I was waiting for George Monbiot to drop an article on covid-19, and on 18 March it finally came:
He says that the governments in the UK, the US and Australia have, over many years, been shaped by the tobacco and oil lobbies, who pour funding into politics to buy their industries’ survival. This has resulted in a political infrastructure based on denying risk and dismantling public protections.
The companies providing political funding also funded rightwing thinktanks and academic posts to attack the state as it carried out its duties to protect the population. Responsible government was branded the “nanny state”; scientific findings were attacked as “scaremongering”. Representatives of this movement also increasingly found their way into government positions.
This systematically weakened the government’s ability and willingness to provide public services and respond to environmental and health crises, as has now become strikingly clear.
The First Dog on the Moon also had things to say about the matter, as he usually does, and somehow managed to make it funny:
I was getting increasingly irritated with everyone and their unsubstantiated opinions at a time when opinions really had no place and all that really mattered were facts and the only valid pronouncements were those of epidemiologists and other qualified professionals (although I admit I was as guilty of opinion-having as the next person), and I was pleased to have Jonathan Freedland explain the absurdity more clearly than I ever could have:
“Much of the online conversation has consisted of bickering over the best way to resist the disease, with last year’s armchair Brexit experts now miraculously reborn as amateur epidemiologists, seamlessly able to move from offering detailed commentary on international trade to the finer points of herd immunity.”
And finally, pets are struggling too. This dog can’t work out what’s going on:
And this cat is used to having the house to herself all day and now she has to deal with having her stupid humans around all the time: