There's talk of a "circuit-breaker" being imposed in Scotland and probably south of the border as well.
Key feature of a "circuit-breaker" is the promise that the lock-down will be short. A circuit-breaker is a politician's lock-down - never mind the R-rate, the voters won't stand for another lock-down so let's re-brand it as a "circuit-breaker" and tell them it'll be over by Christmas.
We can talk about a circuit-breaker in the way we can blather on excitedly about Artificial Intelligence. What we get is a lock-down. What we get is an algorithm deciding our A-level grades.
Circuit-breaker = lock-down. We all go back indoors - not for long this time - and when we come out of hiding, the virus will, um, still be there. Nothing will have changed.
I guess we're all waiting for the vaccine that will wipe clean the world - every surface free of Covid-19; all viruses cancelled.
That's absolutely going to work, isn't it?
We go in for a circuit-breaker, come out, get sick, go in for another one, come out, get sick ... and then on some glad confident morning a few months into the future, a pharmaceutical company announces "We've got the vaccine!"
They'll price it affordably and produce enough doses to fix the entire world population.
There will be no politics in the distribution.
Within a week the virus will be as totally eradicated as polio was, er, twenty-three years after the World Health Organisation declared the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
The future is so very simple, really. We just unplug ourselves for a while, do it again maybe a few times, and then we come out, get an injection, and covid is history.
I was going to suggest a switch in policy away from short-term catch-phrases towards preparing us all to live with covid for a while - you know, build bicycle lanes rather than a third runway at Heathrow; put university lectures online (behind a pay-wall?); pay nurses a living wage - but it hardly seems necessary now.
There's a circuit-breaker coming up! That'll fix it!
[By way of a footnote, I want to mention a weird cognitive dissonance I've been experiencing lately. I think I can call it a weird cognitive dissonance - I've been hearing one thing and it's been reminding me of another.
It's just that lately, when I hear people talking about the end-game with Covid-19, they sound like senior military officers talking about the military end-game in Afghanistan or maybe it was Iraq. There was always some kind of amorphous victory-situation beginning to coalesce in the near future that somehow over-rode the simple truth that they were only talking to the media because something had gone wrong. We could be optimistic because, despite conditions on the ground, some kind of metaphysical victory-condition was beginning to be met.
Is that unfair? I hear a similar weightlessness in all the verbiage about how we're going to beat this virus, et cetera, world-beating, blah, waffle, blah. People are dying. Young people are presented with the possibility that it's their fault if their elders fall sick.
My thought is - if you can't describe victory in clear, simple terms - black-and-white tanks on the streets of Paris, population cheering - you're not winning.]