Updated: May 13, 2021
Many aren't going to like this post, and that's okay with me. I'm not known by my friends for being diplomatic. I simply say it as I see it. My intention in this post isn't to offend. And if you are offended, could I suggest some introspection?
In a time that many in the UK are under some form of lockdown, like millions around the world, stuck in our homes, unable to live a 'normal' life. Unable to see our friends and families as freely as before. Unable to go to the gym. Cinema. Football game. Live gigs.....
I get it.
I also know that this is having a serious impact on the economy and many businesses around the globe. I personally know several business owners who have had an absolute disaster of a year (in some cases you wouldn't tell by their social media posts). I myself have been significantly impacted with very few photoshoots in 2020.
I really get it.
Some people are also in the position that they are getting zero government support right now. I am also in this group. As I have not yet made a tax return due to only launching my business in June 2019, I don't qualify for any financial assistance.
I GET IT
COVID is a bastard/bitch.
It's affected millions/billions of lives around the world. There are going to be consequences of this pandemic for many years to come. Many businesses have closed their doors for the last time. Both large and sole trader businesses.
But here is the thing.
COVID is not personal.
Social media can be a struggle sometimes
Lately, I've been really struggling with engaging on LinkedIn. It has for the past couple of years been my platform of choice to spend time on and engage with my network.
Along the way, I've disconnected from those people who, through their posts and comments, I can tell are not people or businesses I'd personally want to do business with. And I've lost many connections along the way for my views and opinions.
That is all pretty standard stuff. We all have different opinions, views, ethics and morals. We are not all going to get on. And that is okay.
An opinion is like a butthole, everyone has one.
As I say above, we all have our opinions. I saw a quote once along the lines of, "You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts."
The sorts of posts and comments I'm really struggling with on LinkedIn (I'm sure it's true for Facebook too depending on which groups, pages and people you follow, I have simply filtered most of Facebook negativity out already) are around COVID19 and the vaccines.
When this all kicked off in March 2019 in the UK, it didn't take people long to start fighting the government. Some points were valid, and some were just for the sake of having something to say.
Valid comments and posts included, "The government was too late to enforce lockdown", "The government were too quick to lift lockdown", "Schools should have closed sooner", "School children shouldn't be going to school"
The creating issues comments and posts included. "5G causes COVID19", "COVID-19 was created by the Illuminati", "COVID19 was invented in a Chinese lab" (this one may actually have some legs, but it's not useful during the peak of a pandemic. Let's worry about where it came from after we've dealt with the issue at hand shall we?). "We shouldn't be in lockdown".....
Who are you to judge whats valid and what's not?
I'm no one. But scientists are clever folk. Science is a very useful thing in our lives that has resulted in countless of what we now call facts. Things that science has and can prove. Like that gravity sucks. That DNA exists. That fast food is bad. Having a black mamba as a pet is a stupid idea.
Pretty useful stuff science.
So when scientists speak, I listen.
Now, I'm not talking about self-proclaimed scientists, of which millions have certified during the year of 2020. If you want to, you can find articles from 'scientists' telling you how the Earth is flat. Articles how 5G caused COVID. How global warming isn't a thing etc
I also apply logic to what I hear on the news.
I know enough about technology to know there have been conspiracy theories around technology for decades and that's going to be with us for as long as technology is. So the whole 5G caused COVID thing I just laugh off.
Sweden got it right!
Many people in the UK were shouting about how we shouldn't have gone into the first lockdown in March 2020. They cited Sweden's model, of basically doing very little, as the way the UK should have handled things.
Let's explore, shall we?
Sweden, a country in the region known as the Nordic Region which consists also of Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland.
Let's look at the COVID stats for those countries, humour me.
These stats were accurate as of 30th December 2020.
Sweden - Total cases - 437,379 - Total Deaths - 8,727 - Deaths per million citizens - 745.42
Denmark - Total cases - 161,230 - Total Deaths - 1,256 - Deaths per million citizens - 165.16
Norway - Total cases - 48,635 - Total Deaths - 436 - Deaths per million citizens - 73.86
Finland - Total cases - 35,858 - Total Deaths - 556 - Deaths per million citizens - 84.42
Iceland - Total cases - 5754 - Total Deaths - 29 - Deaths per million citizens - ? (can't find this data as of writing this post)
Now given these statistics above, which I have no valid reason to doubt, (they were obtained from Worldometers and Statista which are both sites that I believe are reputable and reporting the data as released by the countries) how can any logical person still be making this argument today? And yet they are!
Of all the Nordic countries, Sweden has very clearly (or apparently not) done the worst with regards to cases, deaths and deaths per 1m capita. That is not my opinion, that is the figures we have to go by.
But I'm sure some will simply say, "well how do we know the countries are accurately reporting the numbers!". And to you I say, "how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go? And do you not have more important matters to attend to?"
The first duty of government
"The first duty of the government is to keep citizens safe and the country secure. The Home Office has been at the front line of this endeavour since 1782." (Gov.uk)
Therefore, if you've ever run a project before, you understand the concept of priorities. So when the government is faced with an imminent threat to its citizens versus financial impact, which would you prioritise given your first duty is to keep citizens safe and the country secure?