ON Wednesday a committee of MPs quizzed Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty during an inquiry titled Coronavirus: lessons learnt. One thing these arch-alarmists certainly have mastered during the past nine months is how simultaneously to petrify the public and prod our pusillanimous PM into ruinous restrictions on liberties and livelihoods.
The pair’s most notorious scaremongering scenario was of course their spectre of 4,000 deaths per day – a far-fetched forecast which, as intended, made headline news and immediately bounced Boris Johnson into England’s second national lockdown. That, though, was just the most egregious example; throughout the coronavirus crisis, the doomsayers’ admonitions have repeatedly trumped any positivity from politicians.
Which is why this week’s hopefulness from Matt Hancock and Michael Gove, that because the vaccination programme is under way ‘life will return to normal by spring’, is best filed under I’ll-believe-it-when-it-happens.