Patrick Christys: Government will always find an excuse to restrict our lives

'A winter lockdown is a very real possibility, mandatory mask wearing could return'

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The doom-mongering is back. I’d wondered where it went – we’d started to dream of a brighter future, we’d started to contemplate a world where when you turn your TV on in the evening you’re not greeted by a giant picture of Chris Whitty saying next slide please as he predicts the death of everyone you hold dear.

How silly we were. Sajid Javid stood up in the House of Commons and confirmed that this government reserves the right to become a totalitarian regime whenever it wants to – they may decide to introduce vaccine passports, a winter lockdown is a very real possibility, mandatory mask wearing could return and working in your underwear, sorry, working from home, could become a thing again. Of course if you’re in the civil service it never stopped.

All in the name of not overwhelming the NHS. Couple of things on this – SAGE’s modelling is the equivalent of a Michael Fish weather report. We were basically all supposed to be coughing ourselves silly and fighting each other for what scraps of food remain in the smouldering wreckage of Britain by now.

We’re going to have 100,000 cases a day! We’ve got a quarter of that. Their modelling was thrown off by such curious things as not predicting sunshine in August or not expecting the Euros to end.

So forgive me for not taking Chris Whitty’s slides of terror too seriously. If you’re going to make decisions that impact my life could you do me the courtesy of getting your stats right please?

The other, and most important thing, is that the NHS is not going to be overwhelmed. There are some figures that are mysteriously missing from Chris Whitty’s slideshow. These figures are NHS bed occupancy and availability, published by NHS England. You can go and look at them, they’re freely available online.

When it comes to bed occupancy rates, they’ve basically always hovered between 84 and 90%. That is until now, where the figure stands at 81%.

81 is an interesting number, because that’s actually the percentage of people over the age of 16 who’ve been double jabbed. That’s with the same vaccine that has supposedly broken the link between catching covid, being admitted to hospital with it and then dying.

So the NHS is not going to be overwhelmed. Either the vaccine works or it doesn’t. If it does, then the NHS won’t be overwhelmed. The only reason we consented to restrictions on our lives was to avoid the Italy type scenario of people spilling out into hospital corridors. If that isn’t going to happen, then the government needs to get out of our lives. The only thing being overwhelmed here, is people like me, who’ve had enough of this nonsense.

It amazes me that the government is rolling the wicket for a winter of discontent with the constant sword of lockdown Damocles hanging over our heads.

They’re even already issuing advice like: ““Some activities, such as singing, dancing and exercising can also increase the risk of transmission of Covid-19 as people are doing activities which generate more particles as they breathe.”

So, if you want to stay healthy – don’t exercise!

I’d find the whole thing a lot more palatable if it looked for a single second like members of our government, or indeed society’s elite, were in any way concerned about Covid. They’re obviously not. The Cabinet was pictured around the table in Downing Street, not a mask in sight. Matt Hancock snogged the face off his top aid while simultaneously telling everyone not to hug your relatives at Christmas.

There was a lovely BBQ at the G7 – the kind of BBQ us plebs weren’t allowed to have. Michael Gove managed to go and watch his beloved Chelsea in the Champions League and then amazingly exempt himself from isolation rules. Even at the Met Gala, the celebs weren’t wearing masks on the red carpet, apart from Kim and Kanye who tried to introduce Taliban chic into our lives. The only people wearing masks were the staff. Classic.

They are always going to find an excuse to restrict our lives, but remember this - it ends when we tell them it ends.