by Colin Campbell
FEAR is spreading rapidly over the new Omnicron variant, one of the most relentless gloom and doom mongering papers declared yesterday. This was reported with what seemed a tone of relish. For some reason, it seems they never want this to end. I saw it on their free website. I wouldn’t buy one of the actual papers. I’d rather give my money to the Ian Blackford re-election fund then spend it on this scaremongering trash.
Queueing for my booster and flu jabs at the Riverside Medical practice on a chilly Saturday I wonder how much fear had spread among those present. Apparently they jabbed 500 people that day. Everyone seemed in vaccinated in triplicate good humour, or idly scanning their mobile phones. And not for the latest Omnicron update either.
A year ago there’s no denying there was almost palpable anxiety in the air. No one had been vaccinated and a very bleak winter lay ahead.
It wasn’t all that bad, at least until six weeks of snow and ice struck in January, but by then it was clear that the vaccine saviour miracle had come to pass, and that changed everything.
Now everyone who wants to be has been vaccinated twice. When I got my second shot ahead of schedule on April 2 I felt the crisis saga was almost over.
And now many of us have been vaccinated for a third time. Saturday seemed fairly routine, and brought forth none of the elation I experienced, particularly after the first jab.
But now everything that can be pumped into our bodies has been. Nothing more can be done.
And yet we are expected still to be “fearful”?
We know that even now there’s a small chance of passing the virus on to someone else in the extremely unlikely event that you catch it in the first place.
But perfectly understandably the cataclysmic change that underpins people’s feelings compared with this time last year is that even if you do catch it these three vaccinations guarantee there is virtually no chance of suffering serious illness or being hospitalised.
As we’ve reported time and time again, and you won’t read much about it anywhere else for a reason that eludes me, the number of covid patients in hospitals across the entire Highlands has remained around the 20 to 30 mark, out of a population of over 200,000. People feel sick, are admitted, and then leave, probably after two or three days. Then someone else feels sick and replaces them. But no one has been in intensive care for months.
I still wear masks as required and that’s not a problem. But my level of fearfullness is now it at level zero. How many other people feel the same way, or close to it? The vast majority, I suspect.
Variants will emerge and there will be shock, horror headlines for a day or two, but these no longer instill fear and life goes on as usual.
Those unfortunates who are unable to shake off their virus dread may need counselling and hopefully they will get it, either publicly or privately. If it’s the latter, and they can reasonably afford it, it would be money well spent.
But, almost incredibly, some newspaper scaremongers and random scientists and politicians are touting the possibility of another “winter lockdown”.
Omnicron may have added to their zest for achieving this outright impossibility.
Because it is an outright impossibility, and there will be no lockdown, of any kind. Triple vaccinated, an almost rock solid shield of protection, and our liberties may be taken away from us again?
No politician would contemplate that, far less even try to impose it. Nicola Sturgeon, not even at her most autocratic, and no matter how much alarmism was being whispered in ear by her publicity hungry adviser, Professor Devi Shridhar, just wouldn’t dare try.
The virus saga may not be over but lockdowns are. Not unless, as we’ve seen across the continent, politicians want Christmas festivities replaced by ferocious protests and winter riots.
Scaremongering headlines may still appear about Omnicron and whatever else may follow it. There is controversy over vaccine passports and how to address the situation of those who are not willing to be vaccinated. That will be considered by hopefully reasonable and at least partly concensual discussion.
But a return in any circumstances to the situation that prevailed a year ago? Not a chance. The lockdown loving doom mongers have well and truly had their day.