A hundred-plus years ago, that nickname was applied to the Ottoman Empire. It was over-stretched militarily and financially, and facing internal unrest on both ethnic religious lines. Today, it is applied to the UK, and it is applied literally.
The highest death toll from COVID-19 in Europe. The highest infected total from COVID-19 in Europe. And now a new strain, spreading 70% faster than before, has apparently evolved in the southeast of England. In consequence, more than half a dozen European countries have closed their borders to means of transport leaving the UK.
I was on one of the last planes out of the UK to Sweden. I was originally meant to be flying out tomorrow via Amsterdam, but the Netherlands was one of the first countries to enact a UK travel ban, so I had to change my plans. This meant things were somewhat rushed at my end, and I got even more stressed out. If it hadn’t been for my sister’s generous help, I probably would have had a heart attack due to panic.
I am now in Sweden, and I am here to stay. The UK is going to wither in its’ own pestilence, because the government thinks that doing nothing until the available choices have been whittled down to one (or none) is a good strategy. I can tell them from personal experience, that it is not. Until the UK government stop lying about “following the science”, stop giving medical contracts to companies run by their mates who have no experience in medical practicality, and start properly furloughing people on a survivable pay rate, the public will not have any recourse but to continue violating the quarantine procedures that could slow and stop the spread of COVID-19. Almost every other comparable country (area, population, island, technology) has either halted the pandemic in its’ tracks or has contained it effectively.
And then, in ten days time, Brexit hits. There are already 700-truck queues in Kent. There are already supply shortages. Food shortages, fuel shortages, medicine shortages, all will start to be felt more and more deeply from January the 1st. Martial law may be imposed to prevent rioting and/or to ensure supplies reach where they are needed – if it is, I doubt it will ever be lifted under the current government. Certainly, the overall death toll in the country will rise, and they will all be preventable deaths, with the blame landing squarely on Brexit and the fascist narcissistic government that brought it about.
I won’t let them make me go back to that. I can only see myself returning to UK shores as part of a brief holiday, or when an independent Scotland becomes part of the EU.