As so often, the press has been dispensing with the C-Word, as in Context. In this, their expertise is unparalleled. But in doing so here, they have cruelly given false hope to readers, while managing not to put on their front pages that the UK may be around nine days behind Italy with Covid-19, and the latter country reported 427 deaths related to the virus yesterday, taking its total above that of China.live coverage yesterday: “Boris Johnson says he is confident the UK can ‘turn the tide’ of the virus in the next 12 weeks, but only if people follow government advice”. He is confident IF we do as asked.
Moreover, “He later says the disease ‘does not seem yet’ to be responding to the government's interventions - social distancing, etc - adding: ‘I cannot tell you by the end of June we will be on a downward slope. It's possible.’” That is the context which the press has stripped out of its headlines. It’s so creative as to be cynically cruel.
Worse, even if we are on the “downward curve” by the end of June, those in that same free and fearless press do not appear to have made the obvious deduction: that before the end of June, we would be on an upward curve. That would mean more infections, more strain on the NHS, more resources needed to combat the virus - and more deaths.
Before the downward curve: Bergamo, Italy
It will, of course, be a much bigger deal when the local sports hall has rows of coffins lining its floor, each with its single red rose, awaiting the procession of brief but sad funerals, as is happening right now in northern Italy. But by then it will be too late.
When will the press have the spine to level with its readers? Don’t all shout at once.
[The Legalballs Fund has now closed]