Thursday, 8 October 2020

Johnny Nash Was Right

 'There are more questions than answers' sang Johnny Nash, whose death was announced yesterday. I always liked his songs, with their mellow pop-reggae sound, but they were not generally repositories of wisdom. However, he was dead right about there being 'more questions than answers' (and also right that 'The more I find out, the less I know' – as any seeker after knowledge will attest, each new piece of knowledge is liable to exposes new areas of ignorance, just as each answer will, or should, generate new questions). 
  We live, sadly, in times when there are more answers than questions, more assertion than interrogation – a sad imbalance greatly increased by the internet and social media. The deadly alliance of the executive and The Science that is now running this country seems to believe it has the answers to how to deal with Covid, and it's not listening to even the most pressing questions – questions such as Does lockdown work? Does it save lives or, in the longer term, increase the death toll? Is Covid-19 a threat to the entire population or only to certain vulnerable categories? How much of the apparent increase in 'cases' is a function of increased testing, and what does it actually signify? Is there a better way to deal with this (ex-)epidemic, as increasing numbers of scientists are suggesting, amid mounting evidence that the government's approach is not working? It's an encouraging sign that the leader of Her Majesty's loyal opposition is asking what is the scientific basis for the latest proposed round of lockdowns in the Midlands and North – and encouraging too that those parts of the country are becoming increasingly restive as their economies face destruction. But will the government/The Science take any notice?
   That's a long string of questions, and no answer yet. 

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