Column: Stop talking about circuit breakers - we need clarity

On the canalOn the canal
On the canal
Somewhere deep in lockdown I read a great quote which said: Political leaders are there to lead - not leave people figuring out what they’re meant to do.

The deeper we wade into this pandemic, the more confused we become over what we can, and cannot do.

Circuit breakers are the latest addition to the jargon coming from our political leaders and health experts.

We’re missing something really simple. Clarity.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Instead, we get a few days of hints about what’s coming down the tracks. It’s a deliberate softening up process deployed by all politicians to see what might work before then setting out the restrictions.

Right now, we need conviction rather than this soft shoe shuffle

Trying to do the right thing and adhering to the rules is getting harder and harder as the folk making the rules hint broadly first, and then deliver the detail.

Eight months into this hellish way of living has reduced our tolerance for all this dancing on a pinhead nonsense.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Chatting to folk this week, one comment stood out: “Just tell people what they need to do.”

They were right.

If we are to have daily briefings, get to the point. Let us each get our heads around what they want us to do - and let frontline groups work out a plan of action to help those who feel marooned.

Cancelling our holiday for late October this week was another low.

Can we travel? Yes, ah, but wait that means car sharing. Not allowed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But we’re heading to a canal barge and splendid isolation, and the network is open?

Okay, but what if Scotland decides travel across the border is a bad thing and we’re already pootering along the Stoke canals? Could be tricky …

And so we spin round and round before deciding to cancel and try again in 2021.

Perhaps, most maddening, frustrating of all, this is where we came into lockdown - on a boat, in the middle of nowhere.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A week of zero stress - well, apart from when I took a header, and fell in - watching the world go by at three miles an hour. You can walk faster along the canal path. Bliss, utter bliss.

We’d reached a deserted Chester when we tuned into Boris Johnson’s “go home, hunker down” broadcast. It took two days to get back to the boatyard and begin an eerie journey up an, at times, utterly empty M6.

Our October return to the canals was meant to herald the resumption of normality. Instead it, like everything else - gigs, festivals, events, office life - has been kicked into 2021.

We join the never-ending list of folk who have already shredded plans for journeys to mark special anniversaries, revisit cherished places, and meet old friends. It sucks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

If a second lockdown is coming - and ‘circuit breaker’ feels like one of those ‘one step forward, two step back moments - then, for pity’s sake, we have to make it work this time.

Patience is a finite commodity ...

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Fife Free Press.