The most glaring of these contradictions is that, while we can no longer visit friends and family in their homes, we can meet them in a cafe, pub or anywhere else there is a till, alongside countless other people. Meanwhile, most of us are in close proximity with others in workplaces, schools and on public transport on a daily basis.
It’s not new that people feel that society is being run in interests other than their own. Historically, recognition of this fact – that bosses and the rich dictate what happens in our lives, even in supposedly democratic societies – is why working-class people organised in trade unions and workers parties to fight for their own interests.
Last week, we were told Diane Dodds and the Stormont Executive were urging all civil servants to return to their offices, in order to boost city and town centre economies. This is the latest example of Stormont putting profit before workers’ health.
Despite an increase in the rate of infection and moves by Stormont to tighten some restrictions, Education Minister Peter Weir and the entire NI Executive are pushing forward in a pigheaded and dangerous manner to reopen our schools. They are ignoring warnings from education unions that this could be the “next care home crisis”.