‘Pingdemic’: Is ‘Freedom Day’ just a pathetic PR ploy?

Last Monday saw 'Freedom Day' arriving in England, bringing with it a theoretical end to most restrictions on social contact. In reality, 'Freedom Day' was nothing of the sort.

'Pingdemic': Is 'Freedom Day' just a pathetic PR ploy?

Last Monday saw ‘Freedom Day’ arriving in England, bringing with it a theoretical end to most restrictions on social contact. In reality, ‘Freedom Day’ was nothing of the sort.

How free are businesses or the public really free, when ‘freedom’ means being forced to wear masks and use Covid passports for travelling, attending events and even going to the pub? As things stand, we seem to be trapped in a vicious cycle of restrictions being slightly scaled down, only for these to be ramped back up again. If face masks and Covid passes are still to be mandatory, it won’t take much to initiate new lockdowns, and so it continues.

What’s more, the so-called ‘Pingdemic’ is wreaking havoc across the country. How ironic, that on the week people living in England are finally meant to be free, 750,000 children were sent home from school after coming into contact with a Covid case and another 620,000 members of the public were ‘pinged’ by the NHS app and so forced to isolate at home.

This isn’t just devastating for the individuals affected. With so many people stuck at home, hundreds of businesses have likewise warned of crippling staff shortages, with some even having to close due to employees being forced to isolate. 

Train services have been delayed or cancelled, bank branches and pubs have closed their doors and there’s even talk of food shortages after factories were forced to shut their doors. In some areas, over thirty percent of all supermarket staff have been notified and asked to isolate. 

Now, the government has proposed that double-jabbed staff at critical organisations are to be exempt from quarantine, but how can we truly decide what counts as a critical business? What gives the government the right to dictate which organisations suffer and which remain unaffected? 

Even the application process for getting staff exemptions has happened way too late. Food bosses have already publically stated their distress at not being properly briefed on the bureaucratic process to exempt workers. The whole policy is total chaos and businesses have been left to figure out what to do, without any proper advice or guidance from the government. 

The reality is that the government’s response to the pingdemic is yet another example of its appalling mismanagement of this virus over the last year and a half. For 18 months, the business owners have had their liberties stripped away, and many have been left on the knife edge.  Government borrowing has reached record levels, with billions spent on the unworkable Test and Test app and vaccine passports that seem to be nothing more than a conspiracy against our freedoms. 

As usual, the Government is promising one thing, then doing quite the opposite. ‘Freedom Day’, it seems, is actually our leaders mandating businesses and organisations to push their agenda of fear instead. Boris Johnson seems no longer content just to protect the NHS during the pandemic, but instead to extend into the realm of long-term coercive control. 

With talks of additional lockdowns already gaining momentum and uncertainty at staying open rising, it is no exaggeration to say that many businesses are in a completely dire situation. Now, with companies receiving less public financial support than ever before, many are at the point of no return. 

The government claims that vaccinations are the key to getting back to normal, but if this is the case then why do our leaders continue to restrict our freedoms and business operations. For us to move forward from the pandemic, we must be granted some element of personal responsibility and freedom of choice. Even with 70 percent of the entire adult population double vaccinated, the government refuses to relinquish control of our liberties, so when will we finally be free?

Last year, I launched a legal case against the government’s draconian lockdown restrictions, only to be told that Boris Johnson and his band of miscreants had acted entirely lawfully. A year later I must ask, when will the pain and suffering for businesses finally end? Time and time again UK companies have dusted themselves off and started again, constantly adapting their business models to keep operating in the most challenging of circumstances. SMEs are engines of growth that lead innovation and provide new sources of employment, so it is imperative they are protected.

Simon Dolan
Simon Dolan

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