2020 Hindsight

It was uncomfortable to read that some people half my age were happy for me to be slowly suffocated so that they might “get our lives back”. They seemed content that I might receive my last orders so that they could get served at the bar a little sooner.  They didn’t put it like that, but that’s the way it read.

Twelve months ago, the Lancashire Post published my story (written in November of 2019) of a woman who went to a New Year’s Eve party and missed the whole of 2020. If only!

The abiding memory of the annus infectious that was 2020, is the sadness generated by one’s fellow humans who resisted the evidence of the epidemic, and undermined the attempts to curtail its rampage by ill-informed emotional reactions disguised as considered opinions.

That sadness was accompanied by a crippling sense of failure.  After two careers in education, to read responses based on gossip, urban myth, and superstition, suggests that being in school can be as damaging as missing it. Too much tuition and not enough education perhaps?  Teach a generation to seek to satisfy their desires by repeating what they have been told, and that is exactly what they will do.

It was awful to read that thousands of fatalities were unimportant because “far more people die from flu.”  Not true for 2020, and whatever the cause, one only dies once.  Most pathetic of all were the throw away “we’re all going to die one day” remarks.  Can’t argue with that one. Let’s not bother with electrical insulation.

Of course, it all stems from fear.

It is easy for someone who no longer has to go to work, whose income is secure, and who is not especially vulnerable, to pontificate. One has to sympathise with those whose hurtful words were prompted because their livelihoods were threatened, but the most painful posts were by those not especially susceptible, but inconvenienced.  They were not fearful that their lives would be ended, but delayed, and in this world of next day delivery, delay is a kind of death.

It is especially sad that frustrations should spawn conspiracies. One gulps at the irony of using telecommunication networks to spread theories that telecommunication networks cause infections.

Others proposed that subsequent waves were due to “panic and seasonal factors”, ignoring that countries on the south side of the equator were somehow synchronising with the UK not only in terms of their panic, but also their seasons.

Some even suggested that a pandemic was imposed in order to use vaccines to implant microchips and hence monitor our movements.  Why would anyone go to such lengths when so many of us already carry a trackable device almost everywhere we go?

It was ever thus. So much of history is the archiving of action spurred on by superstition. It is so sad that, even in our time of enhanced enlightenment, so much distress is spread by the irritated irrational. Educators, please take note.

Good sense will prevail, but the saddest lesson of 2020 is that science still has a very long way to go before the human race is rendered immune to falsehood.

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