Sign of things to come…

The early blooms are starting to fade in the garden at the moment.  However, this has not stopped the pollen count to be high which in turn has aggravated my asthma so as I sit here I have sore eyes and my inhaler at hand all the time.  I’ve been here before but it doesn’t stop it being right pain in the arse.  Should any of you wonder whether this is the first signs of Corvid-19 I would point out that I have no fever and I have been in self imposed isolation for over 4 weeks now due to a leg injury prior to the government mandate self isolation.

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Nobody Knows….

A week or so ago I wrote about self appointed experts and their “we should be doing things my way” approach to this Corvid 19 crises.  They know best and by implications everyone else, especially the Government, doesn’t.  Well if I had hoped things would calm down then it is yet more proof as to what a fool I am.  Of course it hasn’t and now that we are all supposed to be in some form of lock down we are starting to hear the cry of the “treatment being worse than the illness” or words to that effect.

This is just as bonkers as the other form of so called expertise because all these views assume they know what the mortality rate is for this disease and they are placing a disgusting monetary value on people’s life.   Now I know decisions along these lines are made all the time in a war situation but not where placing greater importance on Pounds, Shillings and Pence (Yes I am that old) rather than ordering some people over the top in hope to save countless more people.

Yes the economy is vitally important but only as subservient to human life.  This is one of the reasons why we have a free at the point of use health service so that people don’t have to weigh up whether they can afford to be treated or not.  Of course I suspect some of the people who are putting this argument forward might prefer we don’t have the health service we have at the moment but that is a whole other argument.

When will people just accept that we just don’t know how this is going work out.   Not one country has worked out the best way forward.   We appear to have some sure signs as to  how not to deal with this disease  but even this is far from clear.   If you think I am talking out of my arse then I suggest you listen to the latest 538 podcast on all the uncertainties that surround the whole issue of Corvid-19.  Perhaps one of the most chilling uncertainties is that we don’t even know  how many deaths have been caused by the virus because of different counting practices around the world.   If we don’t know these basic things how on earth do those of us who are not fully briefed on the best evidence think we can second guess the decisions that have been made?

I know that last sentence sound like I am giving the government a blank cheque to do anything they think fit, however bonkers, but it really isn’t.   The Boris Johnson government has made huge errors along the way and these need to be pointed out and they need to be questioned about these things.   However, to think that we know better when we most likely don’t is just self serving nonsense.

Perhaps my frustration about this all is best summed up in  Matthew Seyd’s article in today’s paper:

I challenge the online ‘experts’ so critical of No 10 on coronavirus: tell us, has Sweden got it right or wrong?

And of course the answer is – nobody knows.  Perhaps they have but equally perhaps they haven’t?

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Walk on the wildside…

 

No lockdown restrictions were broken in the making of these images…For just a few minutes today it was nice to forget all about Corona this or Corvid that.

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When will all this end?…..

The one question that is on everyone’s mind, apart from those who have loved ones sick in hospital or worse is  ‘When will all the restrictions placed on our lives end? ‘ Surprisingly, there is a simple answer to that – when we have a vaccine that works.  There is some astonishing good news on that front – it might be only one year away.   This is a mammoth feat of scientific endeavour and someone or group are going to be showered with awards.

Unfortunately for most people a year is an eternity, especially if you have lost your job/business in the meantime.  For those of us who don’t fit into that category it still seems a very long time but this is the unspoken truth.  This virus kills – here in Britain 500 plus people yesterday and that is expected to get worse until the lockdown starts to have an affect and I suspect that figure will have a very sobering influence on people’s behaviour.

Today it is reported that Lord King, he who somehow missed the the looming financial crises when he was governor of the Bank of England, is reported as saying that if the restrictions continue for too long then there will be widespread rebellion, especially amongst the young.   Now you can take that any which way you like but  my feeling is that this somewhat overstated because I feel people will see the death toll numbers and realise there is no other way.   Yes, there will be some who say‘Fuck this I’m off out!’ but the problem is out where?   Most if not all pubs/clubs will be closed and what will it all achieve other than increase the likelihood that they will catch the virus?

This is the new world in which we may well be entering.  In the past these crises usually effected one strata of society more than others and that was usually in direct proportion to your financial situation.   This is not the case here (remember that the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister have been infected).  This virus has only one requirement – a host to help it reproduce and hopefully not die whilst it is doing that.   In this new world we will have to start thinking differently and we will have start to behave differently either because we have chosen to or options, such as flying to Prague for a stag do, will no longer be open to us.   Thinking things will be the same has somewhat missed the point – they won’t and we will just have adapt to the new circumstances.

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Watch the Lighting…

Westworld season three is shaping up to being a real humdinger.  Mostly, in my view, they have been right on the button.  However, the third episode was less successful mainly for the reason that it was a getting us from here to there and filling in a lot of back story.  It was important but at times I did feel my attention drifting.  The final scene is pivotal in establishing the relationship between two of the main characters in season three and was shot on a pier stretching out into the sea and unfortunately the videography nerd in my went bonkers.  It seems that even with HBO money behind them they couldn’t sort out the lighting on the shots on the pier:  Sometimes they were shooting at dusk sometimes earlier in the day.  All of these shots were supposed to be continuous but the lighting was all over the place.  I have no idea why that was – perhaps they only had the pier for one night?  For whatever reason the cinematographer on that episode cocked things up.

In the end did it spoil matters?  Not really but you would have thought they could have tried a bit harder to match the lighting in each of the shots.

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Contrails….

 

I was having a conversation with my son the other day and I explained just how clear the skies are now that Heathrow is all but closed.   He couldn’t quite believe that the megahub would have such an impact on people living some 150km from the airport but it does (did?).   Everyday overhead tens of thousand of people would pass not really paying any attention to what was happening below more concerned with what to watch or whether they should have a second drink so soon after takeoff?

Of course it wasn’t just aircraft from Heathrow but also those approaching Birmingham airport that would pepper the skies from time to time.  You could always tell the difference as they were much lower and heading in a westerly direction as opposed to the north and eventually the bright lights of New York or the west coast.  It wasn’t just planes from  British airports that filled the skies of course. There were also flights from mainland Europe. You could tell the difference as they were on a different heading to the Heathrow.

It would all start just after six every day as the first flights once more made their way into the wide blue yonder leaving their ephemeral contrails behind them …But no more.

Well they return?  In some shape and form I am sure but I am less convinced of the numbers after what we are going through right now.   How many people will want to be stuck in a tightly packed tube for several hours with other people coughing and spluttering just so they can go and sit on a beach somewhere?  Or is that business trip really worthwhile given that you have been able to achieve just as much by Skype or Zoom or whatever video conferencing software used?  Then of course there is the whole question of just how badly all those contrails are wrecking the environment – is that trip really worth all of that?

Will they return to our skies once more?  Of course but I suspect in nothing like the numbers now and perhaps, just perhaps, the world might be a little better for that.

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Passing the Time of Day…

We all have to find ways of making the most of this enforced isolation.  For me it has given me time to catch up with some in depth historical research – at the moment I am looking at the distribution of Roman settlements in south west Leicestershire.  Niche, I know, but the world would be a boring place if we were all the same.

After a while, however, I’ve had enough and so revert to a quick sketch or two just to relieve the burden on the right (or is that the left?  Not sure) side of brain.

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