The Ericle has not written about The Pandemic for a couple of months; which has prompted My Reader recently to enquire: “Is The Pandemic Over?”. Sadly, not.
At the onset of The Pandemic, I like everybody else was trying to make some sense of ‘the shock of the new’. But it isn’t new anymore. We know what we know and, more significantly, we don’t know what we don’t know – which unfortunately is still quite a lot. The only real matter, which should concern us now, is how we as individuals & society should be dealing with things. In the end, it comes down to whether our responses are based on a collective of individual acts of social responsibility or whether the government has to impose rules on us. The UK is not a country that quietly acquiesces to anything – one moment objecting to measures that impact on livelihood and the next on measures aimed at safeguarding health – while The Government, itself, lurches from pillar to post with policies aimed at keeping either individuals safe or trying to support the economy. However, I am clear on one thing: though undoubtedly the government could/should be making a better fist of things, in the end, my own personal behaviour is the one thing over which I have the most measure of control. This, surely, should lead us all to the conclusions that Private Eye, most succinctly expressed this week:
The government clearly isn’t capable of protecting your health, but you are. If you can, try to get outside, stay active, socialise safely, eat food that’s delicious and nutritious, take vitamin D, have five portions of un a day, relax and sleep well. If you live in a lower-risk area, you might frequent local cafés, pubs and restaurants, but follow the rules. Well ventilated venues are safest. If you’re shitting blood or have a new lump, ring your doctor. If you don’t have long to live, make up your own rules. 28,000 more deaths have happened at home this year, partly because people don’t want to be separated at the end of life. Who can blame them? ….. Life is about balancing all sorts of personal risks and then helping those who are less fortunate. For every decision, think: “Is it intelligent? Is it kind?”
Private Eye has yet again proved itself, during this crisis, to be an oasis of both critical perspective and good sense. Its Pandemic Update: MD on failing better has, from the off, steered a clear path on facts worth considering and on recommendations for personal behaviour. I have been a loyal subscriber to Strobes’s august organ since the 1960s and find it hard to understand why everybody else doesn’t do the same – for no other reason, and there are many reasons, than that the cartoons are very funny albeit that Eye-humour tends towards the black end of the colour spectrum. The Readers Digest, once itself a publishing behemoth, used to have a section ‘Laughter, The Best Medicine’. In that spirit, I offer you some recent Private Eye cartoons on the basis that, even though The Coronavirus is no laughing matter, laughing at ourselves can be very good medicine indeed. Happy Halloween!