Sunday 18 October 2020

Coronavirus streets in Manchester - XIX

See me in the morning

Stepping out of my home before the break of dawn for my walks, I was into my 5th kilometre and 4th crossing of the River Irwell and I as I turned left onto the path, a cyclist was about to crash into me. He apologised saying he never saw me, it was dark, I am dark and at 6 foot tall, I was hardly imposing, maybe I need to get high visibility armbands, because a mishap cannot be afforded.

Then at another brighter time, two men in high visibility gear had entered a park bordered by the oxbow outline of the meandering River Irwell. When I got to them, they were inspecting an abandoned motorcycle leaning on a bench. You wonder, how did it get there?

Trolleys on the roam

That left me a bit flummoxed about the journeys of supermarket trolleys to the banks of the River Irwell, all seem to have travelled and run out of steam somewhere. Marooned on the pavement and tipped over, left in the middle of the path in the park and not with any shopping. Though the ones that have fallen down the sloppy banks of the River Irwell read to try out their amphibian tendencies are the two I have had my eyes one.

Lest I forget, it is getting cold, I usually have to pull up the hand covering sleeves that allows me to hook up the sleeve between my thumb and first finger. So, I am baffled that at temperatures barely in the double figures, ice cream vans have been let loose on some communities, the chimes upsetting the peace and some seeking the joys of a summer, long gone. Three at my last count, I need to understand what is going on.

Until human are considered first

As to whether we would be locked down or not, it has become a battle of wits or rather one of self-preservation. The government has lost its message, conviction, or persuasiveness. Much as they are beginning to forget that they govern by consent, the mantra of saving the NHS has worn thin. What we need is to put people first, their lives and livelihoods, some compassion without bluster and a bit of humility with contriteness about how they got many things wrong.

Most importantly, completely decentralise the testing, the tracing, and the reporting. Let the local experts and talent have more control as they have more visibility and the local knowledge essential for contact tracing and fixing on where the virus is spreading.

There will always be a cost to shutdowns and at this time the government needs to bear it. We need to believe in human ingenuity to revive things that humans do, that applies to the economy and jobs, what we have not yet mastered to bring ourselves back to life once dead.

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