Ummmm. Ahhhh. Should I or not? Write this?
I'm nervous of the end of lockdown. It feels as if it is being pushed through by the media, mainly print, but all outlets, because their ad revenue is markedly down and they are struggling. So they want to put the world back six weeks and tell everyone to crack on. But is it the right thing to do?
For sure most people only get a mild infection with Coronavirus and are out of action for a week or so and can get back to living again. But what of those for whom that isn't the case?
What, for example, of the antiques dealer who is a one-man band? Who has had amazing landlords who have been wonderful about rent and so on during lockdown, but who will want it to all resume once lockdown is over, and Boris says the little shops can open again? Then the rent demands will start and your one-man band will be paying.
And so he'll have to open the shop. If he's honest with you he doesn't imagine trade will be much good, but anything he sells will help to put a much needed dent in the rent. And who knows, trade may go back to how it was before Lockdown, or it could suprise everyone and be even better (hmmmm, he says stroking his chin).
And so he opens. Simply because he has no choice.
He takes every step he can to mitigate the dangers, because this chap has a bad feeling about this. Firstly he's male, so that's bad news. He's a bit tubby too. That's a death sentence right there, but although he's not one of the 1.5 million, he still feels at v high risk. So every precaution that can be taken is taken. He's very careful in his newly re-opened shop, and only one person at a time. No touching, nothing but extreme social distancing and certainly no cash or other nasty infected things shall cross his oft washed palm.
But imagine if some twat on a jolly from, let's say, London to their second home comes in and (maybe) carries the disease. And happens to infect our lonely shopkeeper. And after 4 weeks of struggle, he dies. A son loses a devoted father. A wife her husband, a child her grandparent, and so on, all because the papers want their advertising revenue back.
Now repeat this in every small town across the UK. Because there are lots of one-man bands. In lots of different trades and industries.
Ask yourself; are we really in a position to end lockdown? With the highest death toll in Europe and probably that coveted silver medal place in the world rankings (1% of the world pop but 12% of the world deaths). Really? Happy to risk all those people?
If you say yes, then think again, and again, and then again infinite times until you get to the right answer. Because 'yes' is the wrong answer.
So I wrote it. But you'll have guessed that I'm asking for a friend, obviously. He tells me he feels backed into a corner, and not ready yet. So Boris, when you drop in here to have a read, can you please just say NO on Sunday. NOT YET.
PS. Since I wrote this, for my very dear friend of course, the Welsh have come out with their changes: not many. I'm relieved. For my friend, obvs. Honest.