The world of work has been slow to revive since Freedom Day. The trains have been filling up for a while and the masks coming off, but the latter may be going into reverse.
Many are still working from home. Many (I suspect) will find the end of furlough is the beginning of unemployment, but with the economy picking up faster than expected, we might not be looking out at the apocalyptic wasteland we feared.
The trains are a lot busier than a fortnight ago, but even before then they were beginning to fill up. I saw passengers standing in the aisles this morning – albeit because they were still reluctant to squash bottom-to-bottom with fellow travellers.
Masks are still generally worn on the Tube in London in the morning at least. That will take a while to wear off, or a change in the Mayor’s commandment.
Shops, many of them, still display pious signs about wearing a face-muzzle and using that allergic goo on your hands, but I have seen no evidence of insistence, except in a couple of particularly close-confined venues in the Midlands.
Work itself does not stop. Builders have continued to build and to improve buildings throughout the COVID period and shops have opened in hope in spite of the efforts of government to destroy them. Had the professions which serve this activity actually stopped in lockdown then the economy would have collapsed irretrievably. The revolution has been the technology and broad broadband allowing some desk-jockeys to work almost seamlessly from home: this would not have been possible even a few years ago and for many it still would not be possible.
(It did seem sometimes that a few, those who ignored the lockdown and carried on as normal, were bearing the whole burden of keeping the ship from running into the rocks. It would need a better analysis to say how far that is true than a frustrated observation from behind an office desk.)
The working population now seems split into four: the dismissive and the fearful and the bullies as observed in earlier articles, but the majority are the meekly compliant. The latter are dangerous. How can there be resistance to tyranny if even in Britain, the well-spring of individual freedom, there is such docility?
It looks from here as if lockdown did not end on 19 July 2021, but just started to fade away. There are still bullies who delight in putting hazard tape on the pavements and shouting signs on every highway. Now at least I feel better able to laugh in their faces, maskless, as they are made powerless.
You have to be the change you want to see. I want a change to normality.
- Lockdown breakdown
- Spinning doctors
- Yearning to be unfree
- Competitive panicking
- Does anyone understand the rules?
- Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay (1841)
- A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe
- Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World by Laura Spinney
- The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B Peterson
- Woke: A Guide to Social Justice by Titania McGrath
- The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes
- By Boris Johnson:
- By Aristotle:
- By Anthony Burgess: