Ah, technology. Where would the pandemic have been without it? Across the pond, the sinister clique that routinely reanimates the cadaver of Joe Biden and periodically wheels him out before the cameras of the subservient charlatans masquerading as journalists is hard at work. Sleepy Joe’s team are currently conspiring with their big tech paymasters to ensure anyone banned from one platform for spreading ‘misinformation’ – particularly of the coronavirus variety – will be banned from all of them; what constitutes misinformation, of course, is (in these oh-so polarised times) utterly subjective; one man’s truth is another man’s fake news and all that. But for judgement to be in the hands of the privileged few controlling the flow of media traffic, both social and mainstream – a cyber star-chamber to whom we have no right to reply – is an extremely worrying scenario where those antiquated freedoms involving speech, thought and expression are concerned. In today’s doublethink society, misinformation essentially translates as opinions those on the ‘right side of history’ disagree with – and they are the people with the power to cancel any dissenting voices far more effectively than any fanatical serial censors starting another petition.
Barely a year ago, for example, to air the theory that Covid-19 might actually have emanated from a Chinese lab was enough to guarantee instant dismissal from YouTube, Facebook or Twitter; now it is an acceptable mainstream opinion – though many who spread the word before were banished for daring to express it and remain so. Hell, it’s almost as if this de-platforming thing is just being used as a convenient means of silencing voices our online lords and masters don’t want us to hear. If only certain governments of the past had thought of similarly ‘robust enforcement strategies’ (to quote Biden’s press secretary), eh? The previously-mentioned declaration of the increasingly unhinged Woke dictator posing as the New Zealand PM springs to mind – the one whereby Jacinda Ardern last week essentially told the people of her nation to dismiss any online information not endorsed by her; ignorance is strength, as someone once said.
Over here, those dim enough to have signed the Faustian pact of the Covid NHS app are finding that their every outdoor move being tracked and traced is rather limiting their freedom – fancy that! According to the most recent stats, 530,125 ‘alerts’ have been sent to users so far this month, ordering them to immediately self-isolate for 10 days; they tend to receive them if they’ve been anywhere that all the other Smombies signed-up to the app have congregated at; and the app knows where you’ve been and where you are because you voluntarily handed that info over. Hey, it’s like a mobile HAL! What is being called a ‘pingdemic’ is adding yet another layer of crisis to the hospitality industry in its struggle to recover from lockdown; restaurant, café, and bar staff are being randomly targeted by the ping of the app, forced to drop everything and hide away for a fortnight – in many cases leaving owners of such businesses with little choice but to close their doors once again when they’ve barely reopened them.
The ‘Staycation’ summer holiday boom envisaged as the saviour of under-fire seaside resorts is being severely threatened by the ‘pingdemic’ – Cornwall alone received over 4,000 ping commandments in the first week of July, right at the point when the county was expecting the influx of tourists to begin. And it goes without saying the accuracy of the NHS app cannot be questioned; after all, it’s not as though the Government has a track record of useless tech, is it? But at least naming the app in honour of the beloved national religion was as inspired a move as naming a nihilistic political movement after a valid statement few would dispute. Criticism of the NHS app could be perceived as criticism of the NHS, and that would be perilously close to heresy.
Interestingly, both the PM and Chancellor of the Exchequer have been pinged after coming into contact with Sajid Javid, yet after initially announcing they wouldn’t be self-isolating in the work environment following the Health Secretary’s coronavirus infection, criticism forced them into a U-turn and now they are. Funnily enough, Javid picked up the Chinese lurgy on a meet-and-greet visit to a care home, those Covid breeding grounds apparently ring-fenced for protection by Javid’s illustrious predecessor.
Boris and Sunak’s initial decision to evade the punishment crippling the rest of the workforce echoes the waiving of quarantine rules to accommodate UEFA and FIFA bigwigs flown in from no-go corners of the globe to enjoy the prawn cocktail privileges at Wembley Stadium last weekend. The contrast between their elevated luxury cocoon and the ticketless drunken hordes storming the venue down below is a microcosm of the two-tier Covid society; the fact that the hooligan minority were in such a state by the time the Euros final kicked-off was helped by the virtual all-day sale of alcohol in London, yet who can blame beleaguered pub businesses trying to maximise profits after being pushed to the brink of extinction by first lockdown and then post-lockdown restrictions? On the eve of ‘Freedom Day’, the crowds at Wembley and Wimbledon will be added to by a full house at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix today, no doubt providing the doom-mongers with fresh evidence for their Ides of March prophesy the day before unshackling.
At the same time, a curious trend has been reported this week, one that suggests the European nations with the largest vaccination intake have all experienced a fresh upsurge of Covid cases whilst the 15 lowest vaccinated countries haven’t. In short, those with the highest level of vaccinations also now have the highest level of infections; weird innit. Cyprus has the highest case count per capita in the world, yet prior to the latest wave had already given the majority of its population the jab; Malta has the Western world’s highest rate of vaccinations, yet the infection rate has shot up since the rollout. Israel decided to investigate and its findings were that Israelis whose only immunity came from vaccination were more likely to be infected than those who had been previously infected and had developed a natural immunity to the virus. Perhaps the misleading daily roll-call of cases as opposed to deaths – which are rapidly diminishing – should cease forthwith; all it seems to do is intensify panic and continue to vindicate the advice of advisors shortly to be rendered redundant.
Indeed, a seemingly renegade SAGE associate has thrown a spanner in the narrative works by rubbishing claims of face coverings as effective coronavirus protection. Dr Colin Axon, an expert in the field of ventilation, says masks are little more than comfort blankets that do next-to-nothing to reduce the spread of Covid particles. According to Dr Axon, the official cloth masks contain holes that cannot be seen by the naked eye but are apparently 500,000 times bigger than yer average Covid particle. This unwelcome opinion was published just as supermarkets appear set to recommend their customers continue to shop in masks (even if they can no longer legally demand it of them) and the Government’s own ‘Freedom Day’ guidance agrees – as does London Mayor Sadiq Khan when it comes to the Tube. My own personal feeling is that most people – at least to begin with – will indeed continue to mask-up in Sainsbury’s. I certainly don’t think we’ll be back to where we were last year before masks became mandatory; twelve months of forced face-covering will have left too strong a legacy of fear to persuade every shopper to add their mask to the latest fatberg.
For a man with a track record of changing his mind at the eleventh hour, one hopes Boris sticks to his guns and doesn’t abruptly cancel tomorrow. The Project Fear apocalypse we were promised when we exited the EU has now been rescheduled for 19 July – according to some online sources, anyway. Ah, technology. Where would the pandemic have been without it?
© The Editor