topsy-turvy

2022 is only a few days old. Yet, it seems a lot older. The bizarre confusion of last year has followed us across the threshold of the years. What do I mean? It’s an upside down, back to front state of almost permanent upset.

Go get tested we are told. Testing will help us avoid further restrictive measure to contain this 3rd wave of COVID-19 infections. So, I walked up to the door of our local Boots the chemist and right in front of me was a notice saying they had no test kits but were waiting for the next order to arrive.

Put on a mask[1]. Don’t wear masks. Children must wear masks. Masks cause mental illness in schools. So many contradictory confused messages bouncing off the walls. Constantly senior politicians are racing to say the opposite to their colleagues. It’s possible to see a relish in the discomfort that they cause their colleagues.

Plan B or not plan B. But what is the plan? It’s clear the pandemic is far from over. Wishfull thinking does not make a threat go away.  The reality is that very large numbers of new coronavirus cases have been recorded. Their impact is being seen in the NHS and on the High Street.

A record number of job vacancies remain unfilled[2]. We are told to be prepare for a quarter of the work force being off sick. Ministers put on a brave face and say: don’t worry everything will be hunky-dory. That bright red, much reprinted “Keep Calm and Carry On” wartime motivational poster is now Government policy.

By the way, I’m not talking about the 1961 film: “Carry On Regardless[3]” but maybe I should be. Comedy farce is as British as British can be. The cast of characters in that film would probably make a better Government than the one we have in office. I shouldn’t even go down this avenue of thought. It’s too tragic.

Prime Minister Johnson is thought to be delaying decisions waiting for new data to become available. By the time official COVID-19 data is available it’s clear it’s going to be way behind the curve. Omicron’s progress over Christmas has been rapid.

As an engineer, I wish we had politicians who had just smidgen of systems engineering knowledge. Just a tiny appreciation of how control systems work can go a long way. How we respond to feedback can have a determining impact on what happened next. An approach solely based on “let’s wait and see what happens next” has a huge potential to result in undesirable outcomes.

The topsy-turvy world of tabloid media and Conservative backbench thinking is blinding Johnson. Our peculiar British fairground ride is continuing.


[1] https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/q-a-children-and-masks-related-to-covid-19

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/jobsandvacanciesintheuk/latest

[3] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054727/

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