Instincts can serve us well in negotiating real-life risk we all encounter

Following formal procedures is never enough, and becoming dependent on centralised rules can even be a hindrance argues Claire Fox in Westmonster.

How are you getting on now that there’s slightly fewer lockdown restrictions? Are you coping with negotiating who you invite over to your garden or how far you sit away from extended family as you have a picnic? I bet you studied the BBC’s special ‘practical guide to how to socialise now’, didn’t you? 

Did you ‘ask your guests to set their alarms for every 45 minutes’ as suggested, so that everyone could rush up and wash their hands when the bell rang? Did you have that awkward ‘detailed conversation’ with Uncle Henry (‘a 70-year-old overweight man’) about ‘the risks (he was) prepared to accept’? I bet that was good for his self-esteem. This officious fussing over our every move, as though we are children, is so galling.

After months of endless public-health messaging, we all have got the gist about the differential risks associated with Covid-19. And while I’m sure most of us are managing the new circumstances of our everyday interactions, some in authority seem to remain convinced that without a step-by-step rule book detailing the minutiae of what we precisely should and shouldn’t do, we will all go berserk and risk the health of our colleagues, mates and loved ones. In other words, they firmly believe that the public can’t be trusted. 

Read the full article here.