The fight against COVID-19 has launched a thousand military metaphors in the British press. The “greatest challenge since the Second World War”, “the frontline”, the virus is an “invisible enemy”, and so forth. Us citizens feel besieged and under threat as we retreat to our foxholes.
If this is a war, how is Britain doing? The frontline troops are running out of protective gear (PPE), ammunition (beds) and heavy equipment (ventilators). Supply lines are stretched thin. Meanwhile, the country’s leadership – the prime minister, secretary of state for health and the chief medical officer – are self-isolated in their bunkers where they cannot be functioning at 100%.
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