A way out (from confinement, usually of prisoners restricted to their cells)
On behalf of the government, Dominic Cummings drove to Barnard castle to test procedures for exiting the lockdown. Like Dr. Jonas Salk – who discovered a potential vaccine for polio by testing it on himself and his entire family – Classic Dom took a test drive on behalf of us all. He discovered that it is safe to go outside, that cars still work and, shockingly, that it is still possible to use your own judgement.
Following the Barnard Castle experiment, the government is hoping to ease restrictions, to exit the lockdown. However, the government has scared much of the population and many are anxious about returning to normal life. Some have demanded that the government issues detailed instructions on how to perform everyday tasks. A sizeable minority secretly love the lockdown and want us to stay in it forever.
Residents who keep an eye on local ‘comings and goings’, or relish in gossip, used to be viewed as petty-minded. Since lockdown, ‘curtain twitchers’ have been thrust into the frontline of community policing – they have become ‘key watchers’. Acting as the eyes and ears of police and council officials, they have played a valuable role, by informing on neighbours who receive visitors, by sniffing out the source of barbeque smoke and by denouncing mothers who leave their children with friends, on their way to work. Weekly registers have been maintained, noting the attendance of each neighbour at the Thursday NHS clapping sessions and the level of enthusiasm displayed has been carefully noted. It is rumoured that ‘key watchers’ have offered their services for ongoing community monitoring.
Goths don’t like mixing with people, they live indoors, have a gloomy outlook and harbour a brooding sense of the coming apocalypse. They have been pleasantly surprised that the world has recently adopted their way of life. Although Goths have maintained their miserable demeanour, they are secretly delighted at our current circumstances and have covertly enjoyed being back in fashion.
TV journalists used to complain that viewing figures were in decline and that people get more of their news from social media. However, millions are now watching the Daily Briefing and journalists have something to talk about. TV journalism has regained a sense of mission and purpose. Journalists feel a deep sense of camaraderie and they have started to operate in gangs, focusing on one issue at a time, in unison – PPE, ventilators, daily death figures. Journalists are working so closely together that they have developed a collective, singular outlook. The revelation that Dominic Cummings drove his car has enabled TV journalists to morph into a unified and highly motivated pack. Those who flout the rules should live in fear not only of the police but of the media mob.
All parents worry about their children, but some parents have made a profession out of it. They worry about feeding the right food to their kids, about the changing climate, about kids walking to school and playing out on their own. Some parents worry so much, they fear that their kids will be damaged by their own anxious parenting, so they mix with other parents who confirm their anxieties on WhatsApp and MumsNet. The Covid-19 outbreak finally gave them something real to worry about and they feel vindicated. Anxious parents are now setting up petitions to demand that schools stay closed and children stay cocooned in the safety of their anxiety bubble.
“You can exit lockdown now. Oh dear, I think you’ve developed Stockholm Syndrome.”