I believe the real purpose of masks is social control

For many months the evidence has shown that the most likely places to catch Covid are care homes, hospitals and private homes, but opinion polls show a widespread fantasy that the real dangers are from international travel, pubs and restaurants.

The Government’s least rational restrictions have played up to these unfounded prejudices, of course.

The closure of Covid-secure restaurants last autumn came shortly after the Sage advisers published advice that doing so would be unlikely to make much difference.

Similarly, making people jump through endless hoops and take multiple expensive tests if they want to fly to a safe and sunny country for a week or two by the sea must make those who don’t study the evidence believe that going to Majorca is a pretty risky business.

The trouble with Stockholm Syndrome is that the greater the control to which people are subjected, the greater the dependence people develop.

The line between coercion and care becomes blurred, the hostage starts to see the man with the AK-47 who holds him in a cell not as a jailer but as a protector.