Medical research, into the psychological impact of quarantine, has found that it causes symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress. PTS is when anxiety/panic from past physical trauma, reoccurs in the present: ‘fight or flight’ responses activated when there is no danger. It’s now apparent that lockdown pressures found this very weakness in my own inner defences; it’s as if my normal ‘stress-proof membrane’ has sprung leaks: sleep problems, disturbing flashbacks, shortened fuse – generally ‘on edge’. I mention this debility not in distress – but in solidarity with, what I imagine is, the majority of the population, with raised levels of anxiety; many worse than myself. My fantasy is to escape in the car to the hills and lochs of the Trossachs – a brief respite.To know what matters and what does not, is the basis of wisdom; although I’m too often the impetuous maverick, I appreciate the importance of good judgement – particularly in those who give public advice. In my opinion, neither Boris Johnson nor Donald Trump is ‘mature’ enough to hold high public office; by exposing the shallowness of their decisions, it is likely that Covid will see them off. Dominic Cummings decision to prioritise his own family was not a ‘glaring’ error – I might have done something similar; but Johnson’s response of unqualified support was bad judgement – which undermines quarantine. Every day, more and more, our interpretation of ‘social isolation’ becomes a matter of personal choice/responsibility; the PMs position makes a delinquent excursion to the Trossachs easier to justify – for millions of us.———————————–
There are growing calls for a ‘wellbeing’ economy after Covid: “for social justice on a healthy planet”; Katherine Trebeck and Peter Kelly have taken the trouble
here, to identify the various mechanisms in Scotland which could contribute to this; a social movement is required, to combine and coordinate many progressive threads. Meantime Scottish Govt. has appointed its ‘economic recovery advisory panel’ – which George Kerevan says has the wrong people. His article is convincing – that ‘this lot’ have nothing new to contribute. Scottish Govt. referred to its February budget as a ‘wellbeing budget’ – which it clearly was not. Their use of progressive terminology to mask deeply traditional thinking is really annoying – undermining.
Following a rare clumsy remark about Nicola Sturgeon, Sarah Smith got a hammering on social media – until the ‘Scottish establishment’ closed ranks in her defence. Kevin McKenna uses this incident for a
fascinating glimpse at the workings of our ‘establishment’ – “not above or below politics – but beyond”.
Interesting article in Prospect Mag. about the economy after Covid; it’s based on the thinking of Depression-era economist Joseph Schumpeter – who saw that disrupting existing industries and activities, opens space for innovative new entrants – a process he called ‘creative disruption’. Possible future scenarios are explored.
The Conversation carries
an article by two Scottish academics, saying that impending amendments to the Children’s (Scotland) Bill fall short of protecting the rights of children to participate in decisions when parents separate. Scottish law may not match the requirements of UN Rights of the Child.
Since becoming President, Donald Trump has used his twitter account to spread falsehoods about his political opponents; on Tuesday afternoon, for the first time, Twitter affixed a series of Trump tweets with a
‘get the facts’ warning – because they violated Twitter’s ‘civic integrity policy’. At long last.
A recent post on lockdown by Nigerian poet Ben Okri:
“This period gave me back nature. I walked in parks for the daily exercise we were allowed. I found the trees a great gift. For the first time in an age I could hear the wind in the leaves and the full-throated songs of birds. I hope we don’t go back to the old normal. We have to change. Society has to alter its orientation. Perhaps we consume too much. Maybe what is best for us is to be still. The freedom of nature seems to be one of the few revolutionary truths in our lives. When society pauses, nature sings. She must be part of what we listen to if we are to survive.”