The reintroduction of compulsory wearing was political rather than epidemiological | Josep Bagur Gomila
Over the long months of the pandemic, the mantra has been guided by data and by experts. In general, a community of epidemiologists, virologists and other ologists has held the reins tightly. Politicians, perhaps more inclined to lengthen the reins, have listened, fearful - and with good reason - of the virus bolting. But then one day, the virus did bolt.
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It's pretty rich for a British publication to accuse others of enacting legislation for "political gain". Amusing though it is.
Let's have a look at your assertion that mask regulation in Spain was political. Masks have been scientifically proven to be more than 60% effective in minimising the spread of the virus. Sure, you can argue whether using them outdoors is as effective, but considering the minor inconvenience, what possible political gain is there to be had? I can't think of any. Can you? If anything, it would cause more irritation to an already irritated electorate. Now, everybody here seems to mostly comply, and personally, I've found it to be a minor inconvenience - one that I'm quite used to now. And I routinely go without a mask outdoors. Haven't been arrested. Nor fined. In fact, nobody's ever even mentioned it. And now that restriction has being legally removed. So, it looks like a bit of a tempest in a teapot. Yet another tabloid sensation? Sell papers, I reckon. To Brits, anyway. And it illustrates how backward and inferior the rest of the world is. Some have argued that covid and its associated variants are no worse than a common cold, although the irrefutable facts prove quite the opposite. What possible political gain can be had from denying that? Well, there's a few good examples. For instance, let's look at Britain. Initially, the ruling party rather ignored the pandemic, leading to Britain becoming the single worst afflicted country in the world, with the single highest deaths per capita. And as the ruling party became under severe fire for its unwillingness to acknowledge the science in favour of political ideology, it took a complete u-turn and not only decided that widespread vaccination was imperative, but added an additional political petard by installing a contractual term that prevented the supplier from supplying others at the same time as Britain. This looked suspiciously like an attempt to manufacture a "benefit of Brexit", although like most "Brexit benefits" in point of fact, there was no EU contrived legal or other barrier to this contractual clause, but simply an ethical one. But in the UK, apparently ethics has no place in politics (which may explain why it likes to accuse all others of that behaviour). And besides, the enemy-apparent miraculously managed to vaccinate a much larger population to equal or greater levels in fairly short order. Britain's politics didn't matter. Entertaining, but inconsequential, really. Now, as the UK ruling party deals with even more severe backlash from other aspects of its covid behaviours, while the infection rate, hospitalisations and deaths were again beginning to soar, the lifting of restrictions in the UK again looked suspiciously political, with plenty of motivation for it. Not to mention a long history of form for that sort of thing. You know, your narrative here sounds suspiciously Daily Express, intended to reassure yourself and other Brits of your inherent superiority, by illustrating the imaginary dubious behaviour of others, while ironically engaging in exactly that behaviour at home, for domestic political gain. Demonstrably and famously. And as a matter of historical record. Yet, it's a mistake to believe nobody else notices. In pure fact, Spain (and the balearics) have quite a tangible stake in ensuring the safety of tourism. If they've been abundantly cautious, it's hardly political. It's just being pragmatic. And frankly, Britain isn't nearly as important as it so desperately needs to believe. Constantly reassuring yourself of your own importance may serve to elevate domestic political approval, but the damage to your reputation abroad is substantial. Oh, and erm, it may be wise to take into account that the "rest of the world" holds orders of magnitude more importance to your own well bring than you seem to realise. But for domestic political consumption, playing that down seems to work... for now. Yet it appears that thread is now becoming rather thin. Be careful of that. It's a long way down from that lofty pedestal you've built.