Slap Dash Government and Mad Dash Home

As weirdy beardy climate change denialist Bob Carter once said, poor planning on your part does not necessitate an emergency on mine.

We did cut our time in France short, so we could come back to the UK and quarantine. We specifically did not try to rush home in advance of the Saturday 4am deadline so we could avoid the quarantine. It’s not as if I would want to go anywhere. It seemed like a manufactured hysteria, anyway, like the head-banging “grief” surrounding the death of Princess Di. It was a performance, in every sense of the word, to get back home, and there was no real need for it.

Four in the morning on Saturday seems like such an arbitrary time to institute a quarantine. Conspiracy? Or cock-up? Given Grant Shapp’s public statement that 4 a.m. Saturday was in fact on Sunday, I think the government probably intended to give people the whole of Saturday to get home, and 4 a.m. Sunday was calculated to allow for some of the longer crossings (Newhaven-Dieppe etc.) and weather conditions. But then someone misspoke, and the shitshow happened. Excellent.

And of course there was price gouging, which on principle I’m not going to have anything to do with. So, we came home early, but not early early, because as I said, it makes no difference to me. I’m pleased to say that changing my crossing cost me zero pounds and zero pence.

I think there was something unedifying in the spectacle of comfortably off Brits burning rubber in a 12-hour dash across France and emoting about their spoiled holidays while refugees who have lost everything are risking their lives to cross the channel in small boats, but what do I know? I can’t help seeing the two stories as somehow related, and the quarantine is more to do with putting pressure on the French authorities regarding the refugees than it is to do with Covid risk.

From what I’ve been reading, the clusters of infection in France are springing up around workplaces, and it remains the case that there is very little transmission happening outdoors, which is where most holidaymakers are likely to encounter French people. So the answer, as it was before, is for people not to go to work. 

Anyway, what with this shitshow and the shitshow(s) around exam results, I think shitshow fatigue is going to be a thing, or is already a thing. The real disease is apathy.

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