What do you call a boat full of lawyers at the bottom of the sea? So the joke goes, “a good start”. At this point we are all supposed to laugh heartily and heave in our breath at a shared understanding of the bad old lawyer.
Struggling to heave in our breathe, it transpires, is the very moment that we should all think about calling for a lawyer. In these days of social distancing, should we succumb to the dreaded Coronavirus and struggle to breath, what we might need is an ambulance chaser. Or, at the very least, a lawyer who is fast on his feet and who knows his way around the Covid Act.
The Covid Act is not a cabaret, but a hefty tone of new rules by which we must all live and, in some cases, die. The problem is that not everyone who is charged with administering the rules know what the rules are. They seem to have got in a muddle. In fact, they have got themselves into such a mess that some of them have started to write to people to say that the decision has been taken not to treat the lucky recipient of the letter, should they fall ill from Covid 19 and struggle to breath.
Quite a number of those whose number has come up, on the lottery of those chosen to live or die, might not be able to see enough to read the letter because a lot of them have a visual impairment.
Wonky sight is often the companion to something else. Lots of people who are intellectually impaired, and can’t see, have received letters to say that their GPs have decided that if they get ill they won’t get life saving treatment. It’s couched in what’s in their “best interests”. I always understood this approach to be that good old fashioned discredited approach to the betterment of the human race. I’m fairly sure… the word I’m searching for…ah yes…eugenics.
These days we’ve reinvented the science of “better breeding”. It’s called Genetics. No one is any longer allowed to administer people who are intellectually, or visually, impaired to their deaths. So why is it happening in the time of Coronavirus?
I like to think its all a terrible misunderstanding. That was until a paragraph and a half ago, when right on queue, I received a text from the government. It tells me I am in an extremely vulnerable group and that “your condition means you are at risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus. Please remain at home for 12 weeks unless a healthcare professional tells you to leave.” Could this be because during the course of my daily life I use my hands to touch so much more than my sighted peers? Might coming into more contact with the virus make me sicker? It might well do, but I doubt that’s the reason.
The text concludes by telling me my care will come over the phone or on line. Have I just received the equivalent of a Do Not Resuscitate notice? Has the decision been made on my behalf that, in a competition for ventilators, I am a life not worthy of life?
Everyone is entitled to be treated according to their need. I’ve got the letter to prove it. Here it is.
Who would have thought that Covid 19 would make lawyers such a popular breed? If you’re disabled, you might want one on speed dial if you start to cough.
Anyone in a muddle and thinking about a cull of disabled people, may want to consider that there is no double meaning in the hygiene recommendations.
Now wash your hands.