When the new year of 2021 dawned I made a resolution and foolishly recorded it publicly. That’s a bad move. It’s inevitable that you will face the embarrassment of failing to keep it. And that’s what I did. Mine was simply to say no more about the whole nasty Covid business. Now, I didn’t mean the reality of the vicious virus, whether natural or mad made and the devastation it has caused across the world. Nor did I mean the disease and the suffering and death that has followed and those who have to endure its long-term chronic debilities. No, I mean the insane irrational hysteria, which has dominated as well as crippled society, the skewed obsession with the single narrative and the sinister intent of those who made and continue to make a killing out of it all. That business.
At the beginning of 2021 it seemed a reasonable aspiration that this would soon be all behind us. Perhaps not talking about it might make it go away. There was a feeling that we had come to the end of this aberration and sanity would somehow return. How wrong I was. A year later there it is, still in full swing and no sign that it will ever end. True the words change and opinions too, people shift their ground, backs are covered and inconvenient facts buried. But the fatal error and the gross abuse of power is overlooked in the frenzy over wine and cakes. But I am going to try and make one last attempt to close the chapter and halt my musings on this sorry tale.
To be honest I am tired. The whole thing has become so unbearably wearisome. There is nothing much more to say and I am beginning to repeat myself. Languishing in ten days house arrest following a positive Lateral flow test from a close contact, it all seems pretty pointless anyway. The system can’t be bucked against, that’s for sure and we are in this for the long haul. In Scotland the government are in the process of taking more power to allow them to shut down society whenever it seems right to them to do so and we just have to get used to that. Like long term prisoners we need to learn to settle down and get on with our life sentence. We need to stop fixating on the dream of an early release. It is hope deferred that is the real killer and wasting energy on any more outrages is a futile banging a head against a wall. And it’s too late, anyway. The inmates are already running the asylum.
The big question is how you retain your sanity in a world that has gone mad? I am beginning to think that Foucault had a point. Maybe it’s the internees who are the sane ones? Under this enforced isolation I have had a chance to think and learn again from those who have gone before and have faced the real trials not phoney ones. People like Bonhoeffer, Jägerstätter, Havel, Solzhenitsyn and others. So I will try and follow their example:
To live not by lies: ”The simplest and most accessible key to our self-neglected liberation is this: personal non-participation in lies. Though lies may conceal everything, though lies may control everything, we should be obstinate about this one small point: let them be in control but without any help from any of us.” 1
To not allow the names, they give you, intimate: “The term dissident (which to the soviets in Havel’s day meant a renegade) frequently implies a special profession, as if, along with the more normal vocations, there was another special one – grumbling about the state of things. In fact, a dissident is simply a physicist, a sociologist, a worker, a poet, individuals who are merely doing what they must and, consequently, who find themselves in open conflict with the regime. This conflict has not come about through any conscious intention on their part, but simply through the inner logic of their thinking, behaviour or work, often confronted with external circumstances more or less beyond their control.” 2
To trust to common sense, that special gift from God.
To not comply with what we know is foolishness.
To think about “Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” 3
- Alexander Solzhenitsyn “Live not by lies” 1974
- Václav Havel “The Power of the Powerless” 1998
- Philippians 4:8-9 English Standard version
I suppose it is a matter of one’s perspective on an issue but I have to say that tagging these wonderful quotes to the Covid thing seems a tad over-dramatic.
Yes, I guess, a matter of perspective. When you believe in something pretty strongly I suppose you are given to over dramatics.
I just found Solzhenitsyn provided a helpful model for a response that suited me, being neither a violent one nor a “non-violent” one or even active civil disobedience, but at the same time retained some form of integrity. “You do what you are hell bent on doing but don’t expect any support from me”. It sounds pretty weak, though, put like that
And Havel’s idea that dissidents weren’t career activists but just found themselves in that place because of situations quite out with their control
I am not myself going to write anything more on my weblog about Covid, but this is pretty much where I stand. It doesn’t give me any pleasure to read or share it but it is disturbingly true and bitterly sad. I feel the shame.
Cowed by Covid diktats, how the Church failed the faithful – The Conservative Woman