The last time I posted on the Facebook page of the last village in Wales was to say that if folks wanted to walk across our fields then they would be more than welcome to do so. At the height of lockdown, it seemed a decent offer and I had even cut back the grass so folks could do so in a socially distanced manner. That was met with overt hostility from some who saw this as an act of wicked selfishness.
Pretty soon it descended to the point where comments were made about the undesirability of folks whose families had not been inbreeding in the locality for centuries moving here. Bring back the last owners demanded one. ‘What right has he to say what goes on, on his own land?’ chimed another 15th generation cottage burner still living with two of his first cousins once removed. It was all very unpleasant and so for six months I have taken note of the comings and goings but very much from the sidelines.
I should say that those folks showing hostility were a minority, albeit a vocal one. Most folks here in this village are kind and supportive at all times and a good number responded positively to that gesture. I actually like this village. However, the barbs of the minority were painful and to think that some of them are your neighbours is scarring. And if I now tell jokes at their expense, is that really an unreasonable response?
Today someone posted up a reminder of what all the covid rules mean both here in Wales and across the border, over the bridge, for the English infidels. I could not resist:
Just thought I would share the rules for level 4 in Wales and tier 4 in England, as some people don’t seem to know what they are 🤷🏼♀️
Stay at home for your grandparents.
Stay at home for your child.
Stay at home for your community.
Stay at home for your town, your team, your friends.
Stay at home so that the NHS doesn’t get overrun and is there for us.
And stay at home to save lives.
Whatever your reason, stay home to keep your loved ones safe.
I have already lost one friend to this horrible virus, I don’t want to lose any more.
This person is a teacher so in staying at home she won’t be losing her job or seeing her business go under. Her income is secure. This person has lost a friend and it is impossible to counter emotion with data but the idea, if you look at cold hard data, that we all have to live under house arrest is bonkers although, in this village, in the land of Mad Mark Drakeford, it seems remarkably popular.
So I posted what I thought was a mild response:
These rules seem pretty similar to the rules in all the other lockdowns. If they actually had any effect in stopping the spread of Covid just why is it that cases are surging? What doctor says that if a medicine does not work repeatedly the answer is simply to repeat the scrip?
The average age of a UK covid death is 82.4 years, UK life expectancy is 81.5 years. Is near universal house arrest really a proportionate response, especially as it has failed in so many countries, so many times, to stop covid spread?
I realise no-one dares say so publicly on these forums, knowing the flaming they will get, but I am sure I am not the only one who has, at the least, questions to ask.
I am already thinking this was not so wise. An army of folks will, from the “safety” of a house where they have sealed the doors shut, be preparing to spray their computer with disinfectant and wash their hands for the nineteenth time today in order to post what a callous bastard I am and how I should bugger off back to England, Ireland, Greece or wherever I come from. So be it. But if folks are not challenged on hard data and logic then this madness, driven by emotion, will continue forever.
It is not as if this village is gripped by a unique madness. Polls suggest that across the land folks want more and more lockdowns and restrictions irrespective of the collateral damage they cause and the fact, yes fact, that such restrictions have patently failed to stop the spread of Covid.
And yes, before folks say it, I also know someone who has died of Covid and I have two relatives trying to pull through it right now. I do not trivialise any death nor say that a death is not sad. But I hope that folks will start looking at the data and question whether certain responses are either effective or proportionate. Is that a crime? Increasingly, there are those, such as Owen Jones in today’s Guardian, who argue that it is and that those challenging the GroupThink should not be allowed to do so. I dissent on that matter too as, apart from anything else, it sets a very dangerous precedent.