Dan Wootton: We are in Covid Groundhog Day

It's time we demand our freedom back

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Groundhog Day Press Conference

It felt like Groundhog Day today, didn’t it?

A 5pm press conference to respond to the increasingly loud demands from scientists and NHS-affiliated organisations to enforce draconian restrictions on our lives again – and maybe even lockdowns.

A health secretary pulling out those old cliches of protecting the NHS and the need for us to stay safe. And then the numbers. Cases rising! An explosion in infections! It’s going to get worse! Oh, and the same old nonsensical questions from the media.

The first from the BBC, of course, demanding the government introduce new measures. Then ITV suggesting action should be taken early. And Sky News pushing for the so-called Plan B of mask mandates, work from home orders and social distancing measures.

If you were watching today’s press conference in isolation, you’d almost believe that we didn’t have over 70 per cent of the population fully vaccinated and well over 90 per cent of adults with Covid antibodies, according to ONS estimates.

If we can’t quit this desperate desire to lock the country down again and restrict our freedoms under those circumstances then we genuinely risk a hellscape where NHS pressure forces the country to be locked down every winter.

Covid-19 is becoming endemic.

Virtually every flu season causes pressure on the NHS. Those in power who are drunk on the new controls they have over the population need to take a step back and realise Brits must be able to make our own decisions this winter.

Sadly, that didn’t seem to be the case last night as the extension to the Coronavirus Act and all the unusual curbs on our civil liberties that come with it was nodded through parliament without even a vote.

We must reset the language around how we talk about coronavirus before we allow it to swamp every aspect of normal life forever more. At least the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwateng was prepared to publicly rule out a lockdown today.

He better be right. We were promised the vaccine rollout would provide us a path back to freedom. So now it’s time for us to demand that.