Why is there a law against murder, or assault, or theft? Surely, we know these things are wrong and whatever the benefit to ourselves of crossing that line, it could not justify the impact on others? Why have rules to prevent them and a system in place to ensure that people follow the rules or are removed from posing any further risk to others?
As James Madison–author of the US Constitution–put it, ‘if Men were angels, no government would be necessary’. We have rules because not everyone can be relied upon to know right from wrong, or to avoid doing what they know to be wrong when it is to their benefit.
COVID-19 case numbers are almost back at peak, hospitalisations are picking up again, and unfortunately so are deaths. This is usually the point in the cycle when we start putting more restrictions in place, instead they are being stripped back.
Let’s be completely honest with ourselves about this, the Government’s ‘Freedom Day’ was an arbitrary date. They refused to move from it for political reasons even when the data made it clear it wasn’t safe or, as the country’s Chief Medical Officer put it several days before the lifting of restrictions, ‘Epidemics are either doubling or they’re halving, and this epidemic is doubling’.
The end result? More than likely another lockdown in a few weeks’ time, with further large numbers needlessly dead or disabled by the disease, and an even greater expense for businesses.
Now is not the time to focus on exactly what should be done with a Government which would do this to their own people. The important thing is this: six months ago when cases were this high the scientists were screaming about the importance of wearing masks, sanitising our hands, observing social distancing, limiting contacts, and tracing exposures. None of the science behind this has changed.
If Government is no longer prepared to look after us, we must look after each other and act to limit COVID, not because of any rules but the simple truth people will die if we don’t.
Cllr Peter Lamb
Leader, Crawley Borough Council