Instant Opinion

‘To escape the lockdown nightmare, put Covid into proportion’

Your digest of analysis and commentary from the British and international press


Philip Johnston in The Daily Telegraph

To escape the lockdown nightmare, put Covid into proportion

on living with the virus

“We cannot live our lives cowering in our homes or with the drawbridge to our island nation raised. After all, if the point of shutting our borders now is to prevent variants of the virus entering the country then when will they ever be reopened, since mutations will always occur? We had been led to believe that the vaccine was the route out of this nightmare and yet its arrival has prompted our politicians to adopt greater caution and impose even tougher measures. When we say we have to live with this disease, that means accepting that people will get it and some will die from it. This is not to be mean-spirited or to lack compassion but simply to recognise that being alive carries risks and they cannot all be eliminated. Had I been hospitalised by my dose of Covid (and, who knows, I may yet be in future), I hope I would still have taken the same view.”


Anonymous in The Guardian

This lockdown, my job in a supermarket has become more dangerous than ever

on being afraid at work

“Both anti-maskers and devout rule-followers can be troublesome. At the tills, people often pay with cash instead of cards, and regularly lean around screens to talk with cashiers. I’ve seen someone pull down their mask to wipe their nose with their hand before passing over their store membership card. Staff call the self-checkout area ‘the cage’: a small, Perspex-enveloped space in which it’s impossible to socially distance, where customers rarely stay two metres apart or move away when you arrive to untag their alcohol or fix a problem with the scale. Despite the risks they face, supermarket workers have received no extra support from the government. It’s hard not to feel unsupported and overlooked by the thousands of people we serve every day.”


Alice Thomson in The Times

Sexuality should never be a source of shame

on the sin of scapegoating

“People keep saying we couldn’t have known about Covid but those who lost anyone to Aids hadn’t forgotten. At the beginning of this epidemic when people were dying alone, when misinformation was being spread every day and when care homes were being victimised, it all came back... Aids also showed that clear messages are required from governments but scaremongering risks alienating people: what is most needed is practical help. Handing out condoms and clean needles was more effective than showing the young images of tombstones. Now, warning about mutant viruses and haranguing a few partygoers is less constructive than encouraging people to wear masks and get tested. No one should be scapegoated.”


Michael Goodwin in the New York Post

Impeaching Trump gets more divisive by the minute

on dividing the nation

“There are also other reports that some people arrived and entered the Capitol while Trump was still giving his speech, in which he said, ‘I know everyone here will soon march to the Capitol to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.’ Although both things could be true — that Trump incited the crowd and that others plotted an invasion — the plot angle further muddies the rationale for an unprecedented show trial against a former president. All things considered, common sense and America’s well-being dictate that Dems must let go of the past and focus on helping a ravaged, divided nation.”


Dr Kate Lister in The i

Are vegans really better lovers?

on plant-powered passion

“What do Romantic Pythagoreans, anti-masturbation fanatics, and Pamela Anderson all have in common? They all believe that meat does not maketh the man. Dr Kellogg and his knuckle-shuffle shaming crew saw meat as corrupting both the body and the mind. It is a view largely shared by both the Romantics and the modern vegan movement. But, whereas Dr Kellogg believed meat inflamed the passions, the Romantics and Pamela Anderson believe it dulls them. All these positions are more ideologically driven than they are factual. You can enjoy good sexual health and eat meat. Having said that, we are healthier when we eat less meat and more veggies, that is a proven fact – as is the link between meat and cholesterol; and that between cholesterol, vascular health and erectile dysfunction.”


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