Besides the fear mongering and panic caused by COVID19 the most deplorable thing done not only by normal people but also by our leaders is shameful covid19 victim blaming.
A tall order
When the pandemic started we did not know enough about the severity of this new virus so most people supported lockdowns. But over the summer we learned that the virus is not very dangerous. Of course it is deadly for some people but for most it is a mild disease if any at all. We now also know who is most at risk from the disease. Old people and those with fragile health.
So of course people saw that and started to ignore social distancing. People wanted to live. One needs to understand what our leaders demanded with their lockdowns. Not only did they curtail our social lives but they also destroyed people’s livelihoods, jobs, businesses, education, other medical procedures, mental health and so on. It was a tall order. Understandably many people were unable and unwilling to continue this.
COVID19 victim blaming
Now that the infection numbers go up (while the deaths are rising much more slowly than in spring) our leaders actually have the nerve of blaming their citizens for the rising number of infections because they ignored social distancing rules. With this they justify renewed restrictions. This is just shameful victim blaming.
Maybe our leaders should have considered that locking people’s lives down is something that can not be done. We are not authoritarian China. Maybe our leaders should have thought about different solutions. I remember the rationale for the first lockdown. It was to flatten the curve so we could prepare over the summer and avoid another lockdown when a second wave will undoubtedly arrive in autumn. But what a suprise we “need” another lockdown because people did not comply with social distancing rules.
The prohibition went well too
I am reminded of prohibition. Surely we just need to outlaw alcohol and people will stop drinking and all the ills caused by alcohol go away. We all know how well this worked out. The first lockdown I can understand because knew too little about the new disease. But blaming people for rising infections now is deplorable.
Even in spring it was clear that there will be a second wave in autumn and that we should prepare ourselves. Our leaders were supposed to provide more protective equipment, implement measures to protect the elderly, to secure hospitals and to provide a reserve of intensive care beds and staff. I am not saying they did nothing but I also do not understand why we as the people are now blamed for rising infections. It was clear from the beginning that this virus will spread through population. There are countries with stringent rules, others are more relaxed, they all see rising numbers. So who really is to blame then?
Who to blame then?
Here is who you can blame for it. Blame the virus first and foremost. What did our leaders expect? That we stay home alone until there maybe is a vaccine available? Do we stay home for influenza or the common cold? Maybe blame lax procedures at hospitals and care homes for avoidable deaths (my local hospital for instance seriously fucked up and dozens of people died because of it). But stop blaming people for simply wanting to live their life, wanting to see their friends and relatives or wanting to earn a living for their families.
But of course it is easier to blame human beings whose behavior can be changed by government order instead of accepting the inevitable spread of a highly contagious virus. Maybe this makes it easier to cope with the feeling of helplessness that such a virus might induce in people. But it ends up like magical thinking.
Maybe we should stop blaming others at all and see how we can accept our life with the risk this virus poses while protecting those who are really at a high risk. I want to use this post to again suggest to you to at least read the Great Barrington Declaration which I already signed.