The martial metaphors abound, fighting the war against the pandemic, the next battle and so on, and this week has made it clear that where ever we are, we are not at the end of this particular fight. Every time we think we see the light at the end of the tunnel, it gets dark again, the light recedes into the distance. Or in the case of the new covid variant, what looked like the light is actually a train heading straight for us.
Remember the clapping for carers and the NHS? The new found respect given to essential workers? The cleaners, bus and train drivers, shop workers, the people who actually make our society function. We have also seen a mobilisation of community support that shouldn’t be necessary, but is, to feed the hungry. The football supporters who collect food, community organisations that provide care packages for the elderly and those in need. Volunteers up and down the country, remember when the NHS asked for help and over 750,000 signed up in days? They are all part of this experience, reminding us what solidarity is.
We know of course that this government doesn’t understand that, it has already called for a pay freeze for public sector workers. While shamelessly pumping billions into the pockets of its mates in the city. There is a long list of Tory Councillors and donors who have won contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds in areas they have absolutely no expertise, with companies set up weeks ago to cash in on the crisis.
We should remember what is possible, the resources that government can mobilise when it needs to. We should remember this because society needs re building in response to this crisis, and maybe add one more metaphor for those who are now ripping people off in the face of this pandemic- the despised ‘war profiteers.’