A new study indicates a worrying surge in ‘marine’ metaphors as newspapers and news websites report on the UK government’s ‘incomprehensible’ approach to the Coronavirus crisis.
The government, who this week will send a letter to every household insisting that they have “done the right thing” at every stage in the unfolding epidemic, have actually been ‘all at sea’ since the crisis began.
We’ve ‘charted the course’ of the unfolding Tory-made disaster to show how Boris Johnson’s letter is merely another ‘red herring’ designed to shift the blame from himself and his cohorts onto us, the Great British public.
At the start of the year, a trial run study (which fictionalised the outbreak of a virus matching Covid-19 almost exactly) showed that the UK health service was woefully underfunded, ill-prepared and ‘likely to sink’ in the event of a pandemic.
Conservative MPs chose to ‘hold their course’ and covered up the results of the study. They continued to ‘keel-haul’ the National Health Service of much needed assets, funding and staff in favour of austerity.
On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a Public Emergency of International Concern as Covid-19 forced the Chinese town of Wuhan into lock-down.
Rather than announce ‘panic stations’ Boris Johnson’s government chose to ignore the threat, ‘hoisted the sails’ and went ‘full steam ahead’ without so much as a cautionary measure in place.
Johnson was forced to ‘go by the board’ and hold the first Cobra meeting to discuss the epidemic on 9th March after Covid 19 claimed the lives of three British citizens. Nevertheless, the meeting was delayed because the cabinet refused to sacrifice their weekend.
The WHO declared the Coronavirus crisis to be an international pandemic on March 11 2020 with Covid 19 ‘threatening the seawalls’ of every nation on the planet.
Boris Johnson gave the grave warnings ‘a wide berth’ and ignored the concern of scientists and medical advisers, instead reassuring the British public that dealing with the virus would be ‘plain sailing’.
As the crisis ‘loomed large in the water’, the government failed to ‘fathom out’ the advice of experts and instead placed all its credence in political ‘loose cannon’ Dominic Cummings.
Cummings advised a ‘hard and fast’ strategy under the buzz-phrase herd immunity, a ‘cut-throat’ tactic which would lead to thousands of deaths while ensuring the economy ‘kept its head above water’.
Only as a result of a ‘mutiny’ among his own party members and a public outcry from the left was Johnson finally forced to abandon his herd immunity mantra, ‘edging forward’ with a tentative move toward ‘battening down the hatches’.
Despite daily press conferences, the guidance and advice offered to the British public was confused, confusing and vague. A British people groomed throughout Brexit not to listen to the advice of experts, failed to listen to the advice of experts and carried on as though everything was still ‘ship-shape and Bristol fashion’.
Only as the death toll started to mount did the British public ‘finally find their sea legs’ and ‘retreat below deck’. Finally Boris Johnson advised people to ‘tie themselves to the mast’ and get ready for the ‘long haul’ as the ‘choppy waters’ of a national health crisis loomed.
The country now faces a devastating death toll as a direct result of the Conservative government’s decision to leave its people ‘high and dry’. At a moment when we needed real leadership ‘at the helm’ we were instead ‘left to the mercy of pirates’.
The government have decided, at this penultimate stage and in the face of this ‘perfect storm’ to ‘push the boat out’ and ‘swab the deck’ of the NHS with desperately needed funds. Nevertheless, letter not withstanding, the result will be too-little-too-late as the ‘headwinds’ are already ‘breaking across the prow’. Johnson and co. are too late in ‘dropping the mainsail’ and have failed to find us a ‘safe port in this storm’.
‘The Kraken is awake’, and it is coming.
As the government now attempt to mitigate the fallout of their own shortcomings and defend themselves against all ‘shots across the bow’ they will divert the blame onto the British people.
It is ‘the crew, not the captain’, who will be blamed for the spread of this disease. By failing to self-isolate when we were told to, we ‘landed ourselves in the brig’.
We, the British people, face two ‘fins in the water’, circling as we flounder in this ‘sinking Titanic’ we once thought was an island. One of those sharks is unthinking and uncaring, it exists only to serve itself and has no qualms about who it hurts or kills in the process, just so long as it survives.
The other is the Coronavirus.