Gone are the days of 'we are all in this together'

Wednesday Letter #51

I turned 36 last month. The internet tells me that this is the last year of my mid-thirties. A realisation that struck me as both significant and completely meaningless. Which sums up much of 2020.

As complicated as total lockdown was, it at least came with a clear set of instructions. Unlike recent announcements, which are anxiety inducing and full of contradictory messages. 

Gone are the days of we are all in this together. Now we’re insisting that individual measures will see us through this pandemic, without the need to address structural inequalities. And by we, I mean the government. 

We were never all in this together. 

Our treatment of people living in direct provision and the working conditions of food industry factory workers are front and centre due to Covid-19 clusters. Yet, politicians tell us that we can’t fix these problems overnight. As if these problems weren’t flagged at the beginning of the pandemic. 

The plan to reopen schools—which is chaotic, at best—is going ahead despite the increase in cases. 

People who work in healthcare—all healthcare staff, not only doctors and nurses—and other workers we have deemed essential continue to work through all of this. Lockdown did not look the same for them. Their jobs cannot be done from home. So into harm’s way they go. 

We were never all in this together. 

I am not the same person I was when all of this began. None of us are. I hope we remember the government’s inaction, as well as their action, come the next election. 

What else I’m writing

We need to include bipolar disorder in our mental health campaigns

A life lived online — and why it is time to log off

No one told me grief would mimic my bipolar disorder (EMPWR)

The joy of takeaway coffee (Pendemic)

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