As it changes, so it remains the same…

by Pseud O'Nym

For most of this year I’ve been consciously avoiding news, for the simple reason that the more news I’m exposed to, the more I tend to worry. Worry about things that are out of my control and whose outcome I can’t influence. Worry for the sake of worry. Unnecessary worry. From one standpoint, this has been the best of all years to do this. From another, the worst.

Because not in my lifetime has one issue dominated the news agenda, had so much of an effect on our lives, and, for good measure, costed the taxpayer hundreds of billions of pounds to help mitigate these effects, as coronavirus.  (Well, aside that is, from the increasingly likely ‘No-Deal Brexit’.) Sometimes modern life feels as if it has gone all full ‘Six Degree’s Of Separation’ on us; the way in which every conversation seemingly finds it’s way back, ultimately, not to Kevin Bacon, but coronavirus.

 Perhaps I should’ve devised a coronavirus game for Christmas. Less ‘Snakes and Ladders’ more just ‘Ladders’. Then Rita Ora could’ve played it at the party she had, the one she regrets now having, not just enough not to have had it in the first place.

I saw this story on the BBC News website, which is still bizarrely my homepage a couple of days ago, and because she’s a ‘celebrity’ and has been on the telly, what does is considered newsworthy, especially if she’s forced to issue a statement apologizing for it.

Pop star Rita Ora has apologised for a second breach of the UK’s Covid-19 restrictions, after failing to self-isolate following a trip to Egypt.

The same day, the BBC website carried a far more alarming story, which was given the prominence it deserved. Given as how it didn’t involve a young and photogenic celebrity, her apologizing for something from which the rest of us could criticize from the high moral ground.

Snowy winters could become a thing of the past as climate change affects the UK, Met Office analysis suggests.

Both highlighted one of the many paradoxes that make up modern life. Well, they did to me, anyway. That whilst we know what we should be doing, but we’ll only do it when it’s convenient for us and only when.

So Rita knows what the restrictions on gatherings are, but thinks ‘I fancy a birthday party and if I have to issue an apology after, so much the better. Keeps me in the news.’  Is what she did really that different to what many thousands did last summer when they flocked to the beaches? In a word, no

Same with climate change. We’ve known for decades what to do. Not you and me, but people who could’ve ensured tangible and meaningful change happened. Politicians, business leaders and corporations. But they didn’t then and now we’re fucked.

Because we are.