As we look out at a changed world, it has become obvious that there are basically two sorts of people, those who are ignoring their own welfare in order to help others, and those who lack any kind of conscience, or whose arrogance is so great that they refuse to recognize that their petty opinions, and obsessions, are no longer of interest. We can also see that there are two enemies that must be confronted, one invisible, and insentient, one very visible, and knowingly malignant.
Most prominent among the first sort of people are those heroes and heroines without whom our civilisation would have ceased to function. On the front line are the doctors and nurses who are placing their lives at risk to treat the thousands of patients in hospital fighting the virus. Behind them are all the support staff who drive the ambulances, support the functioning of the hospitals, as cleaners, receptionists, maintenance personnel etc., while the wider nation is being served by those who are keeping the electricity and gas on, the post being delivered, the water supplies running, the transport system operational, the refuse being collected, the food supplies arriving at the supermarkets, and the shop workers keeping the latter open. There are also the many thousands who have volunteered to help the NHS, by collecting prescriptions, and obtaining supplies for the locked down. These brave men and women are from the same stock as those who, during the last war, did not hesitate to plunge into bombed houses in order to rescue their fellow citizens, not pausing to complete risk assessments, which seem to be the preferred response of the modern politically correct. What can one do but express thanks and our admiration for them, and to lament for those who have lost their lives in the fight.
A much wider group are the vast majority of the British people, who are stoically obeying instructions to stay at home, while being unable to enjoy all those things which they have taken for granted all their lives. Of course they are not in the same category as those listed above, as they are not risking their lives every day, but nevertheless they are making a sterling contribution towards defeating the virus.
By contrast the other sort of person are various, but contemptible. Firstly there are those who are using the crisis to attempt to deceive through the use of scams, both on the internet, and on the doorstep. They are criminal scum, as indeed are those who are taking advantage of the lockdown to abuse their partners, and children. One would have thought that, at a time when anyone of us might be facing eternity, one would not wish to have vile acts on our conscience, but clearly this does not apply to the people like this.
Another group are those who, from either arrogance or ignorance, choose to ignore all requests to practice social distancing, instead putting others as well as themselves at risk by their actions. We see them congregating on beaches, or in parks, or just walking straight up to people, without making any effort to observe a six foot gap. In addition, while we have long been accustomed to many cyclists, with their arrogant assumption that they are somehow morally superior to motorists, choosing to believe that the rules of the road do not apply to them, as they ride on pavements, without lights or ignoring traffic lights, they have now been equalled, indeed eclipsed, by those joggers who appear at one's elbow, sweating and panting, passing within a foot or less. On country footpaths, or footbridges, they are impossible to avoid, so present a threat to those of us trying to take the exercise we need. As there are currently no competitive races taking place, nor any prospect of any such in the near future, could these people either walk for exercise, or find a field which they can run round without approaching others?
Perhaps among the most annoying are the morons of the commentariat, particularly the BBC, who criticisms take no account of the problems faced by the government, and who seem determined to ignore common-sense. Although I don't normally have much time for Nicola Sturgeon I sympathized with her when one idiot asked "You spent £45 million pounds on a Nightingale hospital which has not been used. Shouldn't the money have been better spent on PPE etc.?" No doubt, had the hospital not been built, and it was then required, the same reporter would be asking why she had failed to spend the money on that. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. The BBC follows its own depressing agenda, motivated by its opposition to almost anything the Johnson government is trying to do. These metropolitan elitists will never forgive Boris for finally taking us out of their beloved EU, their hatred for him only exceeded by theirs for Donald Trump, whose support for the blue collar workers and patriots is beyond their comprehension, as they only feel fellowship with the liberal elites of the East Coast. To listen to the BBC reporters one would think that the government sits around discussing fashion, or some other inconsequential nonsense, rather than straining every sinew to combat the coronavirus.
Napoleon considered that the importance of the morale of an army was as to the physical as three to one, and, during the last war, Churchill, while not afraid of telling the truth about the ordeal being faced by the nation, nevertheless inspired the British people with a certainty that they would win through. Now in the current health crisis we have so many of these people, and indeed many politicians and scientists, apparently determined to offer nothing but despair. We are told, inter alia, that vaccines may never be found, that the lockdown may take years, that prior infection may not confer immunity, and that we may expect successive viral peaks to afflict us. The need for hope even in the darkest hours is paramount, and it is time the negativity of these Jeremiahs was replaced by a positive message that humanity will overcome this foul disease, and that life will return to normal, albeit with changes made to ensure that we are better placed to face another such challenge in the future.
Turning to the enemies, the first is invisible, without motivation, or sentience, but deadly. It cannot be negotiated with, nor can it be defeated with tanks, guns or nuclear bombs. Nevertheless it, and its fellow viruses, are the greatest threat to the survival of humanity we face. Now that we have seen just how quickly our world can be upended by such a menace we must determine to spend vast sums on ensuring that next time we are far better prepared, while research must be fully financed that seeks a means of taking the fight to these pestilences, creating vaccines and drug treatments to drive them back.
The other enemy is, for many politicians and commentators, the elephant in the room, which they do not wish to address., but without which we would not now be in this mess. The real enemy, and I think it is not wrong to describe them as an enemy, is the CCP. Under Mao Zedong this party presided over the death of millions of their own citizens for ideological reasons, later unleashed the military against unarmed students in Tiananmen Square, killing thousands, and is unquestionable racist, considering all non Chinese as inferior.
I must make clear that this is not because of any racial animus against the Chinese people, as I have friends, neighbours and erstwhile work colleagues who are Chinese, and I have always found them to be intelligent, hard working and friendly. Additionally I am not a conspiracy theorist, and I doubt the coronavirus was deliberately released by the Chinese government, although it is worth noting that, at a cost of a few thousand of what they would regard as expendable citizens, they have largely wrecked the economies of their greatest rivals. This time we have seen how their tolerance of wet markets, combined with a deliberate cover up of the danger posed by the virus, led to the disaster we now face. How much more devastating might it be if they organised the spread of an engineered, and deadlier, virus in the future.
I realise that there is no military answer to this, but it should be a reason for the West to completely change its attitude towards China. The idea that engaging them in the world's economic system would lead to them becoming less aggressive has been shown to be false. Under no circumstances should we allow them into our IT systems, we should reject all further attempts to engage them in changes to our infrastructure, and there should be controls placed on all, of whatever nationality, who goes to, or come from China.
Perhaps most important of all we must bring back manufacturing to this country, as we are far too reliant on Chinese products, which can be withheld at a moment's notice. The Chinese may protest, and threaten, and we can see how they are using disinformation to attempt to deflect the world from the fact that they are responsible for the coronavirus disaster. We must stand up to them, as we did to previous totalitarian despots. The survival of our liberal, free societies is at stake.