I watched the Van Tulleken twins’ documentary last night, Surviving the Virus: My Brother and Me.
Whenever I watch documentaries these days, suspicious and intrusive thoughts fill my head. That’s what comes of writing for this kind of blog.
Firstly, I muse over how much I’m being manipulated by the edit. Then I picture the camera crew and assorted personnel saying things to the presenter like “Can you beef that up a bit?” Persistent cynicism does interfere with the immersive experience any filmmaker might hope to give his audience.
The generally accepted left-wing consensus is to approach Covid-19 with extreme caution - be (very) afraid, stay at home, wash your hands and isolate, isolate, isolate. Whereas the ‘right-wing’ in general seems to coalesce around the view that it’s all a massive fuss about nothing more serious than your regular flu. If a few people die, well, survival of the fittest and all that; the muzzle is a step too far and it’s the economy stupid.
Lurking in my evil and extremely nasty subconscious (actually it can’t be my subconscious since I’m relating it….and I’m perfectly conscious of it now) are the meanest of mean half-hopes that someone like Peter Hitchens or Lionel Shriver, whom I usually like, catches a dose of the virus him or herself, just so they’d be able to know what they’re talking about. Just a mildish dose, you understand - nothing like that infamous curse-like wish-for the-death of Boris.
The unexpectedly alarming thing about Xand Van Tulleken’s experience was, of course, the residual problems experienced - in this case irregular heart rhythms culminating in a dramatic and literally heart-stopping event in A & E while his twin brother looked on in distress - but many other Covid-19 survivors seem to be stricken by a wide variety of serious long-term after-effects as well.
The fact that this illness is pretty unique was emphasised in the programme by the medics, and even if I am being manipulated by the BBC I still feel my worries are justified, especially on behalf of dearly beloved members of my family.
I will wear the mask, do the dreaded social distancing and comply with whatever advice I’m given. My family will be erring on the side of caution despite the considerably detrimental financial implications.
So here I am, without a political home again. But I’m used to it.