Covid 001

There’s a lot of it about

So what do you reckon? Will Matt “’Apless” Hancock be, at this moment, begging for mercy as he gets a damn good thrashing from Dominic Cummings? It’s not entirely implausible.

Comms people know the value of key messages and keeping their people on song. Consequently, we live in a world in which just about every utterance by a politician has been written for them, rehearsed and then drilled into them. So there’s a shiver of schadenfreude when someone slips up.

Just how and why did ‘Apless come out with the statement that the Government was in cahoots with the supermarkets to ensure people who self-isolated themselves against Covid-19 would have food delivered to them? This “fact” was disclosed – while wearing his most serious face – on Question Time on Thursday night. A Room Next Door moment if ever there was one. (For those not in the know about the genius that is Michael Spicer and his Room-next-door schtick, have a look at this.)
Today’s airwaves are full of bemused retailers saying nothing of the sort has been discussed, let alone arranged and ‘Apless doesn’t know his Aldi from his Ocado.
Supermarket Sweep
But then this whole Coronavirus thing is now making us all go a bit batty. Yes, the irony is entirely intentional. Nothing makes me want to go and self-isolate more than hearing the term panic buy. Apparently, shelves are being stripped of pasta – although whether this is because it’s from Italy, or because it constitutes a panic buyer’s store cupboard staple has yet to be explained. Lavatory paper is becoming hard to obtain. And have you see the price of hand sanatiser?
That one at least makes some sense. Hand cleanliness should be an all-year-round thing – who wants to shake hands with someone who’s just stepped off the Tube or bus? It’ll be interesting to see if cases of food poisoning will see a dip as a result of all this extra handwashing to the tune of Happy Birthday. Twice. And, will the number of cases of seasonal flu go down as a result of all those face masks, travel restrictions and cancelled public gatherings?
Masking the real issue
Can we please get some proportion to this issue? In the time you’ve read this, more people will have died from ‘flu or TB than have died from Covid-19 in Britain. Nobody has really got a handle on how deadly the virus actually is yet.
And, while of course the government has a duty to do what they can to prevent the spread of any contagious disease, if only they would put the same energy into a creating decent health prevention programme and a functioning social care system. There’s your challenge Mr Cummings. That, and getting ‘Apless’s blood off your bovver boots.

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