Bizarre responses to the pandemic

Now the dust has settled there were many responses which seemed unthinkable previously - but is subsidising people to eat out in a scenario where there was no suggestion that the highly infectious pandemic was over and there were still no vaccines available the most bizarre?

Hard to think of a more bizarre one to be honest.

Councils indiscriminately paying thousands of pounds of taxpayers money to anyone with a business or commercial property regardless of trading status including owners of holiday properties and they wonder why they can't balance the books this year.

This a million times.  although thankfully we never required outdoor masking, as lots of places did.   Being told to mask up by an officer in the Canaries with the trade wind blasting by at some 20mph - pure brilliance.  

What trans said.

Having markers in shops telling you to stand/sit 2 metres apart. To the much expense of shops. Later the government said 1 metre was fine, so more expense to already struggling shops.

Celebrities uploading clips of themselves singing "Imagine" in every different key imaginable from their multimillion mansions to cheer us up and show how "we are all in this together".

To be fair Ebit you didn't need those fancy stickers that many of them bought and could have achieved the same with a black marker and some gaffer tape on the floor.  To be fair a few shops did do that.

Supermarkets closing up and taping over the non food aisles.  Strong and dim response that one.  Walk us through the logic...oh, nope, can't its a just because reason.

there were lots of policies many didnt agree with or that clearly did not work or were a total waste of money but at least the objectives made sense by their own lights.  I think a policy, at significant cost to the government, to encourage people to go out and mingle when the pandemic was not over and the overall strategy was still to slow the spread of the disease sandwiched between two lockdowns. remains the most bizarre. 

agree with clergham tbh, eat out to help out was a sensible affirmation of the principle that we can’t deep-freeze economic and social life just because there’s some new pathogen, as there have been at various points in human history. That it was uncertain, at the time, when there would be a vaccine or how effective it would be was the very point; we can’t put society in the cooler on the never-never.

I periodically remember that thing where every business could get a £10k grant, unless your business was holiday properties when you could get £10k per property and it makes me annoyed. 

I remember being in a trial just after the January 21 lockdown.  City was deserted.  We still had teh 2 metres stuff and masks and sanitiser hysteria.

My junior and i were sharing a 5ft by 4ft conference room every day before and post court, windowless and airless.  We were in a Courtroom with 12 jurors, 10 counsel, witnesses, judge, court staff and defendants with no windows or ventilation for 6 hours a day.

I remember being on my feet for days and having to put my mask on and off when i wasn't speaking which was ridic as it was just being stuffed into a pocket with other crap in the meantime.

One of the lovely security guards at the door of court one morning asked if my junior and I could enter the building one at a time and several metres apart whilst sanitising etc.  I remember saying to him that i thought that horse had bolted weeks ago but i guess he had to go through the motions.

We had one courtroom for the trial and another taking over by our jury for deliberations which meant that the Court lost half its functioning courtrooms for months and drastically reduced the number of trials being heard.

It all seemed a little contradictory at times and a long while ago now.

Pubs that kept rules in place after they'd actually been repealed.  I remember it being fine for ten of us to stand on a boat together all day but when we got to the pub in the evening they made us sit at two separate tables and got upset if people swapped tables.

Heh, yeah. Remember getting my temperature checked when I had to go to the Apple store for some reason. What’s the theory here - everyone infected by covid constantly has a high temperature?

last week, I saw an ice cream van that still had a sticker on it about 2 metre bollox


taking the seats off swings in the local parks. even the disabled one that no-one used anyway

What Sails said. Stopping people moving tables within pubs was a cracker. It's fine to sit in touching distance of 4 relative strangers at a table but woe betide anyone who moves to one 6 feet away to do the same. Absolutely comical in hindsight.

Loads of great suggestions but my vote goes to my colleagues’ overzealous interpretation of the ever changing law. The drones, the checking of shopping trolleys etc.

The house of 6 rule in pubs and restaurants whilst seated . Loads of teenagers who hadn’t seen daylight in months , trotted off to spoons where they were asked if they all lived together. Yes came the reply . Right oh , and they could do nothing about it .

writing bullocks on scraps of paper as you entered the premises . People mostly just scribbled on it , literally scribble 

you could have your mask off sitting down in the pub or restaurant but needed to put it on to go the gents. bonkas

Heh, I had a m7 who did this religiously long after everyone else stopped bothering

You never saw what chimp? One security guard started to ask people to show him what was written on the slip before it was put in the box , before he was reminded he couldn’t do that under any circumstances.

It just shows how daft things get when you decide to try and micromanage a response and run it by committee rather than putting in place some broad principles.

I live near Maidstone and I have to say, whatever scars the community is left with, it has covered up thoroughly. Like the way the people of Bradford never discuss the football fire (despite it being the only famous thing to happen in Bradford since weaving wool was a good career).

Predicting that fULL rESTriCtiOns would happen again by end of September/beginning of October/mid October/ etc

Particularly for flimsy reasons like Risky saying he knew someone who knew someone at the cabinet office who said it was definitely definitely nailed on

All that nonsense with tiers and different rules in Wales. 

I remember coming back from a meeting with a client in Wales during one of their periods of divergence. I stopped at a supermarket as I was trying to buy some trainers to replace some that my son had decided to destroy using his feet to stop on his bike and was most annoyed to find that the non food aisles were all fenced off.

When I went to another supermarket about 10 mins over the boarder in England, the trainer aisle was open. No idea how stopping people buying stuff in a shop they were already in was going to help stop the spread of covid. 

Seemed ridiculous both at the time and even more so now.  

Yeah the tier system was ridiculous. I was in Germany going about my day as normal and I could drive straight to the uk without any restrictions whatsoever

if I’d stopped for a piss in a field in Belgium then I’d have to quarantine for 14 days

That's right children. We basically treated you like vermin for a year and gave all your school's money to company directors with twenty properties in Devon. 

It just shows how daft things get when you decide to try and micromanage a response and run it by committee rather than putting in place some broad principles.

Ironically its the other way around.  Most of the complaints above are about broad-brush rules that avoid complexity by ignoring every possible circumstance.  Of course, the moment anything complex and nuanced was introduced people whined about the rules being to hard to understand/apply.  As always, and in contrast to places like Sweden, the rules were more stringent and the lockdowns longer because of active non-compliance by 'Team Saners'.    

The most bizarre thing I remember was taking the Nexlette to the local park and finding the swings surrounded by police tape like it was a major crime scene, rather than just to stop kids having a small bit of fun in a sh1tty situation.

Was there much non compliance Warren

Depends on the unit of measurement 

hand sanitizer squirted on the floor in order to win some small incomprehensible victory: some

police cars blown up by radical cells of anti-lockdown freedom fighters: none

Warren, the covid legislation ran to hundreds of pages and still couldn't be followed by anyone, least of all the government that introduced it.

And how can you say that closing one supermarket aisle but not another or trying to mandate an arbitrary period of time outside or a certain arbitrary distance apart or the tier system or allowing some places to open but not others of the same type is not micro-management?

The govt got completely bogged down with creating rules that in isolation seemed sensible but didn't stack up when put together and were impossible to follow or police and then spent more tiem trying to make them work rather than just, say, closing certain high risk places like nightclubs and asking everyone to take precautions.

you lot are focussing on over the top responses,  which I agree were in some cases bizarre but they were not policies that were directly contrary to the overall policy goal of limiting the spread of the disease as much as reasonably possible

"agree with clergham tbh, eat out to help out was a sensible affirmation of the principle that we can’t deep-freeze economic and social life just because there’s some new pathogen, as there have been at various points in human history. That it was uncertain, at the time, when there would be a vaccine or how effective it would be was the very point; we can’t put society in the cooler on the never-never."


If the policy strategy had changed to fvck it, lets let it rip, I would agree - not necessarily with the change in strategy but that the policy would not have been incredibly bizarre.    It hadn't though and we were back in lockdown a couple of months later.

The daftest by far were:

1. Mandating the wearing of masks in places (e.g. Parliament) except when people were actually standing up and speaking, rather than staying seated and keeping their mouths closed. 

2. Insisting people queue two metres from the person in front, but allowing people snaking back the other way to breathe over you while six inches away. 

3. The religious zeal with which mask wearing was adopted, once China pressured the WHO to endorse it. 

4. Limiting the distance people could drive, as if somehow driving one's car could spread the disease. (there was not, at this time, a fuel shortage)

5. The Scotch egg fiasco. 

eat out to help out likely directly led to the acceleration of cases that drove the next lockdown

it was a ludicrous short-term fix that completely backfired, as the long term costs to public health and the economy far far outweighed any benefit

6. Allowing the Grand National, probably the most crowded event in the sporting calendar, to go ahead one week but imposing house imprisonment the next. 

remember when they did the grand national but virtual and everyone was expected to bet on the winner of cgi horses?

that was pretty bizarre tbf