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The ‘covidiot’ obfuscates government’s deathly blunders

On the 25th January 2020, at the time of writing, the current Covid statistics lie at 3.65million cases and a bleak 97,939 deaths. Not one to focus on the daily updates and the slow ascent of deaths on a line-graph for preservation of mental health, it is hard not to look at these statistics and feel incredibly moved by the sheer quantity of those affected by the handling of the pandemic. 

In response to the multitude of deaths the government have enforced the mantra into the public consciousness of the “Covidiot” – the selfish rule-breaker-super-spreader who goes against the public health advice and is responsible for the culmination of Covid to this day. 

Matt Hancock’s paternalistic reprimanding that people are “taking the mickey” when socialising via the rule that allows exercise with another and Priti Patel’s unconvincing take that the “government has consistently this year been ahead of the curve in terms of proactive decisions on coronavirus” are all just examples of this. The government is immune to criticism, acts in the public interest all the time and it is lone-wolves in our community that are responsible for the cataclysm of deaths we are facing. 

The media has done little to dampen the curse of the “covidiot” with sensationalist headlines that prey on people as individualised actors of selfishness: “Moment cops find Covidiot hiding in boot as they fined six pals for breaking lockdown with 320 mile trip” or “Covidiot footballers deserve three-match bans”.

We have begun to turn inwards in a desperate attempt to channel our frustrations, looking at those with defy public health advice with the scrutiny we should be channelling towards our incompetent government’s mishandling of the pandemic. In a recent YouGov poll, 51% of those questioned believe the public to be “most responsible for the rise in coronavirus cases over the last month”, whilst a much lesser 31% blame the government. 

Let us not forget the events of Dominic Cumming’s infamous near 300mile trip from London to Durham which received much public scorn but had no legal repercussion. That is where lockdown measures died – the realisation that rules were not taken equally by the political elite compared to the ordinary man, allowing the birth of the “covidiot” who’s personal action was to be seen as above the national good. Even this a distraction from the government’s incompetence. How about we focus on the government’s flip-flopping on a nation-wide lockdown where in a matter of weeks the capital went from near to no Covid restrictions to a full national lockdown, combined with a promised Christmas as normal celebration and deadly new strain of virus that travelled all around the country? Now, that seems more irresponsible than the individualised “covidiot”. 

Operation “blame the public, not us” is an obvious attempt to obfuscate the government’s persistent and deathly blunders that have led to the current situation. Let us be kind to the individual in these times where fear comes in a variety of forms, and direct our scrutiny to those making the high level decisions for the nation’s future. 

Image: V. Peremen via Thisisanuprising