It’s Sunday, which means it’s time for the second edition of ‘Interesting Links’ (read the first edition here). It’s been a busy week in terms of news, and there are a couple of big topics I want to address. First, I want to talk about a horrific crime that happened here in the UK.
I began writing this post while the news was again dominated by the free school meals scandal. It’s been a few weeks since then, but since I’d wrote the majority of this post and it will always be an important issue, I wanted to finish and publish it anyway.
This situation should, of course, always be at the forefront of the news as long as the UK government continues to get it disastrously wrong. I could also say that about the coronavirus pandemic, but that’s a focus for another day.
Footballer Marcus Rashford campaigned hard to ensure that kids would still be receiving free school meals, even when trapped at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. He did a fantastic job at bringing widespread attention to it, which culminated in the government backing down and agreeing to supply the meals.
But the issue that arose last week is that the meals are, shall we say, lacklustre.
Led by author and anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe and Marcus Rashford, images began appearing across Twitter of the free school meals parcels that were being sent out. Before long, Twitter exploded, and I was seeing them everywhere.
It’s the second week of the third coronavirus lockdown in the UK. If you were surprised that the beginning of 2021 would be any different to the horrendous year that was 2020, I would have to wonder just what drugs you’re taking.
Of course, the frontline NHS staff that are fighting the coronavirus knew that no relief was coming anytime soon. In fact, as they’ve been telling us for months, things were about to get worse. We’re now we moving into the thick of winter with all its numerous illnesses.
Christmas and the seemingly non-existent party season (although some people went ahead and had parties anyway, regardless of what effect that would have on a health system that’s nearing the edge of collapse) were always going to add tens of thousands more infections to the daily statistics. Part of this is because there are still people who think making individual sacrifices for the good of your fellow countrymen is apparently an attack on their freedoms. It’s a selfish world we live in now, where caring about others seems to make you a ‘lefty snowflake’. It’s always funny how those who throw out the word ‘snowflake’ are usually the most offended by literally nothing.
Look, we’d all love to return to normal (whatever that is in this increasingly chaotic world). I’m a self-confessed hermit who loves nothing more than getting in my PJ’s and settling down for a night in front of the TV with my wife, but even I’m getting fed up of being shut inside all the time. But it’s not as if this virus is going to go away anytime soon, even with the vaccine rollout, so there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it but follow the rules.
I’ve always been a news junkie, especially since I’ve been using the Internet. I like to stay informed and I love to read long and in-depth articles that brilliant journalists have often spent months putting together (that’s why I support both The Guardian and The New York Times with digital subscriptions). The media is constantly under attack today, and some of it can be warranted. But for every clickbait bit of nonsense, there are still journalists out there producing some incredible work.
During the coronavirus pandemic, there’s unsurprisingly been an explosion of news about it. It soon began to feel like that’s all the media have been talking about for the last couple of months. It can quickly become depressing reading about infection and death statistics, as well as how it’s destroying people’s livelihoods and ripping the economy apart. It’s a good idea to take a break from all this, and I’ve tried to cut down by intentionally reading other non-related articles or just deciding not to read the news for a little while at all. Although, in my case, this never lasts for long. But if you all keeping up with all the news, let’s try to look at the good things that are coming out of the pandemic instead.
Here I’m going to post all the good things I’m reading about when it comes to coronavirus. Such as stories of people pulling together and helping each other in these worrying times. I’ll update this post as I find new things, and feel free to mention anything I may have missed in the comments.