The Second Wave

Politicians are buckling under pressure to ease the coronacrunch.

Germany and Norway are releasing the squeeze, but then again, they were hardly playing by the rules. They had a cogent plan. Most of the other countries are cacking it about a second wave of infections. Well, that’s to be expected because they’re mostly flying blind. They panicked, battened down the hatches, and have now enlisted swathes of civil servants to try to figure out whether all the chips on black or red would be the most logical bet. Protesters have already started to hit the streets with a gusto in several US states.

You didn’t need to have visited a psychic for a vision of how this malarkey was all going to unfold. The stark choice between a) possible infection with a 2% mortality rate and b) certainly losing everything has moved into sharp focus.

A critical mass of desperate backs is being pushed against the wall. The only direction for them will be to move forward, fighting. It’s particularly precarious for Trump whose principal successes have been economical, markedly in unskilled and blue-collar sectors.

It’s not too taxing a conundrum. In countries where the polarisation of wealth and poverty is at its most defined, it’s manifestly evident who will make it to the lifeboats.

UK resistance has been stifled through the ‘protect the NHS’ psychological offensive, which of course has not been open to the US administration. They’ve had to rely on Mr Trump’s portrayal of a ‘clever’, ‘devious’, and ‘genius’ virus – ‘a brilliant enemy’ that has outwitted antibiotics.

That must have had microbiologists – not to mention high school biologists – micturating. The World Health Organisation (WHO), for whom Trump has withdrawn funding after adjudging their incompetence, has sagely noted: ‘Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria’.

As for Donald, well, when you whizz in your pants, you stay warm for only so long. He’s about to experience the cold, stinging rebuke once it all sinks in.

Expect the momentum to grow in the UK too. We’re lamenting the lack of personal protection equipment (PPE) in hospitals but cringing about the excuse offered up for our non-participation in an EU procurement exercise. ‘Emails going astray’ is the kind of tosh that your utilities supplier used to ping out before it became kryptonite to even the most charlatanical of humbuggers.

The incorrigible buffoons are furthermore banging on about ‘contact tracing’ via a smartphone app. They clearly haven’t worked out that the most vulnerable to infection – the poor and the elderly – are the least likely to own this kind of tech. It will furthermore rely on Bluetooth, which is routinely switched off by savvy users who appreciate the advantages of a functioning battery after 3pm.

It’s this genre of muppetry that will precipitate the rebellion when the pain threshold approaches.

Let’s just take a moment though to pause and reflect. Arbitrary decisions have been made to pull the rug out from under livelihoods without any really clear rationale or route map. Yet once the dust settles, it will be every man and woman for themselves because those who’ve screwed up will have very short memories while they’re rewriting history. And of course, all the zillionaire politicos are bullet-proof.

We’ve all got commitments that will remain set in stone, yet our means to fulfil them have been wrenched away. That’s some movement of the goalposts by any standards. At the end of it all, the banks – yes, the same ones we taxpayers bailed out from 2008 – will come out at the top of the pile. And yes, they’re the ones who are doing everything they can to deflect, block, or simply ignore the requests for mortgage holidays that the UK Government brought forward a month ago.

But look how easy we’ve made it for them. Yesterday – in spite of the fact that Parliament is back in session, albeit digitally – the Coronavirus Act was updated and strengthened (yup, more enforcement powers for the police) without so much as a debate, let alone a vote.

Now you need a reasonable excuse not simply to leave your home but also to be ‘outside’. Oh dear, they’ve unwittingly criminalised the weekly clap. It moreover means that if you go out to procure eggs, and the shop has been plagued by a swarm of panic-buying locusts, you may end up with egg on your face. Or Conservative yoke.

For the record, the law will expire in March 2022.

It’s all going to sink in eventually. The second wave that should be feared will not be coronavirus mark II. It will be a thunderous backlash. Pure, unadulterated desperation, fuelled by anger.

Anger at the incompetence of our leaders, which led to such a catastrophe and at the suppression of our treasured rights, which facilitated it.

It looks like a warm summer ahead.

unsplash-logoJeremy Bishop

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