as a bit idealistic but hey, it’s an opinion!

I am comfortable in that the facts are clear — Covid rates are increasing, new variants are developing and combined with an inept Government, disrespectful approach to common courtesy by some to adhere to simple measures of good health I decided that it was 90% in my interests to do what was right.

Yes, I made a sacrifice but hey, getting my cappuccino and croissant is not what a true lockdownist misses.

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