Except for the idiots, we’re all self-isolating. Except for one or two annoying young twerps in running gear, we’re all giving each other two metres of space as we pass on our daily one-piece-of-exercise.
According to the BBC News website’s summary of the government’s briefing last night (I’ve stopped watching the thing itself), the death toll is still rising but the hospital-admission numbers are encouraging – or vice-versa; I forget. It’s getting worse but in an encouraging way. Less worse. Something.
The row over testing kits was a good sign. If we’re all squabbling over who ordered what, when, and why they didn’t have the foresight to do it earlier – we’re doing it because there isn’t any worse news to report.
But we’re doing the thing we do, aren’t we? We’re reporting the news we can measure. Hospital admissions. Deaths in hospital. All reportable numbers.
The “dark matter” in all of this is what’s happening in places where there aren’t neat little agencies to put together numbers on the scale of the crisis. I’m also just a little uneasy about the gap between the reported number of cases – no, not cases; hospital admissions – and the number of beds being made available. How many beds?
China’s numbers aren’t reliable, apparently. No deaths reported the other night, but now, isn’t there a remote village in northern China that’s suddenly been cordoned off?
I’m happy to go along with the general view that this is the bit where we make ready for the happy ending.
I am slightly ashamed of my own conspiracy-theorist tendency to spot possible signs that all isn’t as well as it clearly is.
This is real. Like everybody else, I want it to end.
But - what better display of human nature could there be than all the “Minister, could you tell us your plan to get everything back to normal?” questions that now dominate the briefing?
File those under: Fate, tempting.
And don’t expect a victory hug from me. Not just yet.
There was a piece the other day, I forget the source, in which it was suggested that (1) governments have hyped up their surveillance during the pandemic, and (2) they won’t dial it down afterwards. We’ve consented our way into a surveillance economy, society, culture, blah blah.
Okay. Brownie points for turning the happy ending into a dystopia. Just what we need right now.
If surveillance is such a problem, we should get off Facebook. I’ve said this before, but the saving grace of the surveillance economy, society, culture is its sheer incompetence. If any of it worked like it’s promoted, all my consumer wishes would be granted. My life would be one long consumer heaven. But.
What really puts you in control, ha ha, is the freedom to make your own decisions on minor infractions. I can argue the need to double-park with a traffic warden, say, but not with a drone.
Technology removes the consent. Technology won’t listen to you, and won’t decide that just this once…
In the early days of the crisis, the recurring pre-news trailer on the BBC was for a tech show about AI’s ability to transform hospital care. That was around the time the lead news story was persistently the NHS’s shortage of nurses and doctors.
If it comes to it, give me a human hand to hold.