Closure Ayes

If you’re panicking at the prospect of a few months of social distancing, spare a thought for your friendly neighbour burglars and junkies, who will see the window for opportunist crime closing down faster than a Rolf Harris comeback tour.

They’ll probably be able to apply for Universal Credit, though, and we should endeavour to leave our windows open as a temporary measure. Support your local business and all that.

Pubs and clubs have been forcibly closed by the Government, which means that landlords will now be plunging their shoddy fare onto the takeaway market, like a herd of wannabe e-Bay arm-chancers.

Don’t feel too nostalgic or sympathetic – half of them are dyed-in-the-wool shitholes. If it hadn’t been Boris, it would’ve been a local council hygiene raid that (over or under) cooked their goose.

But I guess they all thought we’d all be queuing up for £4.50 pints of watered-down beer to be delivered to our places of mandatory isolation (just as long as queuing is not now banned by the authorities), right?

Well, not really. The smart money (as long as bookies have also not been curtailed) is now on a stampede to the supermarket to buy much cheaper booze, to mingle even more closely with others, and to head back home to self-stupefy.

And then we’ll invite the neighbours round.

It’s another pyrrhic policy victory for a Government that’s made half-baked factoid strategy into a potato-printed art form.

If the Government were that closely in tune with the fate of public houses over the last few years, they’d have cottoned on that swathes of customers had already abandoned regular pub patronage for private gatherings chez eux. There’ll now be a lot more of that, and the ailing boozer industry will be sunk faster than a pint of gnats’ piss.

Did they really think that closures would necessitate a transformation of the drinking context for the ale aficionados? That avowed pub-goers would simply recourse to lonesome domestic libation? The pub culture is not just about the physical act of consuming a drink. It’s about a social process that will simply now be replicated elsewhere.

If Government policymakers are going to ponder on behaviour-changing measures, then somebody please call a psychologist.

I wonder what the virus would make of all this, if of course the virus could think rationally? It would probably jump on the nearest bus or the tube and just toddle off someplace else to replicate away. Because after all, public transport is still running. And why not? Once that gets the chop, the whole country will whimper to a permanent stall. But please don’t spin the line that the London Tube is conducive to social distancing or virus curtailment.

Talk about looking down the wrong end of the telescope.

But there is more to the current strategy. I mean, there’s always more, albeit usually more bollocks that the post-fact, numbskull truth-contortionist cabals are secreting in a societal suicide-kit under the bed.

This time though, it’s stuff that is a tad more aligned to a process but still couched in shameless whoppers.

Don’t be fooled by the scaremongering rhetoric about the need to avoid infection that has been buttressed by the diarrhoeic downpour of we’re all here to help you through this emails from every CEO in the country who is precisely not well placed to help you. (A nice little GDPR-friendly ruse to get a Government missive into every inbox into the country, though – that last-gasp conference call last week with all the CEOs at least served some purpose).

The truth is that a critical mass of the population will need to get COVID-19 to stop it coming back. These harsher restrictions represent a temporary measure to allow for the progressive unburdening of the NHS.

And at some time in the future, they will be lifted for a subsequent stage of re-infection. The cycle will continue until enough resistance has been built up in the population.

It’s why the holding measures of the retention grants are so important. It’s about preparing businesses for an immediate switch-on. And off. And on. Otherwise, the Government wouldn’t bother propping up the non-skilled sector.

There is a kind of logic to it, but a bumbling Clouseau logic. And it’s a strategy that will see us cut off our own nose.

Maybe some looney tunes post-graduate adviser suggested that they were only just another a viral gateway?

unsplash-logoBenedikt Geyer

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