Small Change

There’s a pile of pound coins and a five pound note on the mantelpiece and right now, it’s an anomaly. We can’t go out so we can’t spend it and so it sits. Not for enough time that it will depreciate (like the Premium Bonds an aunt bought me when I was born — £5 was a lot in 1977!) but it got me thinking about the world on the other side…

I suspect cash will be used a lot less; more people will be used to card transactions and with the new, higher limit of £45, contactless payments will become a lot easier. Cash is germ-infested at the best of times, but now? Virtual money seems far safer.

I hope people will be kinder. We’ve been run through the mill: Brexit, Coronavirus… things that divide us. But maybe, when we’re able to socialise, we’ll be a bit gentler with people we don’t know. After all, we’ve got a shared experience and perhaps we’ll appreciate being able to interact with people in the flesh more.

Self-reliance is another thing… I’m growing veggies in the garden, now that I have a garden. And if more people do the same, we’ll be less reliant on supermarkets and supply chains. I’m not sure we’ll be going back to a barter economy, although that would be nice on a community/street level, but with all the uncertainty, knowing that there’s something we’re in control of might be a big positive.

I’m hoping it will change my diet for the better — more thought at least, if not more beans and pulses. And that it will help me stay in touch with people more. I’ve already made more effort and it’s a great thing to connect.

I’ll be less forgiving of some things though: political stupidity. I’m angry about many things and perhaps some of that is displaced fear but anger means I’m not taking it lying down.

Brexit was bad enough, but people are going to die needlessly over the coming months because our politicians put profit before people. They could have been brave and bold and gone down on the right side of history but they weren’t and they won’t.

We could all see that self-isolating helped flatten the curve to manage resources better but until the government told us to do that, businesses and organisations had their hands tied. Our politicians could have copycatted other countries but they didn’t. I read somewhere that we’re not engaging with EU-countries to share information — I can’t find it again but I desperately hope that’s not true.

Our government has given ventilator contracts to companies who’ve never made a ventilator before, ignoring all the expertise available in this country. And ignoring the EU’s invitation to participate in bulk buying of equipment (because, you know, “will of the people” and all that utter bollocks… I bet that will might be a bit different now…) And after the NHS has been asset stripped and bled-dry for so long from so many different angles, we’re desperately unable to cope with what’s coming.

The idea that our Prime Minister is okay for so many of us to die either through lack of testing, lack of equipment or through the “herd immunity” experiment in which we were all guinea pigs is abhorrent. By not acting sooner, he’s signed the death warrant of many people. He’s the Prime Minister and the buck stops with him.

The definition of genocide is: “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group.” (source) — and right now, that’s not sitting comfortably.

There was an almighty celebration of the NHS the other night — people up and down the country clapping and cheering at 8pm. It was wonderful to hear. But I’m also angry about it. I’m angry that so many of those participants are happy to let our NHS be dismantled and bits sold to the highest bidder. I hope some of those people understand the hypocrisy.

Small change, big change. Who knows what will happen on the other side..?

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