First, government told us that face masks were useless, so we discarded them.
Then, we were told we actually had to use them. So, we complied (the Health minister in France responsible for this rigmarole, Olivier Véran, is inexplicably still in place. Scoop for my readers: President Macron likes to be surrounded by handsome men, gay or straight.)
Third, our dear political leaders put in place a flurry of restrictions including lockdown and curfews. Some governments got carried away and we were regaled with the height of absurd measures as seen in France with "self authorizations" where we sign a document allowing ourselves to go outside.
Fourth, we were told salvation will come from getting vaccinated. We complied.
Fifth and sixth, we were told additional jabs will kiss the nasty virus goodbye. We complied with a second and third booster jabs.
And today, the last day of 2021 (actually 2020 redux) we are exactly back to square one with restrictions in place, Covid cases breaking all records. Sure, vaccination has meant fewer deaths, but we are now facing the very real prospect of society falling apart as many companies won't be able to operate correctly (we will probably look fondly on the supply chain issues we had in the past year.)
This is failure from our ruling class on an epic scale. Boris "Do as I say, not as I do" Johnson, Emmanuel "I love to listen to the sound of my voice" Macron, Joe "The Zombie" Biden, Angela "I'm out of here, anyway" Merkel, Pedro "How much longer can I stay in the Moncloa Palace?" Sanchez, Mario "Shall I be president or remain prime minister" Draghi, all have shown themselves to be clueless when dealing with the other great threat facing the human race collectively.
I never believed much in the political class - and when it comes to France I stopped believing in it altogether in 2005 when they violated our fundamental democratic rights by canceling the results of a referendum: We the people decided we didn't want the European Constitution, and the French government (actually one man, President Sarkozy, and rubber-stamping Parliament) decided they didn't care how we felt and imposed their will on us.
With two pandemic years under my belt, you will come to the same conclusion as I did: We don't care anymore what government says or does. So many rules are absurd and ineffectual, the results are so paltry that moving into 2022 here are my New Year's Resolutions:
- I will stop listening/caring about what our presidents/prime ministers/ministers and the lot say or do.
-I will use common sense: face masks outdoors are meaningless, so I will NOT wear them - unless a cop forces me to. I will wear it indoors, I will be cautious, I will enforce social distancing. If I get a cold or some temperature, I can get a rapid test and no need to rush to full-capacity hospitals: a little fever and headache can be taken care of at home.
- I will continue living my professional and personal life to the full. That terror that many governments want to instill in us to justify their existence is NOT going to work with me. I know what you're up to, you can't fool me.
-Make use of coming presidential elections (France, Brazil etc.) to throw the rascals out. Of course, there's no guarantee that whoever comes next is going to be any better but I'd rather give the benefit of the doubt to a new ruler than to one whose failed results are plain to all to see.
-I will hope for the best but plan for the worst - a principle that has guided me though most of my life - I see no reason to change that now.
Best wishes for 2022 - that may turn out to be 2020 - part 3. Or not. Nobody knows. We'll find out as we get there. If we do. And if we don't, well, what a great ride it has been!