Thinking over the major events of December 2020 and my mind is frown to earlier in the month when I can recall the relief to hear confirmation that Biden had definitely won the US election. It was quite a close call and it took a longer than I’d anticipated to count all the postal votes. I have no doubt that Trump losing to Biden in the US elections is a God-sent gift to the World. The result has de-risked the poisonous geopolitical volatility that Trump and his cohorts have injected around the globe.
The whole pandemic experience has been like one of those recurring nightmares where you know something bad is happening but you are powerless to do anything about it. I was concerned enough to blog about it back in February when the Government was simply failing to take the necessary action. At that time all borders to all coutnries were open, no checks at all for inbound or outbound travellers, we had mass gatherings all over the place with millions of people attending football matches, the Cheltenham Festival, music events, theatres etc. This all continued right through to mid March. AT the end of February the Government appeared to be more concerned about getting on with Brexit and the newspaper editors seemed obsessed about the adulterous antics of Boris Johnson. The COVID-19 outbreak was barely making headlines in February. All this, regardless of warnings from the World Health Organisation and countries in Asia swinging into stringent visible actions at their borders and implementing domestic restrictions to control the spread. It seemed as if our country was drifting, rudderless.
Then it all happened, as if by surprise, the UK Government woke up and came to terms with events and the real an imminent threat from COVID-19. By this time all the PPE, ventilators, testing equipment and other essential medical equipment had been purchased and back-ordered by other countries the world, leaving only the pickings for the UK. Since them the UK Government seems to have been almost consistently playing catch-up, not quite making decisions in time to mitigate the next crisis. I say ‘almost’ because the timely vaccine approval has been a notable exception.
God only knows how many people around the world will lose their lives to COVID-19, or be left with long term physical sickness and disability The long-term economic effects of the pandemic will be profound and they will be amplified in the UK and to a lesser extent across Europe as the UK separates from the EU under the Brexit trade agreement terms.
Paradoxically, the proximity of the disease no longer troubles me as it did in April and March. What will be will be. No point in worrying about what might or might not happen.
I have come to terms with the continued delays from Government to take timely action and I’ve come to expect a complete lack of clarity from our leadership. I’m adjusted to hearing about the abuse of power as senior officials continue to line their pockets (and those of their cronies) through relaxed procurement policies during the crisis. The gap continues to widen between ‘the have’s and ‘the have nots’. There is so clearly ‘one rule for us’ and ‘another rule for them’.
This is all so much yesterday’s news and it has become routine. The future is unpredictable. We are in the eye of this pandemic storm and clearly at a tipping point. I’m optimistic we will get through it and I am sure we will have some greater challenges of us.