Coronavirus - we'd love to help you understand the latest guidelines but THEY MAKE NO SENSE...
Last night our overlord and master, Boris Johnson, sent out a broadcast to the UK that only applied to England despite never once actually saying that was the case - this has lead the leaders of Ireland, Scotland and Wales to release their own statements saying that they want their people to follow the rules they have laid out and not those that the BoJo's closest advisors want you to.
The change in guidelines was, let's be honest, communicated with all the finesse and clarity of a baboon using grunts and whistles and has left the UK people and press scrabbling for clarification and making up their own ideas of what was actually meant. As even Phillip Schofield said in some uncustomary rage on This Morning - 'Boris has arsed it up'.
The "new" guidelines are to stay at home, but go out as much as you like if you want to. They say you have to go to work if you can but not to use public transport if you are able to because there are fewer services running and lots of people in a metal cylinder is the perfect breeding ground for Coronavirus.
You can drive to take exercise which is great news for the UK's coastal towns with limited hospital capacity who would love to see an influx of visitors bringing the virus with them. Just don't forget you mustn't cross any of the UK's internal borders because if you do you might find yourself picking up a hefty fine.
The guidelines say you can go to the park and sit around in the open air but you can't go within two meters of anyone outside of your own household. You can cycle, walk and do a merry jig down the street if you want and you can also see close family from outside of your household under these rules. But there is no clarity on how many people you can do this with - with Dominic Raab giving three conflicting takes on what is permissable in the space of an hour this morning.
First he went on Sky News and said that we couldn't see family members but that it is being looked into, then he said on the BBC News you could see one parent in the morning and one in the afternoon as long as it was outdoors and further than 2 meters apart and then followed up on BBC Radio 4 stating you could see both parents at the same time. Clearly, Mr Raab is under the same level of understanding as the rest of us.
And then we have primary schools, which until yesterday were rumoured to be opening to older children next month. This changed in a surprise announcement that Reception, Year One and Year Six children would be going back first if there wasn't a second spike in cases - the utterly nonsensical decision will place the youngest children together and expecting them to socially distance from their friends that they haven't seen for weeks.
Show me one Reception or Year One child who will a) understand the two meter rule and b) actually pay attention to it and that child will almost certainly actually not exist. And while children are less badly affected in most cases, they can STILL carry the virus and spread it to other people because kids are NOT THE MOST HYGIENIC MEMBERS OF SOCIETY.
And then what about those people who now have been thrown to the wolves (their employers) who have been told they should go back to work if they can. But shouldn't use public transport to get there. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? What do they do if they can't get to work? What do they do if their employer says the new guidelines mean the have to or they'll be out of a job?
The fact that the updated advice was accompanied by a powerpoint presentation that would fail a GCSE exam in statistics was just the cherry on top of a ginormous turd of a (recorded) statement. There were slides featuring an equation that made no sense and a five point alert scale that was proven to be incorrect within seconds by placing the current situation somewhere between the 3rd and 4th points rendering the defined scale pointless AND failed to actually clarify what points 2, 3 and 4 were on that actual scale.
Even the most die hard Conservative voter can't fail to see that muddy advice given to a population that spent the weekend socialising with randoms in their street they've probably not seen before and breaking the existing lockdown rules left, right and centre is probably not a good thing. We're talking about people who thought doing the Conga at two meters apart was safe despite each person dancing through the lung contents of half a dozen people in front of them.
Of course it's all academic as we're now seeing hardly any new infections and we aren't the second worst country in the world for deaths. Oh - what do you mean we are? Boris told us we're winning? We're easing lockdown before the lockdown has actually made a significant impact in driving daily deaths down and that alone is just fucking crazy.
Sorry - that turned into a bit of a rant. There are plenty of people out there right now being quick to tell those of us who think the latest advice is a bit unclear that we're a bit thick. But really we just want nice, clearly defined and scientifically backed rules to follow that are NOT open to interpretation to the huge extent that the current rules are. The Government have released additional advice on the contents of the statement today, but that advice isn't going to be read by everyone and is going to be presented with the usual bias in all directions from the UK media.
It was vitally important for Boris Johnson to lay down clear advice that was both easy to understand and backed up by science. That didn't happen and we'll be paying the price for that in a few weeks when the number of cases and infections begins to soar again.