Creating the Covid-19 story

How to control a pandemic's narrative

There is much to be lost in a pandemic, with Rupert Read recently writing we have an ethical obligation to adopt the precautionary principle. But the Covid-19 story in months and years to come will be told by those who recognise what might also be gained - and act early. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the UK into a post-truth and proactionary state in all but name. Here are some handy definitions of the two highlighted terms that will be useful in what follows:

  • Post-truth: What matters is not whether something is true or false but how the matter is decided.
  • Proactionary: We should approach uncertainty in a spirit of openness, not in terms of what we might lose but what we might acquire, where neither is guaranteed.


As soon as the UK recognized that COVID-19 posed a serious threat, th

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