Well, here we are again, it’s always such a pleasure. The clattering train of state, reacting with surprise that winter is a thing, is set to place us under another “lockdown”.

I’m not going to go into my feelings about this in detail here, because it has become a bit of a hot button issue – a shibboleth – taking on an almost religious dimension. For some, it’s almost as if Covid restrictions have become this strange fetish, with the word Lockdown spoken with reverence, fear, and slight sexual overtones.

Suffice it to say I think we are catastrophising, if not outright fetishising, the virus.

I think that the “only covid” tunnel vision we have at the moment is ignoring a great deal of other stuff that is going on, which is potentially more serious, if not as exciting.

I also think that the government has no right in a free society to insert itself via ministerial fiat into people’s private lives, no matter what the threat. Its claim to authority in these matters is illegitimate, and I fear we will be dealing with repercussions of inviting that particular vampire into our houses for generations to come.

But, it is what it is.

2020 has been a year on pause. For me, virtually everything I enjoy has been deemed pretty much illegal – I can’t train, I can’t travel, and while some of my friends haven’t let the Coof put them off meeting up, others have.

It has been a lonely experience, even for an introvert like me.

Your belief in the virus measures, and the narrative surrounding them, has become an article of faith for some – if you stay afraid, if you beg for more restrictions, you are Good. Moral. If you even question it, let alone point out where the Emperor has no clothes, then you are Immoral. Unclean. That is Haram.

My rather mild views on the matter have been deemed immoral and wrong, and worthy of ostracism, even by those I considered (and still do consider) friends.

It’s been really strange, and jarring. For some, anything less than full throated support is immoral. It is not simply enough to grudgingly comply with the ever changing rules… you have to believe.

It’s not enough to go about your day, living without fear, and allow other people to hide in their homes if they choose (only emerging to anxiously scurry to the shops and back, or the government authorised daily exercise)…. you have to be afraid too.

“You must affirm what I believe!”

Still, I can’t complain too much.

I can work comfortably in my home office, in a comfortable apartment. I have plenty of food. My income is, in as much as anything can be, secure. Covid hasn’t yet threatened my position in Maslow’s hierarchy.

So, I’m doing better than a lot of people in this country… as small businesses are forced to close, dreams shattered and livelihoods destroyed.

Nobody seriously believes that this is only going to be for 4 weeks. The last lockdown, “three weeks to flatten the curve”, lasted 4 months. I place bets that we won’t be out of this one until spring, and then what?

The virus isn’t going anywhere. It’s just leaning up against a lamp post smoking a cigarette, waiting for us to emerge from our bunkers. Sooner or later we are going to have to find a way to live with yet another thing on this planet that people, tragically, die from.

I wonder how many people will die of undiagnosed cancers, of heart disease, of despair, in the meantime? What will the unemployment figures will look like on the other side of this?… and yes, the economy matters. The economy is how hospitals get their drugs, and how people stay out of poverty… which is a thing that kills as assuredly as any virus.

Will it all be worth it?

Will the cure kill more than the disease?

Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, stay afraid. Because questions are Haram.

I imagine that many of you out there reading this are in the same position as me, under de facto house arrest to delay the spread of the Chinese Coronavirus, COVID-19.

As states and entire countries place their citizens under “lockdown”, we are all force to put our entire lives on hold, and weather the storm of the pandemic.

As the initial concern transforms into a slouching and mundane routine, we are all forced to consider how our lives have all changed.

I consider myself very fortunate.

For the moment, myself and everyone I care about is still healthy (and long may I hope this continues). I read the winds accurately (and am always thinking of contingencies by way of an intellectual exercise) so I had stocked up on food (and yes, even toilet paper) months before this kicked off properly.

I also work in IT, so I am able to stay in the cocooned bubble that is my home and earn a living, safely, as the world convulses outside.

So far, all my problems are distinctly first world.

I’m not on the front lines in the medical profession, police or military. I’m not even one of those poor under appreciated shlubs risking their health, on minimum wage, to sell me my food, or ship me my deliveries.

No, the worst thing so far that I have to deal with is working out what to do, now that everything I want to do has been cancelled, and all the goals that I was working towards have been put on hold for the next year or two.

Got to do what you can, and if you really look at your plans, you can still do something. You can still do some training, even if you can’t go to the gym. You can still outline plans that you can put in motion as soon as circumstances permit.

Practice your stoicism. Explore new hobbies, or get back to old ones.

Or, just do fuck all.

Edit: Youtube video link corrected to the correct author – HT Mitch Benn, go check him out!

Like many people around the world in countries struggling to deal with with the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the state in which I’m currently living has put its entire population under a “lockdown”.

We are only meant to leave our houses for a set number of reasons – buying food, a short bit of exercise, a medical emergency – and when we do we’re meant to keep a strict minimum distance away from each other.

If the numbers are accurate and are to be believed regarding the mortality rate of Covid-19, I can understand the reaction. Things haven’t got bad here yet, and with the sun shining brightly outside it’s hard to picture the scenes from China or Italy happening anywhere near here.

But, knowing something of what is going on behind the scenes to prepare, as I do… I know the threat is real. Even if, as we all hope, it turns out to be nowhere near as virulent as feared.

The police are patrolling and even setting up checkpoints in order to check that anyone outside has a reason to be. They’re patrolling the cities with drones and helicopters.

I fully expect we’ll be required to produce some sort of documentation to be let out of our houses before long, like they are already doing in Europe (but at least they’re not welding us into buildings like in China, so thank heaven for small mercies).

I have an individualistic libertarian streak a mile and a half wide, and I find this (as well as people’s acceptance of the new world order) more disturbing than the virus threat. I had no problem with these measures when they were suggestions, but now they’re orders I find myself … deeply troubled.

Fundamentally, I recognise that this changes our relationship with the state at a very fundamental level. Our rights are no longer inalienable, they’re now granted to us by the state, and will be given back to us when those in charge deem it appropriate.

Troubling, and something I personally find more troubling than the virus. After all, history has taught us many many times that rights quickly surrendered will often take years (and more often than not, a whole lot of bloodshed) to get back.

I don’t know. I guess we’ll see how this plays out. Perhaps I’ll be singing a different tune when the bodies start stacking up in the street and people are collapsing all around me.

Perhaps this current state of emergency will be over relatively quickly, and the government will hand back the liberties it has taken from the people.

Right now I’m just thinking about hypotheticals… what if… but to those who say that I’m just being paranoid and you reason that it couldn’t happen here… well… who amongst you would have scoffed had I said to you at the beginning of this year that we’d all be stuck in lockdown right now?