Project Guilt and Fear How Governments Create Panic in the COVID-19 Era

The United Kingdom's Department of Health and Social Care has recently released a television advertisement as part of a program that is clearly designed to ramp up the fear and guilt that are associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here is the announcement of the government's new national campaign and the role that the television advertisement will play:

Here is further information on the campaign and the advertisement in particular:

"To support the message, an additional short film has been developed featuring one-on-one interviews with the hospital staff from Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital. and patients from both Basingstoke and St George’s hospital in London who feature in the new advertising campaign. Within the interviews you hear about the daily lives of these hospital staff and the impact COVID-19 has had on them and calls on the public to take the message seriously and stay at home to help stop the spread."

Here are quotes from key members of the U.K.'s COVID-19 government response team:

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock:

"The NHS is under intense pressure. They are relying on all of us to follow the rules.

I know how long the last few months have felt, and I know the vast majority of people are following the rules, but we have come too far to let up now.

Every day we are closer to beating this virus, and already over 5 million people across the UK have been vaccinated. But right now more than ever we need to stick together to protect our NHS and to keep saving lives.

The message couldn’t be clearer – stay at home."

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said:

"The impact of the current wave is still putting significant pressure on hospitals across the country and many patients are very sick.

Vaccines give clear hope for the future, but for now we must all continue to play our part in protecting the NHS and saving lives."

Now, let's look at how the Johnson government is going to further install fear.  According to the U.K government , the video features testimonials from National Health Service Staff and COVID-19 patients from the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, located to the southwest of London.  Here is the video in its entirety:

The advertisement was created by OmniGOV, a media/marketing agency that works in close conjunction with the U.K. government as part of Manning Gottlieb OMD.  The video will be accompanied by a print, digital and media campaign that looks like this:

Rather than focussing on obedience to government diktats, the new program will focusing on encouraging people to take personal responsibility for their actions and consider the impact of their behaviours on other human beings.

Interestingly and as further background, the United Kingdom government struck a £119 million deal with OMD in March 2020, just weeks before the first lockdown began, suggesting that the government was already had its draconian COVID-19 response plan in place and just needed a marketing firm to help them "market" it to the British public as shown here:

Scaremongering and guilt; the business model being used by governments around the world to deflect from their chronic neglect and underfunding of their health care and long-term systems.  Guilt and fear are marvellous incentives and governments have known and used the motivational impact of those emotions for untold centuries to get their own way.  For that matter, a real pandemic doesn't require governments to stir up fear.

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