How easily we have surrendered our private freedoms….

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On Sunday we had a visit from a relative in the garden at a two metre distance.

On Monday they kindly returned and we hugged several times.

The difference between the two days? A date ordained, probably wrongly, by the UK government related to private behaviour in our home (and garden).

I can’t say that I particularly resented this. It was kind of the relative to return on Monday. I generally support the pandemic rules – if not the tardy application of them, PPE, Track and trace, border control etc etc.

But if, a few years ago, someone had outlined the scenario above I would have assumed that it was part of a George Orwell novel (to use a well-worn cliché).

Generally as a society, we have accepted the seriousness of the pandemic and obeyed the rules imposed by the government without great complaint.

And yet, as Dr Phil Hammond (Private Eye’s “MD”) often points out, we continue, as a country, general habits which put us at far more risk of early death than Covid-19 – for example, obesity, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, excess alcohol and tobacco etc etc – often as a result of poverty and poor education.

It’s a funny old world…

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.