I have been praying for Boris Johnson to be retuned to health. The disease does not follow a narrative or a news cycle. It reflects frail humanity. It brings the reality of it home to see that the virus can strike seriously in anyone, even those who keep fit and strong, as Boris Johnson does.
I comforted myself that some have mild symptoms or none at all: the Prince of Wales blessedly sailed though at a senior age, but those in the flush of youth have succumbed. I keep fit and well and my children and young and strong and we thought that, if the disease were to come to our household then we will be all right, but then something like this happens and the doubts come. I am fit, surely, if you ignore the – ah, but you cannot ignore any gap in the armour, and there may be hidden vulnerabilities.
Boris Johnson keeps himself fit – but he has not escaped the heavy blow. I pray that he will recover swiftly his strength and energy, but I know it is not inevitable. This is a disease which strikes at the highest in the land just as the lowest.
There is genuine goodwill in the messages which have been pouring in for Boris, beyond those issued pro forma. It is not just sympathy, of which there has been much, but fellow-feeling and the knowledge in every writer of a letter that he or she or their mother or child could be next.
The patient himself if far more though than an archetype for the man on the street. He is himself. We need Boris Johnson, even from personally selfish reasons – the political world was convulsed to get us to the point when he could take back control, and sailing past Brexit, he keeps the show on the road. In a Parliamentary system, there should not be such dependence on one man, but that is what we have. Look at the fears for if the worst were to happen and you can see how indispensable he has become. We need Boris.
We will all get through this, or rather most of us will get through, and those who do will still have beloved family members they mourn for. We will come out stronger but not untouched. If all eyes are fixed on one man, it is both because he is indispensable and as a reflection of the perilous state in which each of us and our families exists.
- In a sentence, Her Majesty defines us
- What about those who are immune?
- Meanwhile, in Brussels
- Do not make us resent this
- A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe
- By Boris Johnson:
- 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
- Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay (1841)
- 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 Aristotle:
- By Anthony Burgess: