‘Personal responsibility’ narrative in fight against Covid is a shameful ruse

New message from top defies logic and science – it is a fig leaf for systemic failures

‘Some people need to use public transport. Advice to manage contacts responsibly is pointless if contacts are not discretionary.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Some people need to use public transport. Advice to manage contacts responsibly is pointless if contacts are not discretionary.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Personal responsibility has become a defining feature of the Government and Nphet’s advice on dealing with Covid-19. An approach with very limited evidential value is now deeply embedded and deeply divisive.

As we face into another difficult few months, calls for increased personal responsibility, as well as having little value, are damaging. There are a number of reasons why this is the case. And each is worth rehearsing if we want to avoid the mistakes of the past.

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