If we are in a lock down situation for Christmas, and you dont get to visit your family. Remember, it is not the Government’s fault. Its the public’s fault!
This is your 10 week warning!
Wear a mask.
Wash your hands.
Stop having house parties.
Stop meeting in big groups.
The list goes on…..
AND Don’t ruin it for everyone else.
Its really time for people to start coping on and start following the guidelines
I cut and pasted this meme directly from a friend’s social media account. I was really surprised when a Christian friend – one with considerable authority, input and influence in their place of worship — posted this. I took issue with it. Three weeks of a micro lockdown at county ward level haven’t really made any of the above possible. and it didn’t seem the kindest way of dealing with the pandemic, or the kindest way of responding to sick people. This person responded with, “On reflection I have decided to leave this post, citing political personal and academic activism in the realm of social justice. When I followed this with specific examples of social injustices the post was then deleted because they were sorry I was ‘hurting’.
The underlying assumption in the instructions are that people are to blame for transmission of the virus. There is no doubt that people have reacted in a range of ways from extreme caution to wild abandonment. Specific examples would include people threatening older family members with abandonment if they don’t conform not only to the rules of engagement with the virus, but with the rules of The Household forbidding even a socially distant quick chat across the garden wall. “If you talk with them, you’re on your own.” The widow who cannot drive but finds the days long and difficult. She uses public transport to get to her county town. The 70 year old single woman who cannot afford to shop in her village store and has to take the bus to the same town for shopping. what would you say to them if they got the virus?
What would you say to the young mother panicked because she had been symptomless and yet tested positive. Elderly relatives and a pre school twins. “I had no idea. I’ve been so Covid -vigilant. I’ve worked (She’s a key worker in an office), picked up my child, seen my parents and I had no idea. I’ve done everything but I must have slipped up somewhere .” I think to would be entirely unhelpful to share this meme with this person. The young man – again symptomless- working from home and in an office. He was frightened that he had taken it home to his elderly parents. What of the young teacher who is worried she will die if she contracts Covid ? She’s going to work teaching her year group in bubbles and literally going home. No shopping, no coffees or interactions beyond partner, home and work.
Do the right thing and you get the desired result? If it was as simple as social distancing washing hands and total compliance the virus would go away? Flights arrive daily in the UK – one with 20 cases linked to it last week. So it will be carried in and transmitted in other ways.
Do the right thing or Christmas will be cancelled? If you have the Lord Your God in your heart then Christmas will be Christmas whether you have baked beans or a turkey feast. There will be people facing hard choices over the next few months, worrying about what to get for their children, worrying about job losses, mortgage or rent payments. Without hope – whether Christian hope – and confidence for the future their Christmas is cancelled to all intents and purposes , or they will wish it could be.
Using Christmas as a carrot or stick while Covid-blaming is just a bit ‘hinky.’ to quote Abbie Sciuto. It also blatantly ignores the fact that we live in a multi faith society and the fact that not everyone in the UK celebrates Christmas. How is that social justice?
And what would you say to people who have suffered losses? Would you heap this on top of their grief?
Finally aside from the missing apostrophes the final line of the meme is suspect:
Its really time for people to start coping on and start following the guidelines. Err what exactly is coping on? It doesn’t make grammatical sense. We used to “cop Off” when in school… but I’ve never really coped on? Does it mean we just have to cope? Who knows perhaps the academic who wrote the meme – missing apostrophes and all could enlighten me.
People have always been foolish. Christ recognised this while being crucified. He commanded forgiveness.
I have witnessed blatant blame cultures, bullying, misuse of authority and The Bible in Church and secular life. I have made conscious decisions to walk away from these rather than have it descend into a detailed minuted ‘who said what to who’ kind of thing which tears down institutions. I have walked away from friends that have hurt me and knowingly and willingly done so because I don’t need that kind of judgementalism in my life.
The simple message of the meme is rather dangerous. It ignores other religions, and promotes the idea that doing the right thing gets the desired result. It ignores the complex relationship and connections between education, economics, health, jobs housing race and gender. Moreover it shifts responsibility for actions from Government to people who are subject to laws and rules. It lacks nuance – as so many memes do, and absolves Government of any responsibility or culpability.