Tuesday 14th April – Which came first, the chicken or the total lack of pandemic planning?

It’s 2am and I’m so incensed that sleep eludes me.

What, you may wonder, has gotten my unmentionables so furiously wadded and bunched?

Well, it’s The-Virus daily briefing.

Again.

It is starting to become apparent that, no matter which question is levelled at the Government representative de jour, or Frick and Frack The Science Quacks, they’ve only got the one answer and spoiler alert, it’s:

Stay home. Save lives. Protect the NHS.

When asked if they think they might bear some responsibility for the fact that there’s still not enough PPE, the response is:

“Well, as long as everyone stays home and protects our wonderful NHS, it’ll all be fine” <insert appropriately gushing tone of voice on the italicised adjective(s)>. 

When asked if the country could be given a glimpse into the ‘lockdown exit strategy’ they have, in their infinite wisdom, settled on for the future.

“Well, we are where we are and we aren’t there, so we think it might be great if everyone just stays home and saves lives by not putting any pressure on our superbly awesome NHS”<insert appropriately gushing tone of voice on the italicised adjectives(s)>.

When asked if it would be fair for the Government to accept some responsibility for the medical staff who have died, the response (I bet you’ve already guessed) is:

“Well, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and we aren’t rolling stones so we’ve had a brainstorming sesh and we reckon that if y’all just stay barricaded in your hovels and simply avoid getting ill, well it won’t cause our underfunded, under resourced but nevertheless smashingly super NHS to become overwhelmed”<insert appropriately gushing tone of voice on the italicized adjectives(s)>.

Marvellous.

At this point, I am just itching for some journo to ask the following question:

“Sir, without using the phrases: 

Social-distancing, community response or measures currently in place.

Can you explain why, with eleven years notice since the last viral pandemic in this country, you failed to put together a strategy for when your indeterminate number of stockpiled PPE ran out?” 

I am literally on the edge of my DFS sofa, gagging for this question, or a version of it, to be asked.

I’m now going to paint you a little picture, so settle back and enjoy.

My friend, she likes eggs.

She bakes quite a bit and stuff like that, maybe she likes a boiled egg in the mornings, I don’t exactly know but for whatever reason, she likes to have eggs available should she need them.

So she went and got herself three chickens. 

Now, If a wily fox happened to be imported from China and despite sixteen weeks clear notice of its intention to start the slaughter, was completely ignored while my cousin spent her days congratulating herself on her huge stockpile of chickens and trying to figure out how to get her constituents to pay for her second home, and said fox did go ahead and kill one of her chickens.

Well, she’s still got two more chickens and thusly an uninterrupted supply of eggs giving her the breathing room to replace the original, murdered chicken.

And that my friends is what you call a frigging strategy.

Realizing you have run out of PPE, running around with your hair on fire and begging Jaguar Land Rover to stop with the car shit and start producing surgical gowns is not.

The strategy would have been to have already scoped out manufacturers to step in and underpin the stockpiles before they ran out.

Am I completely insane?

Am I the only one who thinks that a Government whose sole solution to The-Virus is for us to try and ‘avoid getting it’ is in any way acceptable.

That they’ve got their fingers crossed for us?

Contact tracing? Nope.

Testing? Nope.

Enough protective equipment? Uh uh.

But they sure are rooting for us.

Jeez.

Who ever thought the day would come when I’d be jealous of South Korea.

Sunday 12th April – Priti Patel: I’m out

Well Priti Patel didn’t exactly win my heart last night.

I watched the daily briefing and was a bit stunned at her smirky, smug, snappiness.

When asked about protective equipment for medical staff and why there still isn’t enough, she, frankly, got a bit salty.

The journo was querying how the Government feel about doctors and nurses dying because they’re expected to forge into a WWI style battle with The-Virus, protected only by the medical equivalent of a bikini and a smile.

And her response was “Well, I’m sorry people feel that way”.

Are you?

Are you really sorry?

Or are you simply under-loving the temerity of being asked an uncomfortable question?

And yes love, we do freaking feel that way.

Furthermore, yes, we can look with much suspicion in the direction of China and no doubt accountability will, quite rightly, be demanded at some stage but, lest we forget, China did actually report the existence of The-Virus to the WHO as early as December 31, 2019. 

So why was our Government still standing around with its dick in its hands until the middle of March?

‘Scuse my foul language, I’m normally such a sweet, endearing individual.

But seriously.

It’s all very well for Lady-Priti to bemoan the many challenges ‘her Government’ are facing in terms of responding to this crisis, but there was a good sixteen weeks there where action could have been taken to prepare.

So to stand up and basically imply we should stop giving her shit because they’re doing the best they can now, to finally get around to padlocking the stable-door of the well-bolted horse, isn’t really an answer that soothes.

She was super quick to gigglingly explain how often she does important stuff. 

That she sees important reports and dials-in to lots of important calls.

And she clearly was utterly enchanted with the whole idea of being front and centre at a big press conference.

Good for her.

Finally, some attention.

No need for clickbait here, The-Virus took care of that for her.

Lights. Camera. Action.

But if I may, Lady-Priti, it might serve you to remember two important points.

You’re only getting this limelight because British people are out there fighting, and dying.

And also, you actually work for us.

So wipe that smirk off your face sweetheart.

Friday 10th April – Clapping: Do the NHS deserve a bit more from No10?

Greetings.

And welcome back to me talking about whatever I feel like.

Today I feel like talking about the NHS.

For the first time since the dreary virus monopolised our lives, I actually heard some clapping last night. It was only one lady, four doors down. She looked a bit self-conscious and didn’t do it for very long before she shot back inside but, fair play to her.

Do you sister.

She was disappearing back into her house by the time I saw her so I didn’t get a chance to offer any moral support but it did get me to thinking.

Is all the clapping making the NHS staff feel better?

I mean, is that going to be it?

Is that all they get?

I don’t know anyone who works for the organisation so I can’t speak to how they feel in any official sense, but they’re literally putting their lives on the line every time they show up for work.

Every time.

Whilst other key workers are also at risk, no doubt about it, the odds are less catastrophic for an Amazon delivery driver than for a nurse working on a ward stuffed to the ceiling with people who categorically, unequivocally already have The-Virus.

So, whilst I’m in favour of any gesture that shows support and gratitude, we need to be mindful that that’s all it is – a gesture.

And it is nice that Government have jumped on the bandwagon and are out clapping too.

But I seriously hope they’ve got a better plan in mind than that.

My neighbour four doors down is clapping because that’s all she can offer in terms of championing the cause, she’s just one person and has limited ability to do anything more substantial. 

She’s doing what she can, and I get that.

Our Government, not so much.

Pay rises.

Bonuses.

Tax breaks.

Additional annual leave.

A week in Corfu?

There’s a lot that can, and should, be offered to NHS workers.

So clap your heart out No10 but I for one expect to see you getting your wallets out when this is all over.

NHS employees deserve real, tangible recognition.

And we all know it.