2021 Lockdown — Day 12

As individuals we’re at the bottom of the food chain and everything is on us. We are both the recipients and spreaders of the virus and if we don’t take the pandemic seriously we will facilitate our own demise. This is both true and misleading because only a collective effort will make a significant difference. That means you can do everything right but unless everyone in your household behaves responsibly your efforts could be entirely undone.

For this reason, telling everyone to wear a mask, keep their distance and wash their hands is potentially useless. It isn’t useless and we should all adhere to the rules but it’s fatal flaw should be considered. Many motivational posters were distributed in Britain during WWII with simple messages like the famous ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’. Others told everyone to keep mum (don’t gossip). What made them effective was that everyone was clear about the common enemy and every aspect of society confirmed the message.

What marked the lockdown of March 2020 was how quiet the streets were. Life as we’d known it simply stopped. You could almost hear the world go round and though no one wanted to live in the forced isolation, there was a common desire not to go back to what we’d had. The panic buying was distressing but that kind of mob behaviour is nothing new. Though we now know the government acted inadequately and far too late, then there was no appetite for dissent because our single objective was to get through this.

Most performers will tell you that the most important aspects of your performance are how you open and close. You might be forgiven for a bad opening though everyone remembers it. You can have a disastrous middle but if you have the crowd with you at the end you’ve cracked it. I’m not sure if we’re at the end of the performance but everyone is looking at their watches and waiting for the curtain. It’s going to take the best of part of 2021 for the rollout of the vaccine while the deaths are going to mount. An encore would be perverse.

Image for post

The government should have gone for a grand finale. A serious lockdown, planned and well executed. Support should not only have been extended but improved. When you have a bad middle to your performance you don’t just carry on regardless, you recalibrate. You swap songs, try a different tempo and take note of the audience reaction. You look for a friendly face and play to them.

It’s no good expecting people to behave like you tell them when you are not behaving responsibly yourself. You won’t win your audience by telling them how good you are. Audiences behave en masse more than as individuals. No one wants to be the only one clapping. So when life on the streets appears to be normal, people follow suit regardless of what the signs say.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *