Do you remember early April? Were you there?
Cast your mind back – it was the days leading up to Easter, and nobody knew what was next for us all…
As will become clear over the coming days and weeks, the narrative is being established. If Johnson pulls through hisStaying Alive – apoplectic.me, 8 April 2020
mildpersistent illness, it’s because he’s gutsier than you and anyone you’ve ever loved who has died…
Well, guess what…?
I suppose we should be glad.
The nation – Which one does she mean, I wonder? – may look fat, gout-ridden and syphilitic, but at least it’s not… dead?
It turned out that my prediction brushed up against something that has the ring of truth. I just didn’t go far enough. (Yes, that’s always your problem, Stroke Bloke – Ed.)
Some years ago, I reflected on here that
[a] mistake I’ve often made, is to take the admirable, humanist thought that “We’re all basically the same, aren’t we?” and pervert it into “Everyone’s a little bit like me.” Or, with less vanity, “I assume I’m a bit like everyone else.“The Stroke Bloke AKA – apoplectic.me, 9 December 2013
Vanity, thy name is Self-reference. But regardless, that passage does seem to me to be describing a forgivable error arising from the – yes, vanity – and ignorance and inexperience of youth.
Forgiveable, but dangerous. You see, I’d noticed that a certain kind of man – and it is usually a man, I think – tends to ascribe his good fortune to some aspect of his own brilliance. And I’d come across this idea that Boris Johnson’s outlook on the world is that illness is for weak people.
And that seemed to be enough to terrify poor Joey Tribbiani, last week. But the secret of evil, if you will, is that
[t]he death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.Not Joseph Stalin, apparently
Which brings us neatly to the approach of the Johnson government to COVID-19.
The Westminster government’s handling of the epidemic, as it’s described in the linked article from The Atlantic immediately above is bad enough, but then I stumbled across the following tweet and its ensuing thread.
As an asthmatic stroke survivor with two brain aneurysms, I was feeling angry enough about the way COVID-19 is being handled here. But check out that thread. It was the last nail in the coffin of my old outlook.
Maybe next week, I’ll have something pithy to say about that. In the meantime, enjoy your moment of Zen…