The Student
Opinion
Shut up about ‘freedom’, lets be smart for once
by Adam Losekoot, 3/09/21

The notion that covid is over and we should all get back to how our lives were before is inherently absurd and anyone who believes it is either selfish or an idiot. Believing that we can simply self-police indicates a significant shortage of smarts.

Cases in Scotland are falling (for the umpteenth time) but, at the time of writing (20th August 2021), the UK is still seeing upwards of 30,000 cases recorded per day and a significant excess of hospitalisations. With vaccine-resistant variants emerging and vastly higher rates of transmission amongst under 18s, it’s clear that Covid still poses a very real threat, regardless of what the Prime Minister and his fuckwits want to believe.

Let’s address these issues one at a time because I’m bored and fancy being condescending about idiots for a bit. We all need a hobby.

The notion that we can simply police ourselves and keep covid numbers down by acting sensibly makes perfect sense, assuming of course you’ve forgotten there’s a reason bleach bottles have a label on them telling you not to put it on your cornflakes.

Have you ever met people? They’re idiots. In the UK more than 43% of the electorate voted for Boris so that’s almost half the population in serious danger already and we’ve barely started. Think about all the people you know who’ve continuously broken every single covid rule there has ever been, even at the height of lockdown, and drive yourself deeper into despair as you try to work out whether it’s worse if they don’t understand the rules or simply don’t care. Either way, we’re gubbed.

It’s all well and good to bang on about the UK’s mostly successful vaccine rollout. But we must take the good with the bad. Not only has the rollout stalled with daily vaccinations currently sitting just over the 2000 mark in Scotland, but the most commonly used vaccine variant in the UK is from AstraZeneca, which has had no shortage of its own problems.

Not only can it not be given to those under 50 due to increased risk of blood clots but the doses produced in India are not currently accepted as proof of vaccination in EU member states and no variant of the much-lauded Oxford vaccine is seen as valid by our dear cousins resident on the wrong side of the Atlantic. All this despite our ‘special relationship’. This has effectively dealt a death blow to the idea of vaccine passports for international travel, at least until some kind of consensus can be reached – and that doesn’t appear to be coming down the line anytime too soon.

The variants from Kent, India and Brazil – all of which now have other names I can’t be arsed to google – have shown increasing levels of vaccine resistance and transmissibility. Unless we can rapidly clamp down on the virus then we can expect even more of these more transmissible, more resistant variants to evolve.

Now I’m not a virologist, immunologist or even a biologist but dare I say that if fewer people have it then it has fewer opportunities to evolve?

What’s more, can we forget about going back to a normal life? Even if we can remove covid as a serious threat to anyone we should still hold ourselves and more importantly our politicians and the massive corporations who hold the real power on our planet to a higher standard. A lot of the public health measures adopted during this crisis should remain in place. Facemasks on public transport and in supermarkets should absolutely remain. It’s courteous if nothing else, I don’t want folk breathing all over me and I imagine the feeling’s probably mutual. Smaller class sizes in schools are a separate matter entirely but they should remain in place too. No one has ever had anything bad to say about extra ventilation. The NHS dealt with a record low number of flu cases last winter because of these measures.

Let’s finally use our common sense in the UK and keep these policies long term, for the good of public health and to prevent something like this from occurring again. To do otherwise would be to tempt fate and you know what, we would fucking deserve it.

We are close to beating this thing, both in Scotland and the UK. So why should we throw away all of this hard-won progress by chasing some absurd undefinable notion of ‘freedom’? Let’s learn to be decent to those around us and you know, not give them a dangerous potentially life-changing disease.

Illustration via Adam Losekoot