Judging by the comments on here, regular readers have a solid independent mindset and don’t tend to be victims of lazy thinking.
This is a useful character trait at the best of times but more so during a crisis.
Because the government is not your Mum or Dad.
A million Mums on Facebook are reading this and saying, “well, duh“.
(actually, they’re not, because only about 3 of us read this blog, but for the sake of keeping me motivated, let’s pretend).
At the risk of building a strawMum argument, these are often the same people who write long posts about how the government should tackle climate change but happily post family holiday snaps from Aspen or Hakuba each year.
The growing panic around the spread of Kung Flu is likely to rapidly challenge many people’s internally-held instincts that the government is concerned for their well-being at a personal level.
Breaking News; the government doesn’t have an opinion about you. In fact, as we’ve explained previously, the government doesn’t have an opinion. Period.
It’s an easy misconception to make though, one might see how someone could fall for it. From cradle to grave, the government is smoothing the path for us all, every single hour of the day:
When you wake up in your house built to government-defined specifications, you use government-provided water and plumbing services in the bathroom, make breakfast using government-regulated (or even owned) power, read the post delivered by the government-provided mail services, drive your government-approved vehicle on the government-built road to your child’s government school and then to your heavily government regulated place of work, probably whilst listening to your government provided radio station.
It must be quite a shock, therefore to find even a single crack in the facade that all this isn’t for you individually but us collectively. Sure, the two concepts don’t clash for 99.9% of the time but they are about to.
Let me offer some pertinent examples;
The use of masks to prevent catching Covid-19
The government message is that they are not effective.
Ok, so why do medical professionals and other key workers wear them?
The reality the government is grappling with is more likely that masks are somewhat effective but there is a finite supply which the government needs to secure for medical professionals.
There is not yet a requirement to close schools
Ok, but at some point a critical mass of schools will have an infection and pupils at those first schools to be infected will be at a greater risk than the ones closed before infection.
The reality the government is facing is that, by closing the schools too soon, they reduce the number of available medical professionals as a large percentage will stay home to care for their children.
There is no need to stockpile.
Ok, but we’ve now run out of toilet paper and don’t have any paracetamol in the house and our three nearest supermarkets are empty.
It turns out that early stockpiling makes absolute rational sense if you believe everyone else is about to start doing the same tomorrow.
As we’ve pointed out many times here, the government is a non-sentient being that responds to stimuli. Projecting an ability to feel empathy, guilt, or a sense of duty onto a mass of thousands of individuals just because they have a group noun is a massive personal misjudgment.
The government, at best, act in your interest as a member of a collective. It can never act in your individual best interest when that is in conflict or even at slight variance to the collective.
Therefore, it’s very rational for you to think seriously about wearing masks in public, better still staying home from work, keeping your children at home, buying enough supplies for two or three weeks at home and preparing to sit things out.
Think positively; Netflix, YouTube, Skype, FaceTime are all available and, hopefully, your broadband stays up.
In the meantime, here’s a YouTube video to get you started. While watching it, consider quite how unprepared the world is for a crisis after we’ve accepted two generations of 100% career politicians as being appropriate leaders for our nations.
Seriously, there isn’t a single person in either the government or the opposition who has any experience even remotely appropriate to qualify them to lead a crisis response; they’ve gone from a PPE or Law degree, into a union position or legal firm, parachuted into a safe seat, to a cabinet position to being the leader of a major nation.
We would have done better by selecting the PM by jury service, lottery or Rock Paper Scissors.
Take it away Prime Minister Morrison, tell us all about the economic response, because that’s what everyone is really worried about isn’t it? We all care more about what’s going to happen to house prices rather than whether or not granny will end her life lying on a gurney in a hospital car park: