For temporal context, I type this blog as the PM is spending his second night in hospital with coronavirus. As I type this second sentence, Boris has now been taken to intensive care. Get well soon, please.
I’m shocked, I think, but these last few weeks has been so awful out in the real world that I doubt that much would shock me now. The latest statistics suggest that only half of infected people survive intensive care. I’m rooting for you, Prime Minister. Come on!
It’s disconcerting how quickly one becomes numb to awful news. Will life always feel uncertain? And will this unsettled mindset help us to live more in the moment, than in the future? I will muse on that.
It’s a cliché, but the present is like living in a disaster film. If aliens land, the incident might make the “and finally” section of the news.
For the sake of posterity, (and it is in no way schadenfreude to highlight this), on 3 March 2020 Boris shook hands with coronavirus patients in hospitals. He confirmed this during a press conference. Either Boris hadn’t been briefed properly by the Chief Medical Officer, or he disregarded their advice. My bet is on the second. Boris knew best.
And this tells you a lot about our Prime Minister. The first or, arguably, the second, most important person in the country needlessly shook hands with very ill people, and then hosted COBRA meetings with the most important people in the country, during a time when the top people needed to be well. Recklessness is not a trait that I want in a Prime Minister.
A few weeks ago, when news broke of the COVID diagnosis, my thoughts were: first, get well, PM; and, second, that he deliberately infected himself by shaking hands in hospitals, so that he could recover from coronavirus, proving to us that COVID was not something to be scared of. If this is right, though it is a brave, self-sacrificing move, it was – and has proved – highly risky for both him and us. At these times, we need the very best of decisions, by the very best that we have to offer.
Let’s remember that Boris’ umpteenth girlfriend (pregnant with his umpteenth child), chief strategist, health secretary, as well as the Chief Medical Officer, along with lots of other top officials, have all had coronavirus symptoms. Was Boris the spreader? Or did his blasé attitude to this killer virus provoke others to drop their guard? We will never know. I hope that they all recover, and quickly.
What we do know is that, despite his deteriorating illness, Boris continued to lead the COBRA meetings, when he should have been resting. On a plane, air stewards always instruct us to put our breathing apparatus on before helping a child. There was no shame to be had in staying well during a national crisis, but Boris will be Boris. The quality of his decision-making must have been impaired by his sickness, endangering everyone. And this tells you something else: Boris doesn’t trust his underlings to run the country.
Get well soon, Prime Minister.