Thought bubble: Now that we don't fight proper wars anymore here in the West fresh distractions are required so we don't just grow old quietly. Other parts of the world are regularly strafed by our drones or trained up and supplied by itinerant troops and industry. It's all a moving model of exploitation and cruelty that creates a convenient smokescreen for big business to do whatever they like. The vacuum of daily crisis has to be filled and our lords and masters will grab at any opportunity to distract and bury other less legal activities. So we now have the twin threats of Corona and Brexit bearing down on these grim and cynically managed North Atlantic islands.
The public's response is predictable, despite the sale of numerous "Don't Panic..." mugs and posters over the years (thanks for trying Barter Books but the truth is folks neither read or retain very much). People naturally panic buy strange, comforting things: toilet paper, pasta, long life milk, soaps and baked beans. It's as if we've been given a glimpse of how survivalists would (not) pack their rucksacks before being parachuted down onto some desert island and try to stick it out as long as they can before resorting to cannibalism as their tiny world breaks down when the fishing fails and the banana crop runs out.
So stupidity will always win in terms of exposure, that great mass of human uncertainty seeking those unavailable certainties will thrash and quarrel and maybe just destroy themselves in some huge futile struggle. Innocents will be dragged in as they stand by bemused... don't stand by. Anger is an energy as some punk once said. We can watch it all unravel online via the car parks of Costco and Tesco and the screaming headlines of the gutter press as they endeavor to pass the blame down the chain.
The problem is that not much of what is portrayed is true, small incidents are amplified and a snowball effect is created and the hysteria builds up. Who makes gains from this? Not the poor sods in the queue for hand sanitiser and energy drinks, who can't face a few days of not eating "normal food", they remain the grist to the mill and can be relied upon to perform as if it was another Black Friday. Supermarket chaos and footage of folks in face masks really is for distraction and ongoing smoke screens. Big boys control what you see and will continue to do so. Never underestimate editorial power and control and where it can take you.
So my advice would be, think a bit, read the signs and don't get caught up in the over stretched messages that are dominating the headlines, play the long game and err...keep calm.