Age of Insecurity #126

Posted on 09th February 2021 | in Community , Harry McQuillen: Age of insecurity

Harry McQuillen

The shifting sands of Covid occupy much of our thinking time. Stories of lockdown, fake news, sickness and death fill the news media. TV appearances by the Prime Minister and his medical advisors appear on our screens with great regularity. With the best will in the world, it’s so easy to fall into a sort of pessimistic trance.

Many of our problems are much more longstanding. Recent discussion of what’s happening in the lives of many of our younger citizens perfectly illustrates the challenges we face as a society. We all wish that we could wave a wand to make it all better.

It’s said that our trust in our politicians is at an all-time low. Simple answers to complex problems have never worked. Have I heard that line before?

We all muddle through the maze of life in our own sweet way. Perhaps it should amaze us that many of us make it to threescore-and-ten (and well beyond that!) with a mixture of joy and sorrow.

Education is a truly knotty problem, or series of problems, and it always has been. We don’t do very well in comparative league tables, apparently because we don’t focus enough on literacy, numeracy and rote learning. People who live in affluent areas send their offspring to schools whose exam results surpass, on average, the results of their less affluent compatriots. What a surprise!

Health inequalities are obvious if we look at the statistics furnished by a whole industry which looks for trends. When we focus on real people and their individual lifestyles, we find that differences are based on factors other than geography. “We are all Jock Thompson’s bairns” – a right old mixture!

As herd animals, we tend to do things with others. Recently, celebrations, especially in urban areas, have led to a steep rise in Covid infections. We all feel for the NHS workers who have to deal with the backlash, as well as the incidence of Covid related illness and death within their own ranks.

My first Covid jab on 29 December was fine. Perfect organisation led me to a medical room, questioning, jab, seat in a heated tent for quarter of an hour and dismissal. Full rollout will take time, but I’m sure the whole routine will be worthwhile.
Thank heavens for our scientists, medics and the administrative staff who pull it all together. We must be patient.
I propose, not for the first time, that we count our blessings, be sensible in all that we say or do, and try to muddle through the problems that lie ahead.

Winter weather rarely lifts the spirits. I never feel quite right when I’m caged for very long. I always feel better when I’ve done my morning exercises. Pictures of elderly Chinese citizens doing their Tai Chi exercises in the open air should inspire us all. Could we do it here? Answers on a postcard please.
Harry

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