The Corona Diaries – Day 129

Talk about mixed messages!! Today they ended shielding for millions, who can now go out, shop, go back to work and meet people – at the same time they are increasing lockdown and talking about a second wave.

I don’t think anybody really knows what we are meant to be doing.

We are definitely not going for eradication (I don’t think they are capable). We’re looking to contain it and keep the numbers down. So no normality for a long time to come – the chief medical officer was talking ‘years’.

The new cases are creeping up – another 846 yesterday, but the death rate is still low – just 34. This seems to be because the new cases are mainly young people who are not having such bad effects. The worry is that, by mixing more in groups, they are spreading the disease and acting as a reservoir of contagion.

I think there was bound to be an increase as soon as they opened pubs and restaurants with people meeting indoors. They are now talking about a tit-for-tat of risk with pubs shutting so that schools can open.

The hot weather has sent people cascading to the beaches – like the South of France on steroids! No room for social distancing!

The new lockdown has sure messed up Eid for the Muslims in the North. Maybe the thought of families packing together is what sparked the crackdown?

An interesting fact I noticed is that Spain is looking for possible new outbreaks by sampling the sewers.

Abroad – India records a record number of new cases. The USA still has 66,364 cases and 1323 deaths. Brazil has 52,383 new cases and 1212 deaths.  Same as ever – populist mismanagement rules (and kills).

So today – the sun shone (in patches) and we went for a long 15K walk along the canal – with the ducklings and trout. We had a pint in a beer garden and watched the swifts careering around, playing at aerobatics. They were shrieking with delight.

Now I’m off to watch the football!

Stay safe everyone! Don’t forget your face mask!

4 thoughts on “The Corona Diaries – Day 129

  1. If I may use Jeff Michka language for a moment, opher sez: I don’t think anybody really knows what we are meant to be doing. Translated into my language: no-one in the government knows right from wrong.

    And yes, the talk of it going on for ‘years.’ Remember how long the lockdown was supposed to be for, initially? Three weeks, wasn’t it? I know that wartime rationing didn’t end for a full eight years after VE Day. How? Because my mother’s papers included a ration book in my name. Why didn’t the bureaucrats end it earlier? Because they had no incentive to.

    I’ve only been to a pub once since they re-opened. It wasn’t worth the effort. I hate that hand sanitizer glop, and I was blocked off from going to the loo to wash it off.

    As for Eid, I thought it already happened this year: in April or May?

    I’m a bit hobbled due to a left heel strain that has taken almost two weeks to heal, and still isn’t quite there. So, no big walks at the moment. Oh, and I’m a conscientious objector to face masks. As are all the staff at my local Sainsbury’s, and most at the Co-op too.

    And no, I don’t agree with “stay safe.” For me, the right message is “stay sane.”

    1. What do you mean ‘stay sane’? Too late Neil – Lol.
      I can sympathise with the heel strain. I’ve just recovered from a calf strain. Really frustrating.
      But face masks – a no-brainer. They are not much good for the wearer but they do catch droplets from the wearer which is good for everyone else. It depends on how altruistic you are!
      The pub today was good – we drank outside and the weather was nice. I won’t drink inside until they’re on top of it. Aerosol seems to be the big transmitter of virus – 15 mins in an enclosed space!

      1. Actually Opher, what I’ve heard from some fairly serious medical sources is that, if you don’t wear a mask properly, it can actually produce a worse effect than not wearing one at all. If some of the virus gets trapped inside the mask, that’s all well and good the first time. But if you take off the mask then put it on again, the virus can get on to the edge of it – meaning you’ve lost the protection – or even on to the outside, which is worse because now you’re actually blowing virus at people every time you breathe! I’ve been watching people wandering around the district with already-used masks suspended from their ears! Idiots.

        You’re surely right about the mixed messages, though. As I see it, now ought to be the time to open up, encourage the young people (very few of whom are going to die from it) to get it, and go for herd immunity and get rid of the thing for good. But no, they’re locking down in just the situation they should open up! And relaxing things for the most vulnerable is dumb too, because when everyone is first out and about again is the most dangerous time for them since the start of the whole thing. The cynic in me suggests that (a) they lock down for no better reason than they like locking people down, and (b) they want vulnerable people to catch it, so if they die they won’t be a drain on the state finances any more.

        Oh, and another cynical thought. I wonder what Extinction Rebellion will say when they come to understand that we need to exterminate this damned thing in order to get back to any kind of normal life?

      2. Neil – it is true that masks need to fit properly and be disposed off/washed regularly. Handling an infected mask and touching things can pass on the infection. But the evidence from Asia with SARS and MERS is that they are effective at reducing contamination. Even a poorly fitted one greatly reduces aerosol and droplets.
        You don’t wear it for ourselves. We wear them for others. They work.

        There is some doubt as to whether herd immunity can ever be achieved. The antibodies for this virus are not long-lasting – maybe providing protection for as little as a few months. That throws the whole idea of vaccination into the air. We’d all have to be vaccinated every three months.

        Lockdowns are the only way to control the spread. Social distancing, washing and facemasks are a means of reducing spread – but not totally effective.
        I would agree that it might have been a good idea to just lockdown those who are most vulnerable and allow the young and healthy to get it. They are unlikely to get very ill (though some do die). But, as I said above, herd immunity might not be possible.
        I don’t think the government really sought to rid themselves of the old and infirm; I think they were just incompetent.
        I also don’t think Extinction Rebellion is opposed to wiping out lethal viruses. They are concerned with maintaining a healthy biosphere and looking after the planet.

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