The skies look the same, the ground beneath it seems unchanged. The roads remain filled with cars, and the pavements alongside it reside under the steps of pedestrians. It is true that we are seeing more and more masks spread across the face of the populace. We may also witness an increasing number of boarded-up shops, deemed unessential businesses by the government. Unessential to whom is a question that lingers in the air we breath. Unfortunately, it is a question that blends itself within the myriad of interrogations, frustrations, despair, (misplaced?) optimism, that currently circulate around society.
Well, for all I know these may be the kind of questions that only I ask myself. Perhaps I shouldn’t question why multinational companies and their services are deemed essential. I wonder why certain activities that are overwhelmingly undertaken by aristocrats and their wanna-be understudies are deemed permissible when new restrictions are put in place. I question a society in which it is criminal to meet with an acquaintance outside for a coffee, but it isn’t to mount a horse and hunt innocent animals with 29 other people. These could be questions that one does not ask if one does not wish to know the answer.
However, I can’t help but have many questions. So here they are:
- How did the 7th richest nation on earth fail to provide PPE to it’s medical staff?
- How did this same nation allow 100,000 (and counting) deaths to happen?
- Why did this government deem free-school meals for the poorest and most vulnerable members of society a superfluous necessity?
- Why have we not thought of a better policy other than to shield the elderly in their care homes — for nearly a year now — without proper support?
- Why has the NHS been abandoned, leaving its personnel hanging on its last mental thread?
- Why has the vaccine roll-out, and thus ensuring the profitability of it’s private providers, been a model of efficiency?
I question how society will look once the media deems the pandemic to be over? Will we go back to ignoring the noise of complaints emitting from the NHS as it struggles to survive? Will we keep an eye on the hawks of privatization gliding around its decaying corpse? Will the claps we so enthusiastically participated in be enough to drain-out the noise of our common guilt? Will our Netflix shows, the artificial crow noises of our sport events be loud enough to ignore the cries of those we’ve left behind? Of those people who lost their loved ones to covid19 or to the consequences of a criminal mismanagement of the health and societal crisis it unleashed? Will we demand a more just society for those who fell in-between the cracks that meritocracy claims only appear as a consequence of the individuals own action or lack thereof?
I am not looking for answers from the God(s) above, nor do I expect the answers from another human living in the same world as me. These are questions whose answers haunt me, and I hope these haunt those who made these questions materialise. I hope these haunt those who read these words, however small that number is.