It’s beginning to look a lot like last Christmas: why the UK has Covid deja vu

Posted by on December 18, 2021 12:21 pm
Categories: Global Stories

Omicron cases are soaring, experts want curbs and Boris Johnson is dithering. Sound familiar?

That old adage of Marx insists that historical events occur first as tragedy, then as farce. The government’s handling of the pandemic in the UK long ago undermined that progression: tragedy and farce have, since the very beginning of the crisis, always been a double act.

The clashing tone of current events feels like a dispiriting festive repeat of all-too-familiar dramas. A week that began with the exposed scandal of Downing Street lockdown parties, and ended with chief civil servant Simon Case stepping down as investigator of those scandals, because of a party in his own office, was also yet another week in which the alarming progress of the virus outpaced government rhetoric and claimed another thousand lives.

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