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Earlier this month, the UK’s Daily Telegraph reported that accidents at London Tube stations have increased because some passengers are too afraid to hold onto the escalator handrails. This is apparently due to fear of picking up the Sars-CoV-2 virus, or coronavirus as many simply call it. For the record, intoxication was also cited as a factor.

We must assume that those in the former category had no other choice but to use public transport to get to where they were going.

A government advertising in Bogotá, Colombia with information about how to stop the spread of of covid-19.

Careful now, coronavirus & Big Brother are watching you.

Fear play
Moreover, if they are so frightened of coming into contact with coronavirus and thus potentially becoming ill with covid-19, it is perplexing how they managed to step outside and mix with the mad, morbid masses in the first instance. Think of all the dangers one encounters before entering the dungeon of disease that must be the London Tube.

Surely there are other, “safer” commute options? OK, I’m not au fait with the English capital, so perhaps it’s not the case that the most efficient form of transport is by pushbike or on foot, as it is in many cities. Also, for health or other reasons cycling or walking what may be relatively long distances isn’t an option for everybody (we’re still waiting for these 15-minute cities).

That aside, congratulations are in order for the UK government, its public health body and malleable media. While they and their counterparts across the globe have got many things wrong during this pandemic — I’ve highlighted plenty of them previously — one can only applaud their remarkable success in instilling irrational fear about covid amongst the populace.

‘No doubt there are many who hope I get my comeuppance for what they view as such an arrogant, indifferent stance.’

Judging by many people’s reactions over the last 19 months or so, it’s almost as if humanity had found the secret to immortality before our microscopic enemy from the East entered the global stage. Some seem so determined to avoid this virus that they’ll actually harm themselves in other ways in the process.

There’s no need here to once again repeat that covid-19 is a relatively mild infection for the majority — indeed, for some, it seems to cause no harm whatsoever — and that it is a very discriminate killer. One either knows this by now or simply refuses to accept the facts.

Fatal flaws
There are those who appear to want this to be an existential threat, one where we’re all equally at risk. When one points out information to the contrary, he/she is accused of being heartless, of not caring enough, of wanting people to die.

I do find this odd as, in public pronouncements in any case, I usually do gravitate towards the worst-case scenario. I tend to see the problems more easily than the solutions. With covid, when I say, ‘Look, all things considered, it’s not that bad, it could be much worse’, I get shouted down.

No doubt there are many who hope I get my comeuppance for what they view as such an arrogant, indifferent stance. I hasten to add, I’m not indifferent to those who have experienced loss due to covid.

All I’m trying to do is to put it into its proper context alongside all the other deadly threats we face as a species, something that I believe has been damagingly lacking throughout the pandemic. Overly focusing on one problem allows others to foment (*LINK https://wwcorrigan.blogspot.com/2020/03/coronavirus-collateral-damage.html). Covid monomania can cause as much harm as the infection itself.

Perhaps I am setting myself up for a fatal fall. Wandering about unvaccinated (see The vaccine vexers for my thoughts on that), living my life as normal as I possibly can in these straitened times — save for any long-distance travelling of note — trying not to let fear of death affect my daily interactions.

Maybe coronavirus is just waiting for its moment to pounce on this blasé being. Maybe.

If it is, it is. The alternative is locking myself away indefinitely until it’s “safe” to venture out again. I know if I did that, I wouldn’t be long bidding adieu to this world.

I want to live life my way, as much as I can, not simply spend my days trying to avoid death.
Listen to Wrong Way’s Colombia Cast podcast here.

Facebook: Wrong Way Corrigan — The Blog & IQuiz “The Bogotá Pub Quiz”.

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La vida en Colombia desde la perspectiva de un periodista y locutor irlandés, quien ha vivido en el país desde 2011. El blog explora temas sociales y culturales, interacción con los nativos, viajes, actualidades y mucho más. Escucha su podcast acá: https://anchor.fm/brendan-corrigan.

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