Posted in: HeadlinesOp-ed
Published:
April 9, 2020 9:00 PM UTC

NHS Coronavirus Gag Orders Are Disgustingly Orwellian

NHS workers are putting their lives on the line every single day. And what's their reward? A draconian gag order on talking about coronavirus.
  • NHS workers on the frontline are putting their lives at risk in the fight against the coronavirus.
  • Meanwhile, they are being threatened with disciplinary action for speaking publically about their work.
  • These measures Orwellian, not to mention downright disgusting.

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service is facing perhaps its greatest challenge of our lifetimes. Coronavirus is putting a severe strain on medical supplies and available hospital beds, and Brits are voicing their support for the NHS like never before.

But there’s a dark side to this wave of patriotism. The very healthcare workers who are putting their lives on the line are being gagged by the NHS. Government bureaucrats are threatening healthcare workers with disciplinary action – and even sending them home – for speaking publicly about the fight with COVID-19.

At a time like this, these measures are uncannily Orwellian.

Gagging Workers Is Not a Good Look for the NHS

With the NHS stretched to capacity, it is a massive disservice to health workers that they are being gagged in this way. | Source: John Gomez/Shutterstock.com

There is a certain argument to be made for keeping the populace calm in a time of crisis. Certainly, horror stories could incite a certain level of panic. But a blanket ban on NHS workers speaking about conditions in coronavirus wards is just appalling.

What’s even worse are the threats awaiting these workers if they defy the NHS bureaucracy. Sending any healthcare worker home right now is just frankly unacceptable. While the health system in such dire straits, you can’t send people home for exercising their right to free speech.

If the government is so worried about social disorder, then they need to reconsider the party line. Nothing says “riots” more than trying to gag your frontline workers. Especially not when those who do speak out are exposing the government’s failure to supply adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Healthcare Workers Fighting Coronavirus Deserve Better

The strain that frontline NHS workers are under should not be understated. In a time when many people are holing up in their homes, these courageous workers are going out and working ridiculously long hours in dangerous conditions.

Every single day these workers are exposing themselves to the coronavirus. They’re doing this to try and save lives, all while putting their own at risk. And how do we repay them? By threatening them for speaking about the horrific conditions they’re forced to endure.

What has this country become over the past decade? We’ve gone from a country proud of our healthcare workers to one that would rather silence them than deal with the sobering reality of coronavirus’ impact on the hospital system.

I’ve never been more ashamed of the dunderheads running the NHS than I am right now.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

Last modified: April 9, 2020 8:25 PM UTC

William Worrall @mizushinzui

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Contact him at: william.worrall@ccn.com

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