• Morgan Fagg

Bloody Pandemic Paperwork

Updated: Mar 29

As environmentalists worry about our inability to tackle even the notion of Climate Change, the climate changed in March 2020 to a mixture of caustious panic and casual indifference to Coronavirus and people were forced to don masks and put on disposable gloves which have since filled our streets and probably our oceans, drains and landfills too.


One thing that I am sure has multiplied exponetionally is the amount of waste that must have been generated in paperwork as people are asked to sign forms that could never be checked and verified in a 100 years. A 100 years being the time suggested to me by my nephew before Climate Change will actually affect is.

Interesting how my teenage nephew is saying Climate Change is a 100 years away as that sounds similar to the things that I would have heard decades ago when I was a teenager.


We are producing mountains of paperwork that I don´t belief can be checked or verified and I would question who this paperwork is for.

I was asked by the Department of Education to provide a doctor´s note for a job application and I continued to question the need for a doctor´s note during a pandemic when most people would advise staying away from health centres unless absolutely necessary.


Maybe I could walk into a makeshift morgue and ask a masked doctor to tell them how healthy and full of life I am, and they persisted that they would not accept my application without a doctor´s note and I continued to question the need for one considering the current Coronavirus climate we were all experiencing.


I was fortunately able to get a doctor´s note in the end and send it to them in time when they finally replied that it wasn´t actually a neccesssary requirement this year as a result of the pandemic.


Arguably, I am sure that a doctor´s note could be from a friend with a PHD as I don´t think a medical doctor was mentioned in the details and that is the thing about much of the paperwork we are filing in this pandemic, it is absolutely pointless and probably only serves to keep lumperjacks busy.

When I flew into Dublin airport, I was asked to fill in the necessary paperwork which I did but I also took a second copy as a keepsake so I have a record of the forms requested during the madness of 2020 and 2021. I can add it to all the other forms and PCR tests that I have filled in or have been expected to submit.

Does having two of those airport forms make me twice as protected as anyone else? I don´t think so and I had to wait a few days before the government followed up with a text message asking me to tick a box:

"Are you at the same address?"


Not only was I at the same address, I hadn´t moved far from the place until I had a PCR test and was enjoying daily walks in the nearby cemetary where I felt safe that I couldn´t infect anyone if had caught Coronavirus while travelling through European airports.


Better to be six feet from friends and family than six feet under them but who did those text messages help and how many people actually clicked "NO" when asked if they were at the same address?


How many millions has been spent on such systems? By comparison, my local barber in Madrid asked me to write my name and telephone number on a form when I wanted to get my haircut last May and I was happy to oblige knowing that I could be contacted if there was a known outbreak of coronavirus amongst his customers even though that seemed unlikely as he took all necessary precautions to keep himself and myself safe. Seriously, gloves, masks, sanitizer and a face shield.


A stone throw from the Spanish parliament, he should be running the country when you look at the way he has run his business during the pandemic. Exemplary is the only word I can think of.


Wear a mask, wash your hands and maintain a safe distance as much as possible but don´t think for a second that mountains of paperwork will do anything to protect anyone as we pollute our paperless offices with important documents that must be filled in if we want to travel or do something.


A friend from National School shared an image online today of the mountain of paperwork needed to play a game of 5 a side football and it is enough to make you cry. Who is reading this paperwork, and what benefit does the community get except for sales in filing cabinets and storage space? How much paperwork does FIFA have to fill in to kick a ball around? This is all nonsense.

I started working in a school during the pandemic and was told after a week or so that, oh yeah, I needed permission to travel there as an essential worker, as the area was considered a high risk zone.


As an essential worker, I would like to know and be told the essentials, don´t you think?


They didn´t mention that when I was applying for the job which was fine but to not mention it after I had already travelled ten times to area did not give me any comfort for the fact that the school was neighter providing me with the essential details that I needed nor that anyone was actually checking it.


I believe in America, teachers were writing wills before returning to school which is a form that I am sure someone will read on your deadbed but as for all the other forms filled in and stamped by an official when they get around to it, how many of these forms will benefit us and protect us from the pandemic?

I have to thank my GP for signing a note saying that I was in good health on my last visit but I also have to apologise for wasting his valuable time with such a redundant piece of rubbish.


Well maybe rubbish is not the right word as it was a PDF document and not a printed letter but how much confidential rubbish will we have to shred, burn and then shred the ashes as we pick up the pieces of tonnes of disposable gloves, disposable masks and tonnes of confidential papers that authorise NAME, ADDRESS, and TELEPHONE NUMBER to travel to school or work?


I don´t know the answer to this but I do know that I should send my GP a nice bottle of red wine for his troubles because unlike paperwork, a glass of wine is at least meant to be good for your health.



ONE OBVIOUS SOLUTION, WELL TREE

There is one obvious solution for all of this and that is to plant a tree in a memorial garden for every tragic victim of Covid 19. The numbers of people who have passed away since the start of 2020 is incredible and the environment has been put on the back burner as we failed to act when we had to.


Governments will pretend that they will act in time when the next crisis hits hoping that they are retired by the time that happens next but countries could start planting memorial trees today and give the planet a fresh pair of lungs to combat Climate Change while remembering those whose lungs couldn´t survive a deadly virus that was dismissed as being no worse than the common cold.



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© 2018 by Morgan Fagg.