"As a mother, I detest Professor Ferguson and his recklessly inaccurate model for laying waste to my children’s prospects. I despise those senior civil servants who have secure pensions and nothing to fear from the economic danger their myopic safetyism has wrought. And I am coming to hate the men in Downing Street who are so busy eliminating risk (mainly to their own reputations) that they condemn the elderly to wither in loneliness and treat students like cattle with foot and mouth.
University term starts this week. It’s the ideal time for freshers to socialise, swap mobile details and microbes. Far from relations who may be vulnerable to Covid, they live in promisingly fetid halls of residence where they can easily get the virus during Match of the Day and be rid of it in a week.
Alas, far from seeing uni as the perfect Petri dish in which the virus can be cultured – and ultimately curbed – the authorities have imposed restrictions so draconian you wonder why any young person would want to be there at all.
Glum reports reach me from Exeter and Edinburgh where freshers have to stand two metres apart in a queue for the dining halls and then – get this – sit on their own at an exam-type desk far away from their nearest neighbour, a cordon sanitaire marked out by hazard warning tape. “My daughter hasn’t done this yet,” emails Diana, “as the thought of standing on your own followed by eating on your own is far too anxious-making. Our other daughter, who is in the second year, tells us the dining hall was the chief place to make friends. How is this going to work for our youngsters?”
“All Edinburgh courses are online,” says one dad who is worried that his shy son is isolated in distant lodgings – after the A-levels fiasco, university halls of residence were hugely oversubscribed. “So, he’s on a computer in his room all day followed by solitary dining and can’t go to the pub because he just missed out on being invited to join a group of six. And seven is breaking the rules. WHAT kind of experience is that?”" Allison Pearson in the Telegraph
I, for one, do not want them to suffer in my name. pl