Celtic needs to be monitoring the crisis that has emerged in South Africa, and which has already spread to Europe and even the UK. We are a long way from any kind of restrictions, but we’re certainly not as far from them as we were a week ago.
Let’s face it, it was never out of the question that something like this could arise. Indeed, a lot of experts have been waiting for this development since the global vaccination program got underway.
The crisis was always, at some point, going to devolve into a race between the vaccine makers and some kind of mutation and we seem to be at that point.
The variant is almost certainly already circulating widely in the UK.
The two confirmed cases are most likely the tip if the iceberg.
If this thing can neutralise the vaccines – I actually think that’s unlikely – or cause re-infection, and if it spreads as easily as Delta (and there are suggestions that it is, in fact, more infective although we won’t know that for a few weeks) then we have a pretty significant problem for which will force the government to take action.
What kind of action will that be?
Initially we can expect a massive extension of the vaccine passports program.
We can also expect major pressure to push further vaccination. The bigger restrictions cannot be ruled out, although the government in Westminster will almost certainly not impose them until the problem is out of control.
But it is not out of the question that stadium closures are, again, in our future.
If this thing is as bad as the worst fears of the scientific community we will very soon be back where we were eighteen months ago, and that’s not scaremongering it’s a matter of fact.
The alternative is to let something with a 3-5% lethality rate and the ability to hospitalise one person in every ten who catches it run rampant in the population; no government in the Western world would survive the consequences of that.
The NHS would collapse first and the dominos would fall from then on. At some point the government won’t need to impose a lockdown because many people would just cease all but essential activity on their own.
The smart thing to do is to begin preparing for this horrific eventuality right now.
To start putting in place emergency measures just in case it happens.
The virtual season ticket program means that we won’t miss seeing matches, but empty stadiums are not something anybody wants. Regardless, that might not be something we have a choice about.
I can tell you this; if this thing is as bad as they think there is zero chance that things can go on more or less “as normal”.
Not even the mass wearing of masks – which many people have already utterly abandoned – is going to hold back the tide and in that situation live football matches and other mass events are going to be amongst the first things restricted.
We would be crazy not to start thinking worst case scenarios.
They may be on their way.