Herd immunity and talking nice

Sometimes people’s priorities take my breath away. Also sometimes their stupidity, and although they may be two distinct groups of people, I think we have to allow for some overlap .

Take last night. I was browsing the twitter-world, mulling over a new phrase that I’d learnt: herd immunity. On the face of it, that sounds good – herd, a big bunch of people/cows, immunity, totally good in our present situation. But then I checked further and found it meant letting a disease/virus infect enough people to the point where it’d begin to die down. That struck me as strange. Wasn’t that a policy that was prepared to let lots of people (and yes, Virginia, I am thinking of oldies like myself) die, although the first duty of any government is to look after the welfare of its people – all its people?

So as I say I was mulling this over as I checked what the twitterworld was saying, when I came on this tweet from John O’Dowd, the Sinn Féin chief whip:

“Let’s be clear, this shire of bastards are using everyone of us in some form of twisted medical experiment. Do you honestly believe the rest of Europe is wrong & this balloon and his ilk are right. If you are not angry it’s time to get angry, we are on the brink of disaster!”

Just to be clear again, I’m pretty sure it was predictive text that produced that “shire of bastards” when O’Dowd meant “shower” – but actually I prefer ‘shire’. It’s got a nice English ring to it.

Anyway, I was relieved to see it,  as it suggested it wasn’t just me. But then I came on another tweet. By unionist commentator Alex Kane.  I wanted to give it word-for-word here, but he appears to have removed it, or maybe my eyesight is even worse than I thought. In essence, it called on O’Dowd to moderate his language, that if such language were used against Sinn Féin, he’d be up in arms. I think that was the essence of it.

Which took my breath away. Here we have a blunt attack on the British government’s policy, which looks like sacrificing a lot of lives, and Kane’s response is to call for refined language. A bit like criticizing the table manners of a victim of An Gorta Mór.

As I said in another tweet:

“Can you believe it? People’s lives are being put at risk by UK government’s insistence on doing it It’s Way – and some journalists have a fit of the vapours because the word ‘bastards’ is used. FFS…”

 I have two regrets about my tweet. The first is that I committed the unforgiveable sin, in my excitement, of writing “It’s Way” when I should of course have said “Its Way”. The second is that I wrote “FFS’. I should of course have said “For fuck’s sake..”

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