The Government dismiss all Covid measures on the grounds that they are against restriction and lockdown.
But there is so much we can - must - do to limit infections without restricting people.
Accordingly, here is the @IndependentSage new 'inform, protect, support' strategy.
INFORM:
How can we expect people to stay safe if Government isn't even prepared to acknowledge that Omicron remains a threat and if they aren't clear about the nature of the threat - and how can we expect people to act to keep each other safe if they make it all about me, not us?
PROTECT:
Vaccines are crucial to protection, as is testing (to ensure no-one is infectious when we meet). But how about ensuring everyone has access to effective masks, allowing people to avoid unnecessary contacts and making sure that the environments in which we meet are safe?
SUPPORT:
It is no good telling people to do things unless you ensure that everyone has the resources to do them: the resources to self-isolate, the means to stay connected and study when at home, and also the resources for businesses to make their premises safe and stay afloat.
So there you have it. Simple, practical measures.
Nothing to do with restricting us.
Everything to do with designing a world in which all can participate safely.
From the empty rhetoric of 'freedom' without the means.
To real equal choice.

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More from @ReicherStephen

10 Jan
I saw West Side Story last night.
How can one not love a film with the immortal lines
Life is alright in America/
If you're all white in America
Which, of course, is both profoundly true and profoundly false - and that tension is the at the core of the film and American life
It is true in that the US is a profoundly racist society,
Black people earn 25% less than whites, are twice as likely to be unemployed; black women are four times as likely to die from pregnancy; in New York, 88% of police stops are of black/Latinx people.
The list is endless.
And let's not be complacent about this. A report over the weekend (voice-online.co.uk/news/uk-news/2…) showed that 75% of black workers are paid less than whites doing the same job. A shameful reminder that the problem is not just 'over there', it is 'over here as well.
Read 7 tweets
8 Jan
President Macron might do well to learn a lesson from the most famous psychology study of all time.
Milgram's 'obedience studies' are often recalled as showing that people obey orders, no matter how extreme.
Actually they show the precise opposite.
theguardian.com/world/2022/jan…
Every single time that people were told 'you have no alternative, you must continue (doing what an authority tells you to do)' they stop.
They assert their autonomy. They insist they do how choice. They refuse to do as they are instructed.
And the same with vaccination. Once you coerce, you rupture any relationship of trust you might have had with those harbouring doubts.
You lose all influence and invoke resistance.
You give credibility to the claims of anti-vaxxers 'vaccines are about control'.
Read 5 tweets
8 Jan
It's not just that 'you are wonderful' is at odds with not providing support.
'You are wonderful' is one of the many tropes Government is using to justify lack of support.
The message is 'you can do it yourselves, so don't expect anything from us'.

theguardian.com/education/2022…
And this explains a telling change in Government rhetoric. For a long time they blamed and threatened the public for non-compliance: young people were told off for 'killing their grannies', infection spread was down to 'covidiots'.
But more recently the stress has been on how wonderful the public has been and how we have all been doing so well in exercising responsibility. This then is used to argue that nothing else is needed and hence to justify Government inaction.
Read 7 tweets
5 Jan
If you want to know what's wrong with the idea of masses as 'mad' or in a state of psychosis, read this paper from 1985 with @JonathanPotter6 - journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.117…
In effect, these theories reflect the incomprehension of outsiders rather than help us comprehend mass action.
We call this 'perspective bias'. Those who are outside the crowd, who lack access to the meanings that drive crowd behaviour, thereby cannot understand what crowds do and don't do. The actions appear random, chaotic, meaningless.
David Smith's wonderful paper on the Tonypandy riot of 1910 - jstor.org/stable/pdf/650… - likens crowd action to a language. For insiders there is pattern and meaning. But to outsiders who don't know the language, it can appear like a meaningless babble of noise. Image
Read 10 tweets
4 Jan
Listening live to the PM, yet again he deflects all questions about more measures by reframing them as 'restrictions' and rejecting them due to the costs.
Restrictions, lockdown. That's all he says.
But what about the protections and the support??
In terms of protection:
What about improved ventilation/air filtration in schools and elsewhere?
What about provision of effective masks in healthcare and elsewhere?
In terms of support:
What about wrap around support for self isolation?
What about adequate sick pay for all?
What about digital connectivity for all so even if physically isolated people can stay socially connected?
Read 6 tweets
4 Jan
The notion of 'mass formation psychosis' is ideology not science. It arises out of mass society theories which developed alongside industrialisation in the 19th century. At last ordinary people began to have a voice and to challenge elites - and the elites didn't like it.
They responded by trying to pathologise the masses, claiming that they were mindless, and that their challenge was not rooted in alternative ideas about how society should be organised but in a lack of any ideas. In short, mass society theory was a means of silencing the masses.
All this is brilliantly documented in Salvator Giner's classic 1976 book 'Mass Society' which hugely influenced me when I started work on crowd psychology in 1978. I cannot recommend the book highly enough.
Read 15 tweets

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