It wasn’t supposed to be like this. During the dark days of the first lockdown the initial gnawing fear gave way to an acceptance.
There was a belief that while this was hard, if we get through it, things would be immeasurably better. And besides, isn’t it quiet? Isn’t it nice to go for walks in the unseasonably mild spring sun? Aren’t communities pulling together? Look, LOOK, there are goats ambling through town! When this is done, the future will be rebuilt better.
A week or so ago we saw Nick Watt, a journalist, who had been walking down the street, pursued by an anti-lockdown mob screaming about him being a “traitor,” presumably because they didn’t like him doing his job.
We saw Kim Leadbeater, whose sister, the MP Jo Cox, was murdered by a far-right extremist in her own constituency of Batley and Spen in 2016, chased down the street and heckled in the same constituency as she sought to win the seat. What must have been going through her mind.
We’ve seen two men accost Chris Whitty as he sat on a park bench. Jonathan Van-Tam was targeted recently too.
There is no defence for any of this. But we need to find a way to stop it.