Lockdowns can only ever be temporary things

Britain’s coronavirus lockdown began to fray on Wednesday night as official figures showed an “uptick” in the number of people using transport.

The number of those using their cars and public transport, which had been consistently dropping since strict social distancing measures were introduced, rose for the first time at the beginning of this week.

It is feared that the sunny forecast for the weekend, which could see temperatures of 20C in London, will prompt more people to go break the rules and go outside and socialise as the Easter holidays begin.

Mervyn King, the former Governor of the Bank of England, warned that there could be a “rebellion” if the measures are enforced for too long.

No, not could be, will be. Only a change on emphasis there though, for Our Merv* is generally right.

*Papists of a certain age from areas of the West Country will have a memory of “Our Merv”. The Bishop of Clifton** was Mervyn, an oddish name for a priest but there we go, there must have been a St Mervyn at some time. During the services there is a “We pray for…..” and that includes the sick of the parish, maybe those recently deceased etc, but also “Our Bishop….” and in this case this would be “Our Bishop Mervyn”. Just part of the ritual. And of course given West Country practices he became “Our Merv”.

Mervyn King is not a Catholic bishop but I’ve always thought of him as “Our Merv”.

**Think that was the Papist see of the time

27 thoughts on “Lockdowns can only ever be temporary things”

  1. My children’s favourite of those prayers for bishops was in Brussels fifteen years ago or more, for “Godfried our bishop”. Pronounced appropriately it cheered up their sunday morning duty.

  2. I was confirmed by Merv. Our parish was St Francis so all the other kids took Francis as their name. I though took Thomas after St Thomas More.

    When, at first mass at university, I heard “Our bishop” not followed by “Mervyn” I inwardly jumped.

    Just an old personal tale; move on, ignore.

  3. For a Londoner, Merv automatically suggests Mervyn Stockwood, second only to David Sheppard in the Spacely-Trellis league of trendy 70s bishops

  4. No-one has suggested that the lockdown is not temporary. The questions are: should it be shorter or longer, and should it be phased out (by region, by vulnerability, by age, by occupation?) or ended totally?

  5. Perhaps if the police hadn’t acted like power crazed idiots, there wouldn’t be a new mood of ‘Stuff this! I need to LIVE, not merely exist!’ in the nation?

  6. We cannot stay cooped up forever. There will be a tipping point where society accepts the risks of a higher death rate and shorter life expectancy. Life won’t be worth living if we are just staying home.

  7. A ten-day, even two-week, shutdown from Christmas to New Year is a regular thing these days, but it is planned months in advance, and the weather outside is not to enticing.
    The only question about the end of this lockdown is will governments release their grip in an orderly way, or will crowds just surge across the barriers in a manner reminiscent of 1989 and the fall-of-the-wall

  8. …and another thing.
    After a while the idea that just food, medicine, and exercise are the only essentials just doesn’t work. I have a leaking tap, easy enough to fix, I probably have the parts. But the sort of job I prefer to do when the shops are open just in case I don’t.

  9. Theo–105 thou folk joined the UK dole on Tuesday 24th March. I don’t know the figures now but if that –or any sig proportion of that– is happening daily we don’t have time to hang about.

    I say no mass deaths are coming–but as has been said by others on here–even if they should -we will cope better with a working economy rather than a badly battered one still crash-diving.

  10. djc:‘ A ten-day, even two-week, shutdown from Christmas to New Year is a regular thing these days…’

    Totally different thing. No-one’s shaming you for buying ‘unnecessary’ Christmas crackers, for one thing!

  11. @djc

    We’ve discovered a pinhole leak, just (luckily) on the ‘house’ side of the stopcock. Plumber is here as I write this – he’s stopped doing his planned work (because his wife is a teacher – there still seems to be plenty of building work continuing) but thought we were an ’emergency’ case. Hope nobody dobs us in to plod. 🙂

  12. djc said:
    “A ten-day, even two-week, shutdown from Christmas to New Year is a regular thing these days”

    Yes, that’s a shut-down, but it’s not a lock-down. People can still go out, most travel to visit family and friends, lots of socialising – very different to what’s being forced on us now.

  13. ‘The number of those using their cars and public transport, which had been consistently dropping since strict social distancing measures were introduced, rose for the first time at the beginning of this week.’

    Weather freaks want more public transport. Massing population is good for terrorists and pandemics. Freedom is healthier.

    Charlotte cops announced they have made no arrests and issued no citations for violation of lockdown ordinance. Sounds like a token police chief is in charge, like in Philadelphia. If you are going to ease up on enforcement, you don’t fvcking announce it! Duh!

  14. When the youth realise they are at low risk they will cease to respect the lockdown. Handled badly, the consequences could be much worse than the London riots.

  15. [Plumber] … thought we were an ’emergency’ case. Hope nobody dobs us in to plod.

    That’s covered in the exemptions; you’re clear. Yesterday, someone near me had a mobile gardener visit their garden. Don’t know if that counts as unnecessary or not, but hopefully they delivered a couple of Easter eggs just be sure.

    The day before yesterday I went for a long drive, mostly via my favourite back roads. It was a completely unnecessary journey; simply an indulgence and defiance.

    Now somebody down the way is washing their car on the street. It’s an objectionable metallic Lincoln-green thing with black wheels, so I might grass them up.

  16. “warned that there could be a “rebellion” if the measures are enforced for too long.

    No, not could be,”

    Hmm, my money is on the state. If they want to they can arrest and detain all ‘perpetrators’. Mass co-ordinated action would be made difficult when the state shuts down the internet and the phone network.

    Rebellion would require a state that lacks the resolve. We, the people, no matter our resolve, cannot defy a resolute state, no matter that we may enjoy to fantasise that we can.

  17. France: 385 000 people fined for disobeying the edicts of Emperor Macron. It is reported that bored young people are having get-together and holding parties in out of the way places.

  18. Bloke in North Dorset

    When word gets round what Sweden’s doing it might bring a few people to their senses:


    “Perhaps Tegnell and his team will turn out to be wrong. But their point is that the people deserve policies that work for longer than a month. Managing the virus is a long game, and while herd immunity is not the Swedish strategy, it may well be where we all end up. The theory of lockdown, after all, is pretty niche, deeply illiberal — and, until now, untested. It’s not Sweden that’s conducting a mass experiment. It’s everyone else.”

    See also: https://unherd.com/2020/03/all-eyes-on-the-swedish-coronavirus-experiment/

    Sadly, our MSM seem to think that authoritarian regimes are the ones to admire.

    The Swedes are basically where we were before Boris had to capitulate to the mob and order what is misleadingly called a lock down.

  19. Simon Clewer–don’t need mass co-ordination. Just ignore the fuckers. If coro is as I suggest it is and people actually had clear knowledge of that –they’d already be ignoring Blojo. They are still in the grip of this new Project Fear. But it must turn out either to be true (=mass deaths) or otherwise it will pop like the bubble it is. And the hysteria and over-reaction and potential ruin be seen for what they are.Government fuck-up.

    What keeps people in line–other than fear of direct death–is having something to lose. A family, home, a business, a cherished situation. One of the reasons Plod will try to lose you your job or occupational licence if you have a more than casual run in with them.

    The state is busy solving that problem. If they have fucking ruined you then you not only have the gift of anger–even if you were fearful enough to orig want their stupidity–you also have far less to lose.
    Yes they can go to China style mass murder threats –but from then on it has to be force every step of the way and without the usual cloak of legitimacy that has facilitated their rule in so-called “free” countries.

    Expensive and difficult.

  20. “It was a completely unnecessary journey; simply an indulgence and defiance.”

    You decide what is necessary.

    My state is still not in lockdown, as far as I know. I’m intentionally not looking to find out. Don’t want to know. I’ll have the motorrad out tomorrow PM. Sposed to be 72F and sunny.

    Friend tried to book a tee time at alt golf course. They are fully booked forever. Ugh.

  21. We were told by local health chief in a public briefing of zero chance of any lifting of restrictions in April, followed by talk of July and at least the end of the year to get back to normal.
    I’m wondering if they have all forgotten the origins of the term quarantine. If this thing takes 2 weeks to incubate then if after 6 weeks we are still seeing increasing numbers surely lockdown isn’t doing any good, if they have dropped then surely we can ease up?

  22. [Plumber] … thought we were an ’emergency’ case. Hope nobody dobs us in to plod.

    That’s covered in the exemptions; you’re clear.

    I’m sure that in principle you’re right, and my tongue was obviously in cheek. But the exemptions aren’t really that clear – the only thing I can find is this list of ‘key workers’ whose children may still attend school, which mentions “water sectors (including sewerage)”. But I’m quite happy for such decisions to be kept vague and left to my plumber’s good judgement.

  23. Don’t disagree Ecks, we have opened up 4,000 beds in the province by cancelling all medical care, built a field hospital in a downtown convention centre (temporary morgue is in food court) and right now after nearly 3 weeks of lockdown there 61 in ICU and death count hasn’t hit 50. Meantime tourism is totally shut down and downtown is deserted and everything except supermarket closed or closing.
    Even odder they sent hospital patients to long term care facilities, yet the long term care facilities account for over half the deaths so far (12 in one place alone).
    We had a holiday cancelled and have to decide to take 125% credit or a refund in 90 days, big question is chance of company going bust and credit being worthless.

  24. @BiND

    Sweden’s no-lockdown approach to coronavirus

    BBC, C4 etc have been silent on Sweden (bias by omission), but attacking Brazil’s “Far Right” President for not imposing lockdown.

    Wednesday, DM ran an article on Sweden, lo and behold C4 now feels a need to do same

    Sweden bucks the trend: Public continue to mill about in groups as life goes on despite…

    C4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdZAZRiFq24
    Of course C4 has to distort by adding irrelevant ‘open borders’ and conflating with ‘open for business’. Oresund bridge to DK has been on ‘lockdown’ since Mad Merkel’s “everyone welcome”

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