Like many of us, I can only take so much “news” at the moment. In an interview with Professor Karol Sikora, a noted cancer specialist (The Times 22.08.2020) he says that, as every resource was thrown at Covid, we must expect a terrible falling away ,because people simply haven’t been able to get to their doctors to be examined or diagnosed, to be helped in the maintenance of where their cancer is up to. And while the subject of cancer is always emotive, it isn’t the only thing that couldn’t happen.
Given that the subject of health is always personal, I couldn’t get eye tests for five months. More frighteningly, a radio friend with several parallel complex conditions went through months of negotiation to be invited to a specialist clinic online, where different aspects of her illnesses would be considered at the same time. Her medications were changed, a big deal. She abreacted. Last Friday marked a week since a doctor said he would come back to her and hadn’t. He can’t feel a thing.
When we began to use email instead of letters and texts (even faster), it might reasonably be assumed that a line of acknowledgement that you were still waiting to hear might not be too much to hope for. Huh.
With the adoption of those aspects of technological advance came new power games, new manners, new avoidances. The last time I was approached to contribute to a documentary earlier this year, I knew that I wasn’t what the producer wanted so at the end of the conversation I said “Look: I have no investment in this. You want me ? You want me. You don’t ? You don’t. Just drop me a line and let me know.” Not a word. Nobody wants to say no thank you in case it sounds like rejection. Oh, tosh. Let me introduce you to the real world: you get rejected. We all have levels of it we can stand, and those that are too much to bear. Some of us have choice in the matter. But the lack of communication has grown exponentially in parallel with the means of communication. I am sure the doctor my friend was waiting to hear from is busy. How busy, that you can’t find five minutes ?
I don’t have much hope of the present government. They have a majority but that’s all they have. It is held that “nobody” could have anticipated Covid-19. I think this is inaccurate but give them the benefit of the doubt. I want to take them all and teach them how better to speak in public. Most of their pronouncements blend the sloganizing of Mr. Cummings with the evasion of Westminsterism. It is not attractive and it sells large numbers of us desperately short. They don’t know what they are saying because they try – and often succeed – in saying nothing. And we suspect they are saying nothing because we don’t understand what they are saying – and then they change it anyway.
I know it is much easier to complain than to praise and it is much much easier for journalists. You can have a lot of fun with a knocking piece. But it is interesting who has begun to complain of the government. A military historian slightly to the right of Genghis Khan calls this a “lapdog cabinet” because you can only be in it if you agree. Whatever happened to healthy exchange ? A respected columnist writes that government confusion has aggravated the despair over Covid. And then a man further right than either of them has written a “who’s minding the store ?” piece coming to the conclusion that Boris only wanted to be PM in title, “the point of winning the election was to win. When it came to actually governing, he packed his tent.” He isn’t even there when he’s there. Oh great. Governed by virtual reality, a ghost in the machine.
P.S. I knew it, I knew it. I knew that as soon as I remarked on 160 “likes”, one would drop off so whoever pushed the figure back up- thank you.