A Red Cross On The Door: The Year The World Shut Down.
How 2020 was hardcore from the start.
Let me paint you a little picture. It’s December 31st and people all over the world are making their new year’s resolutions. Some people promised themselves a vacation, some wanted to lose weight, and others just wanted to spend more time together. So they set the wheels in motion. Wheels that unbeknown to them would soon come to a screeching halt. Because as these people were making their plans, others had already put theirs into action. They had booked that vacation they promised themselves and were travelling the world.
But what these globe-trotters didn’t know is that they were carrying something besides luggage. They were carrying with them a virus that would bring the world to a standstill. It was an unusual virus, one that could be easily killed. But the real trouble was, it could be even more easily spread. And if you were young or healthy, this virus could be pretty nasty. It could put you out of action for a while. But the chances are you would make a full recovery. However, if you were older or had any preexisting health conditions, then you were in serious trouble.
The Spread Of The Virus
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.” The ending scene shows a pilot infected with ALZ-113, aka simian flu. He takes his flight and you see how one person can transfer the disease to hundreds of thousands of others. This spreads the disease all around the globe.
Now, I’m no microbiologist, but this is roughly how I imagine it happened. Please take note though, I’m not blaming pilots for this, nor am I blaming chimps. Anyway, the virus took hold in a lot of places. The elderly and the vulnerable were dying at an alarming rate. So governments all over the world took action. Well, most governments.
Some leaders sat on their big fat arses scratching their scarecrow looking heads. Some governments took no action because this would cause their rich friends to become less rich. But other leaders led. They put whole countries on lockdown, only essential travel was allowed. So the people of France stayed inside, the people of Spain stayed inside. The people of Italy stayed inside and they stayed true to their souls and sang.
But do you know what the people of Great Britain did? The people famous for our Dunkirk spirit? The folks who brought you “keep calm and carry on,” and the stiff upper lip? We had fist fights for toilet paper, we looted shops and we profiteered. The UK and some parts of the USA lost our freaking minds. We completely abandoned what it meant to be human. We went from “keep calm and carry on,” to “every man for himself.” And it didn’t even take us a month. It took no time whatsoever for the human race to turn on each other like a pack of wolves.
Historians will one day write about how the human response to a worldwide crisis was to hoard toilet paper. So in light of this fact, I would like to make it clear that I did not take part. In fact, a number of people refused to lower themselves to this level of behaviour. But things got so bad in the UK that steps had to be taken. Supermarkets imposed limits on the amount of items customers could buy. People were limited to 3 of each item. Yes, we brought back rationing. This was the only way to get people to behave. They had to be forced to share, like toddlers. And whilst the UK stockpiled toilet paper, the USA stockpiled guns and ammo. And this made the UK feel a little less crazy.
But whilst other countries were in full lockdown, the UK imposed “social distancing.” There was no official law passed. You didn’t have to do it. Our genius prime minister just recommended it. He said we need to stay at least 1.5 to 2 metres away from each other. Oh, and he said we should all stop going to the pub. Advice his own father publicly flouted. People had no idea what was going to happen in the UK. We looked to our leader for guidance, but he gave none. We turned to him for reassurance, but he offered none. And the people needed action, but he took none.