Toady I was glum. Not entirely sure why. I can point the finger at one or two things, but these days of lows have been a feature of the last year and, I imagine, a natural side effect of lockdown. Not that lockdown has left me lonely. I have great friends, some of whom are my neighbours. This has been enormously important over the last year.
We approach the anniversary of the start of our first lockdown. Innocent times. Although the government was talking about weeks, more cautious voices were suggesting months. I am rather glad I didn’t read anything about a year. I really hope it’s not going to be years. But who knows?
We have also been warned that the recurrence of pandemics is likely to be more frequent, a consequence of human activity and disregard for the natural world and its balanced ecology. We have, through advanced technology, brain power, ingenuity, achieved amazing things. Things that come at a cost, a very high one, to the planet and to ourselves. While we have known for years about the effects of climate change, how we are destroying habitats, rendering the lives of animals impossible to the point of extinction, most human beings have been able to ignore what we have been doing.
I have long thought the people who are so wedded to oil, to regular and frequent air travel, to fossil fuels, to burying polluting matter or simply throwing it into the sea where it wreaks a whole new level of havoc, have behaved as though there is another planet they can pull out of their back pockets, and the way we shop, the way we live, has made all of us complicit in this, all of us responsible for the damage.
If Covid 19 is the watershed moment when the majority of the world’s human population wakes up to climate crisis and not only resolves to stop it, but actually acts to stop it, this last year will have been a sacrifice worth making. Though I say that as someone who still has a roof over her head, no mortgage, and savings to tide me over at least in the short term. And a cat to keep me this side of madness.
Perhaps if the government of the day was more thoughtful, more honest, behaved more intelligently, I should feel more optimistic. But we have Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, a man to whom lying comes as naturally as breathing, who has appointed a cabinet of yes men and women, a chancellor who is immensely rich and who is inclined to protect the interests of others as rich as he is. All of this is bad enough, but we have an electorate which is largely supine. An electorate which seems content to be fed an opiate of inane news, or faux outrage designed to distract. I guess it feels easier that way. Like blinkered horses, people can be safely ignorant of the dangers around them until those dangers turn up on their doorsteps, move into their homes, their lives. If any of them believe Boris Johnson is going to ride up like a knight in shining armour to save them at that point, they are going to be sorely disappointed. Johnson and co care only for themselves. I am expendable, and so are many many others. Keir Starmer may not be the man to set the world on fire, ore even the best man for the job, but I’d feel a lot safer with him at the helm.
No wonder I felt low today.
If you like, you can count how many muddled metaphors I have used to keep your mind off more serious matters.
Stay safe. Keep well. Wake up.