I do not very often “get political” in my blog posts, in fact it is about a year since the last time I did. In case you are interested the post I refer to is Doctor visits when you have Fibromyalgia. Initially I didn’t want to talk about Covid19 because thankfully I have not been infected. However, having sat through all the news briefings and paid attention to what our politicians are saying I felt compelled to write this.
Thankfully the main message is to protect the NHS. It is fair to say here in Britain we can at times be complacent and take our NHS service for granted. For the first time ever, we now need it like no period before this. Nurses, Doctors, Care Assistants and anyone working in a medical setting, thank you. When faced with an invisible killer you protected yourself as well as possible and stood firm. When “normal life” returns we owe it to our NHS workers to make sure they continue to receive the resources they need. Not to mention considering their salary in comparison to others.
Who is Important
The government is keen to stress their shielding message. Let’s face it, as a spoonie I don’t need any encouragement to stay at home. Ninety percent of my life is spent here. Even if this wasn’t the case basic logic and common sense would lead me to stay in. You know that saying that it is not what you say, but how you say it? This has come to mind several times when I have heard the Prime Minister speak during the Covid19 updates. I genuinely get the impression that he doesn’t want to shield the vulnerable because he cares about them. But because he doesn’t want them tying up NHS resources that could be used for workers. If I have come to this conclusion as a spoonie who thankfully has a husband at home, neighbours I can talk to (from a safe distance outside our own doors) and the whole internet at my disposal. How must someone who is alone in isolation with no access to the internet feel if they get the same impression. The elderly, disabled and chronically ill may not be able to contribute greatly to the economy but we are all human lives. We all arrived on the planet in the same way and we will equally depart it.
Getting the Message
As a nation, arguably, we are living through the most extreme period of our history since the Second World War. A time when everyone is called to alter the way they live (except for many spoonies for who this is our norm). A time when many families will lose loved ones. A time for the greatest brains to come together and lead and inspire us. When we think of World War two and the leadership, you don’t have to have been alive to be familiar with the rousing speeches delivered by the Prime Minister. The most notable being this one, recreated exceptionally by Gary Oldman in the film The Darkest Hour.
Where are our leaders?
Prime Minister this is a defining moment in your career. You have the opportunity to address the nation with messages far beyond the typical political scenario. People are looking to you for clear leadership and reassurance. You clearly have an excellent understanding of the english language as you proved here.
Why then do you continue to resort to soundbite slogans “wash your hands,” “Stay Home and Save Lives,” “Protect the NHS.” Did Winston Churchill spend weeks saying “We shall fight them on the beaches”. Until it became a farce? No. I am just a citizen and currently not even a member of your workforce, due to my health. But in the same was that Winston hopped on the train and listened to the people. Let me now, address you. The members of the public who have even the basic understanding of what is happening right now are already complying. The people who aren’t are either not listening at all or struggle to take you seriously. For those of us who are still listening perhaps you could decorate the “Anglo-Saxon Zingers” with a spot of the romance language? Covid19 is a serious time for serious people. It is time for a great orator.
Looking to the Future
This will pass as all things do. Be it twelve weeks or two years later. People will return to their normal lives. When the “on ice” workers, after a week are complaining about being back at work. When they have spent weeks complaining about being stuck inside. Please remember, during this period employees were paid 80% of their salary to stay at home. There were mortgage freezes and an unprecedented financial package to get through this crisis. As a married person with a chronic illness who is unable to go out to work, my only entitlement is to PIPS (and these are awarded to disabled people who are able to work, on top of their salary) they are in no was a living wage.
Give Spoonies a Chance!
I could work at home, I have a computer and a pretty decent grasp on language. As someone with a chronic illness I require one important thing. Flexibility. There are days when I am too ill to work, other days I have a bad start to the day but things improve during the afternoon. I can’t just pop into the office once a week.
Employers, remember that time during the Civid19 crisis when nobody was able to go into the office full stop. You found a way around it. Where there is a will there’s a way and all that. There is a whole potential workforce of intelligent, articulate, computer savvy individuals whose only ask is to stay at home (and be flexible with deadlines). We will still be here, we didn’t need celebrities to entertain us (although it was appreciated) during the crisis. We did (and continue) to live in the world where the nation considers us second class citizens. To all the government and employers when your normal life resumes, don’t forget us. There is room in the economy to embrace humanity. Here’s hoping for change.