As we write these lines, the covid-19 infection rate is starting to shoot up fast in the UK again, very fast indeed gentle reader. We are not epidemiologists, or microbiologists or virologists, or rappers, so we’ll stop the lyrics there. But only a fool would deny that that the return to close associations of people in pubs, shops, railway stations and a myriad of other locations has been behind this. But we have studied a little history, and there’s one system, still on the edge of living memory, that might help a lot.
In January 1940 the then Conservative Government introduced rationing in the UK, starting with bacon, butter and sugar. Subsequent governments went on to extend it to other foods, and many other goods, during the conflict. In fact it was so successful that the last goods did not come “off ration” until 1953! The key lesson for our time is how they made it work. When you got your ration card (and everyone did, from the King down all the way down to the workers) you were allocated one shop, with whom you registered. That was where you went for your ration. And the Government made sure that the shop had enough in stock to supply your needs.
Imagine how much easier Track and Trace would be now if everyone only went to one shop. These days it would be much easier as large supermarkets now supply nearly everything under one roof. Rationing need only apply to second order but essential things like food and clothes. Really vital national supplies like beer, wine and gin (to name but a few) could stay “off coupon”. Eventually, as a vaccine(or vaccines) arrive, the system could be slowly lifted, as it was after the Second World War.
We feel that a scheme could prove exceptionally popular among our friends who voted for Brexit, as they often cite the glories of the war years as proof of their cause. The advances in health and equality which were brought about by wartime rationing are indisputable. If there are to be shortages of some goods after Brexit (and we think the jury’s still out on this one), then what better way to see the nation safely through? From every point of view, it has to be worth a try.
#rationing #covid-19 #coronavirus #brexit #trackand trace