Alexia wrote:At the moment, the virus is preventing us from living a normal life. Leisure, transport, public services, healthcare - are all having capacity restricted by social distancing regulations. We cannot have full churches for weddings and funerals, we cannot have full stadiums for sports occasions. We cannot fly away on holidays. Income is being restricted, the economy is being strangled. So yes, it is the biggest threat in the country and the world at the moment.
Call it a moot point if you will, but the virus is preventing nothing. The decision to elevate it above everything else to the extent of causing massive economic, societal (and ironically, health) damage is a choice. Other choices are available.
Alexia wrote:So so sorry for being a key worker. But think of this - if, post-COVID, WFH becomes the norm, less people will travel to offices, which means less commuter peak fares generating income for the railways. Less demand will mean less services, which means redundancies in the transport sector. Right now we are fortunate enough that the government is keeping us going. Fare revenue is in the toilet, the railways wouldn't be running right now without public support. Not to mention that of course the unions are milking this for all they can get away with. But we are all wondering - and worrying - about March 2021, when the support is due to end. What then? What if the train service is unsustainable in its current form? All the private companies will up sticks and bugger off, leaving this Tory government to dispose of the wreckage, Beeching style.
Whilst I respect key workers for keeping things going, the undeniable fact is being a key worker is keeping you in a job, which is why you're still going to work. It's not a badge to pin to your lapel in a way that being a frontline NHS worker is (who often seem to be the least likely to mention being a key worker despite being the most entitled to do so). Others have not been so lucky. All of the possible future which you have outlined is again a result of a decision to respond in this way, and through an unyielding 'we rule nothing out' principle we have no idea where this will end up. I really hope either things are suitability back to normal by March, or if not the funding for public transport is extended (my best friend works on the buses, he also might be screwed if government funding ends without a restoration to normal passenger numbers). But that fear you have is already a reality for hundreds of thousands of people, it's difficult to have much sympathy for your plight when you are supporting as necessary the very action which is putting you in this position. The only way out (short of a breakthrough that delivers a vaccine or effective cure in much shorter timeframes than are currently looking likely) is to acknowledge that we can't keep on doing this forever.
Alexia wrote:Business can be reborn. Human lives can't. Once this is over, the public will come back and make up for lost time. All the things they've been deprived of doing, all the things they took for granted pre-March, will suddenly be desirable. I suspect we will see fuller football stadiums, we will see pubs frequented more than just Friday nights, we will see folks going off on holiday.
I'm sorry but that's just ideological rubbish. This is a capitalist society. If people don't have any money then they die. You cannot destroy the system which is keeping over 99% of the population alive because something is threatening less than 1% of it. We are currently pursuing a course of action which is claiming jobs at a rate of (at least) thousands per week with nothing to replace them with. This approach will kill people just as surely as the virus will, in fact I believe it will go on to kill people in such numbers that the death toll from the attempts to control the virus will exceed those from the virus itself. And it will kill people who were not at an increased risk of death anyway as the vast majority of virus deaths are. And that's before you get into the mental health damage which is being largely ignored, the non-Covid health risks, or the unwelcome societal change which could sweep the world as democratic governments get a taste of ruling by decree which they may not want to give up once this is all over. And as for people being more likely to make use of the leisure and hospitality industry - how is that going to happen when unemployment goes through the roof and even those who are employed lack the confidence to spend their money on non-essentials? Also no one is going to be able to go back to a venue which has already gone bust. Many of these closed businesses will never reopen.
Alexia wrote:It doesn't have to end. The decision to end it is an ideological, political one by a Tory government that hates handouts and will tax us to death to get it back afterwards. In March they said they would do "whatever it takes" - this was obviously a lie. They mortgaged the farm on killing the outbreak in one wave, but didn't do that and are now panicking.
Yes, they will tax us to death to get it back. You can argue the rights and wrongs about it till the cows come home, but that's what they will do. And with fewer people working, those lucky enough to still have a job will have to pay even more. So why support the bill getting any bigger?
Alexia wrote:The more folk get antsy about restrictions, the longer this goes on. The impatient are only hurting themselves.
So 'If you keep crying I'll give you something to cry about' essentially? Sounds awfully totalitarian - are we really at the stage of 'if you do what you're told and don't make a fuss then we might let you do what you want at some indeterminate point in the future'?
Alexia wrote:It's not Drakeford's fault the supermakets have willingly misinterpreted the instructions. Also, the policy of restricting non-essentials was a Tory request to protect the smaller shops which have now had to close. Bit rich of them to suddenly cry wolf.
I will give you that the over-reported tampon story was not Drakeford's fault, that was the supermarkets being daft. But that aside, how can the restrictions be a 'willing misinterpretation of the instructions'? The Welsh Govt seemed to pull this out of a hat the day before the lockdown, and didn't publish any clear rules on what could and couldn't be sold beyond examples of kettles and scented candles. And it wasn't a 'Tory request'. It was a Tory question as to why it was right that smaller shops were forced to close through being classed as non essential whilst supermarkets could sell the same thing as an essential retailer. It was Drakeford who decided that rather than allow the smaller shops to stay open (and maybe survive) he instead would double down and prevent the supermarkets from selling those goods. It was Drakeford who decided he wouldn't reverse the decision or engage in anything more than 'clarification' in spite of it collecting the largest number of signatures on a Senedd petition ever.