Opinion with Christine Tongue: Another lockdown

A holey jumper is fine for Zoom meetings

Another lockdown! OK Virus you’ve had your fun so now can you please go?

We’ve washed our hands until the skin fell off, sprayed our shopping, bleached our friends and you’re still around! You’ve tried to kill off our royal family and change British history – you nearly did for two heirs to the throne and made that nice American actress queen. Well perhaps that wouldn’t have been too bad….

You’ve dominated my life for eight months, decided who I see, what I do and what I spend money on. You’ve stopped me seeing old friends or hugging the kids in my life. I can’t visit my mate in Amsterdam or my friend who is desperately ill.

You’ve given my NHS worker friend a nervous breakdown. You’ve given my social worker friend “long covid” – you stick around for months tiring people out and keeping them breathless.

Christmas is ruined.

A relationship counsellor would say you’re a control freak targeting the vulnerable and I should be rescued from you. HELP!!!

But, Covid, I have to be honest. I know it’s not your fault. You were hiding in a pangolin or some other exotic creature that somebody ate for dinner.

We humans did the rest, travelling around the world, flying in food we don’t need and ought to grow ourselves, and generally making money by clocking up the air miles.

You fell on your feet with a lot of politicians in the early days who thought perhaps it would be  ok to do very little because we were building up “herd immunity”. After all, taking firm action might be really expensive and wouldn’t make enough for the private companies they thought should replace proper NHS services.

You convinced a lot of them to take you seriously in the end – by infecting most of them.

I admit some things have been good. I’ve enjoyed being able to wear my disintegrating old clothes, like my favourite shirt, even though it’s fallen into holes. But all people see on zoom meetings or video chats is the nice blue!

You brought out the best in our communities – people who did shopping (thanks Aram), made cakes (thanks Annie), brought me excess cucumbers (thanks Mary) and sent me sewing machine needles and Velcro when all the shops were closed and I was in the middle of making a wizard costume for small child I probably can’t see until he’s lost interest in dressing up (thanks Lynne).

But you also destroyed the mental health of more people than we as yet know, and took the lives of valuable members of our community, doctors, nurses, carers and key workers like bus drivers.

I know you’re not entirely to blame – why did nobody understand how ingenious you were in getting round face masks that didn’t fit, or convincing NHS managers PPE had to be rationed because nobody had enough?

You must have laughed yourself silly seeing us all clap for the NHS workers while our politicians were planning to show their appreciation by not giving them a pay rise, and not recruiting more of them. So you had a nice entry into demoralised, rundown health workers who got so much of you their immune systems couldn’t cope.

Now you’ve whizzed round the universities like a Jack Russell on speed and convinced a few people who don’t like being told what to do to gather in London and campaign against face masks and hand washing. What weird stuff to get anarchistic about! But not surprising you’ve confused us when even our government won’t listen to the scientists who’ve had a healthy respect for you and think getting shot of you comes before everything else!

Well enough’s enough! Time for you to go. We need to beat you – we should all get indoors and stop socialising. It’s only natural people want to enjoy themselves. It’s only natural they want to go to the pubs. But unfortunately so do you!

Watch out for a meeting of Save Our NHS in Kent on staying alive in a time of covid.

Christine Tongue is a Broadstairs resident and former Labour Party member. She now does not belong to a political party but does represent disability campaign group Access Thanet


  1. If the police can do roadside test and have results in minutes we need the same technology with the virus testing, we are told vitamin D is a good thing to boost the immunity and help fight against the virus. We need more information about what we need to take to help fight the virus if we catch it. I know a virus is a virus and one can’t normally make it go away overnight but like the common cold and flu we know what to do if we have them. We all need to get back to some normality. Lockdowns are not the answer at all. We can send people to the moon but we can’t find an antidote to virus???.Covid has exposed our vulnerability as a human race. The tree huggers the environmentalist the greens the Davied Attenborough’s the doom and gloomers the anti this the anti that. Mean nothing to us if the virus can wipe most of us out if we don’t find a way to control it or better still eliminate it altogether.

    • What fantastic insights, Ann.
      I’m sure that readers if IoTN are grateful for your input.
      It’s escaped your notice, but a fast CV test is currently being trialled in Liverpool.
      Vitamin D, along with all the other vitamins, us essential to good health. Good health = a half decent chance of surviving CV. But vitamin D is not a cure.
      Lockdowns are the only answer we have at the moment. Look at New Zealand and Australia, for example.
      The people that you mock and deride are the ones that advocate a life style that, if widely adopted, would have severely limited the spread of CV.

  2. Phyllis, The tree huggers and their friends have not helped anyone other than their vocal cords in moaning about everything. As you like watching the news did you not see the worst fires in living memory in Australia / America and other places around the world also the crops destroyed by drought and the thousands who have died from famine THIS YEAR. Why? Because the lockdown made the atmosphere cleaner allowing the Sun rays to do more harm. Environmentalists are from the same breed of those who used to tell everyone the Earth was flat. Example as to how mad they are. Walking along the seafront the other day I met a tree hugging lady and her husband I’ve known them for years. Looking out to Sea the husband said “ isn’t it marvellous that the horizon is always nice and level” !!!!

    • I have not read such stupidity in my entire life. Sun’s rays amplified by a lack of pollution? Say that in public and I’m sure a majority would laugh at you. I’m sure you’re one of these people who thinks that climate change and greenhouse gases aren’t real either, even though we consistently have had more extreme weather over the last 20-25 years.

      I fear for anyone who believes the drivel you spout, and if you don’t think pollution is bad for the environment, please feel free to suck on your choice of car tailpipe, after all, the pollution will help you stop getting hot from “the sun’s rays”.

    • Ann, you really should stop using the word “moaning” when what you mean is “make valid criticisms, but ones I disagree with”.

      Envvironmentalists are not “mad”, they are correct to be deeply concern about the state of the world. You don’t think that perhaps your acquaintance was making a joke?

  3. I think many scientist would say that the wild fires which increasingly have been sweeping the world are down to global warming.
    But I don’t see what any of this has to do with anything christine said in her piece.
    If you want your own Opinion Piece, then why not submit one to Kathy and have it published?

  4. Oh dear Ann,
    on your plastic soap box are we (It certainly will not be made of wood by the looks of it)?
    The last lock-down was longer than it should have been and was more severe than it should have been, because the Govt (a) failed to pick up on the virus early enough or with enough seriousness.
    The lock-down bought time to put our house in order, to be ready for the second wave with an effective test,track and trace system.Instead what happened was ‘eat to help out’ and cuts in stamp duty, neither of which were effective against the virus.
    Now we have another lock-down and again, we are late on the uptake. Please let this be a lesson.Concentrate on the job in hand. Get Test, track and trace sorted.
    The test part may now be adequate, but the other two parts,track and trace are not.Neither are we ensuring that the asymptomatic positives and the symptomatic positives are isolated.
    What this has to do with climate change Ann,I don’t know.Climate change is happening Ann, you may not believe it, but its happening, the data confounds the disbelievers everyday, and yes Ann, it will affect Broadstairs, and your gated gulag.
    I like trees and there is nothing harmful about hugging them.No one is asking you to hug a tree.
    I don’t know what you don’t like about environmentalists, has one trod on your foot or something? They are harmless, where as you are one of the angry brigade, who flood our media, with unpleasantness, false facts,rumour, mad conspiracy theories and bunkum.
    You may want to be heard, but we don’t have to listen!

  5. Some of the moaners on here urgently need to get a life. Tell me one thing just one thing in this whole universe that we are in that does not change in time so why would the climate be any different everything just everything ever made anywhere by nature or any other form always but always changes and yet you bang on about climate change and environment as if you’ve just discovered something is happening you all need to book a psychiatric appointment. Even the axis of the world has changed in the past 30 years nothing you do or moan about will stop the climate changing the cleaner the atmosphere becomes the hotter and more damaging the Sun becomes, if you clean a magnifying glass for example the sun will shine through it stronger and do more harm than it would if the glass was dirty. The environmentalist are doing damage to the Earth by their force prophecies.

    • “Moaners” is the wrong word. We just don’t agree with you, as I said earlier. I realize that the thought of climate change is an uncomfortable one, especially as we are all guilty to some extent. But you should not be so rude.

    • “nothing you do or moan about will stop the climate changing”
      By cutting the emissions of CO2 humans will affect the rate at which the planet heats up.
      “Even the axis of the world has changed in the past 30 years”
      The axis of the Earth is constantly changing over a period of about 41000 years. This change in axial tilt does not account for recent (ie past 200 years, since the Industrial Revolution) past.

  6. I think what it is, is that you all feel rather embarrassed and silly to admit that you’ve been scammed over all these years you’ve believed all the doom and gloom merchants and you don’t want to admit that you have been hoodwinked so you still bang on the same drum David Attenborough would blame the likes of me having two log burning stoves alight in the winter for bumping off the dinosaurs.

  7. So glad you’re all having a nice discussion on my article! Just wondered what you all really think of a new lockdown.

    • It’s draconian and unnecessary and will kill more people than the virus. Many medical experts world wide have spoken out on this – the Great Barrington Declaration, The Recovery Group, a new group of UK mental health experts, and similar globally… That’s the sort of information to get your teeth into!

      • I think that world governments are having to make tough choices.
        On the one hand (irrespective of what the nutters say) millions would die and millions more suffer long term ill health if CV was allowed to rampage round the world.
        On the other hand, with people not going to work the economy suffers, and by being denied social interaction our mental health suffers.
        It’s not black or white, all or nothing.
        It’s a great, great shame that our government didn’t introduce a lockdown much sooner (July for example) as soon as the rate started to go up again.
        It would have been much shorter and less damaging to the economy and mental health.

  8. I did say Christine, what I think about the lockdown but unfortunately the usual ones were sarcastic and very rude I won’t be bullied by the uneducated so I had to defend myself. Well done on your article.

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