PATIENCE and restraint, the importance of research and coping with technophobia in the pandemic were the issues debated by columnists and contributors in the newspapers.
The Daily Express
Sir Bernard Ingham said Britons traditionally grumble but the sensible among us know there are only three ways out of the pandemic – patience, vaccination and restraint.
“Whatever the loose talk about Orwell’s 1984 and the emergence of a police state, only the wierdos, crackpots and assorted zealots believe the Government was anything but reluctant to impose lockdowns – or that it does not want to end them as soon as possible,” he said. “Few doubt that the Government faces by far the greatest challenge since 1945 in piloting us to safe waters.”
He called on the Prime Minister to recognise ‘the time has come to overhaul the Government’s communications machinery so that every Minister – and not just an overtaxed few – knows what is going on and they and their staff can speak with confidence.’
George Monbiot said it was not just those killed by Covid who were being let down by the Prime Minister, but those who were suffering long term conditions caused by it.
“Long Covid is no respecter of youth, health or fitness,” he said. “It afflicts more women than men but it can strike anyone down, including people whose initial infection seemed mild, or even asymptomatic. In some cases, long Covid could mean lifelong Covid.”
Affects include lung damage, heart damage and brain damage that can cause memory loss and brain fog, kidney damage, severe headaches, and muscle and joint pain, to name a few, he said.
“We need massive research programmes into long Covid, coupled with better information for doctors,” he added. “But above all, we need something that currently seems a long way off. A government that gives a damn.”
Caspar Salmon said the reliance on things like Zoom calls, Facetime and Teams meetings to continue working and contact with families had posed a problem for the two out of three people who are technophobes.
“Occasionally it feels like the calls themselves, the sheer admin and faff of staying in touch, cause their fair share of anxiety,” he said. “ I struggle along, like most other people, managing to chat online, and work out how to download the odd app, but the reality is that I lag behind my peers, and grapple with perfectly simple tasks.”
His experience pales into insignificance with the elderly’s, he admitted, whose unequal access to technology is having a significant ongoing impact on their mental health and loneliness.