Lock-down the sequel

It’s obvious? Certainly, seems obvious to me. This lock-down has a completely different feel to it from the springtime one. Then a wave of solidarity swept over us all. Back in April – May the days were getting longer. Tulips were flowering. For a while it did feel like we were are all in this together.  A great national effort to pull together and beat this ghastly virus. Then as we got into the summer a cautious clam settled. It looked, for a while as if a sense of normality had been restored.

Where did it go wrong? Such has been the general incompetence since that there’s a sourer atmosphere with this latest incarnation of a national lock-down.  No longer can we turn a blind eye to mistakes made in haste. A succession of Ministers over promising and under delivering has erased credibility and undermined public confidence.

Autumn can be colourful. If there’s an aspect of lock-down that lifts the spirit, it’s those misty mornings when the sun burns off the fog and the full glory of the leaf fall is revealed. Finding time to be outside is a plus.  At least if the weather holds. 

Wandering around there’s an air of confusion. More commercial premises are open. Traffic is way up on the springtime lock-down. Looking for a logic in what’s open and what’s not is perplexing. I can walk into a shop and buy a newspaper. A book on the other hand is an online purchase.  If I want Christmas decorations, it’s best to go to a garden centre and mingle with an older generation.

Forget a coffee and a sandwich unless I’m happy to sit in the park and eat them alfresco. Having missed the window for a haircut, I’ll come out of this lock-down as a yeti. A well-fed yeti. Supermarkets carry on with no sign of difference or special measures.

It’s an impression but I don’t think this national lock-down has the serious attention of the past one. People know that policing is focused of the attention-grabbing breaches of rules. Everyday skirting around the rules and mirror infringements have become habits.

Rules, although written simply, need a lot of interpretation. Moving to a new house is in scope. But what about the ancillary tasks like traveling to meet agents or dispose of possessions no longer needed. Even knowing that charity shops are shut-up for the duration.

The urgency displayed as a justification for this national lock-down isn’t being followed through but Ministers. I’m reminded of the advice for speakers: tell them what you are going to say, tell them and then tell them what you have said. There needs to be repetition of urgent communications. For a message to stick and be taken seriously by the public the Prime Minister must be more visible.

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