Last night we were told that the UK Prime Minister was taken to intensive care after his coronavirus symptoms worsened during the day. He was given oxygen treatment, but was not put on a ventilator.
The fact he was in hospital at all was a big enough story, but the move to intensive care is a very serious one, and if you look at the stats of those that enter ICU, it certainly is a cause for concern.
Get well soon Boris
We have seen during this crisis that the character of Boris Johnson has been able to convey to the public the seriousness of the situation, but to also keep the public relatively calm during what is our worst crisis since the second world war. Very few politicians are like him. His own personal way of communication is able to inspire and inform few others can manage. During a time of crisis, a reassuring, personal tone in the way Boris has is very much a necessity during this war against the virus.
His hero is Winston Churchill. People will be already comparing him to Churchill. Perhaps not the right moment for comparisons, but during the second world war, it was said that his leadership, his ability to speak to the nation, was one of the major factors in pulling us all together to help in the national effort 80 years ago. I believe Boris has been able to recreate that spirit during this crisis. Some will rightly criticise the way he was still going about meetings, shaking hands etc. And he will know himself that it probably wasn’t wise now to do so. But I also understand why he continued like that. He will have wanted to show strength, continuity, thinking that it was better for the country to see him like that. Admirable, but foolish and risky at the same time.
We have seen the daily news conferences since he went into self-isolation held by various cabinet ministers. They’re simply not the same. When Boris did them, there was an air of authority, usefulness, inspiration to those watching and an energy that simply is not there when other cabinet ministers, other than perhaps Rishi Sunak. He is now going to be out of action for a while. Hopefully he makes it out of ICU as quickly and as strongly as possible. But he will be laying low for at least a couple of weeks as his body now desperately needs time to recover. The timing could not have been worse as the UK faces its toughest two weeks as we approach the predicted peak of the virus. We need Boris and his style of leadership back as soon as is possible.
I personally want to wish him the best. He is a father, a son, a brother. He’s getting married, and has a child on the way with his fiancee. This will be a deeply worrying time for them all, as it will be for all those suffering around the country at this terrible time.
The worst of social media
In the minutes after the announcement, I checked looked on Twitter at the replied to the tweets coming from breaking news accounts. I probably shouldn’t have done.
Almost immediately there were a despicable amount of tweets from people seemingly revelling in the suffering of the Prime Minister. I know social media place is generally an awful place to be most of the time, and I only have accounts on certain platforms for business reasons, but last night really was the worst of social media that I have ever seen.
Where has our humanity gone? There is no place for politics right now, all opposition parties have been good enough to understand this. I have seen tweets from people, if we can call them that, wishing he never leaves intensive care, that he deserves the worst of the virus. Should their dad, brother or son be in ICU, I am sure these same people won’t be thinking the same thing.
Politics has no place here. There will be a time for it, much further down the road, but we all need to be pulling together, no matter how you vote or your own personal opinion of our leaders. The fact is, the leader of this country is in a very bad way and we should all be hoping that he pulls through and gets back to leading our effort to beat this nasty disease.
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