The Corona Diaries – Day 202

it was a bit gloomier today with a light drizzle in the air but that didn’t stop me from taking my daily walk. I’m getting Corona Virus fit!!

Back home, once again I’m working on my Roy Harper book and playing some Peter Gabriel.

In Coronaland we are waiting for Johnson to tell us about his next world-beating strategy to tame the beast of Covid. I can’t wait. I think the message is going to be to build a wall across England just south of Birmingham. Everyone north of the wall can die and anyone in the South who get the disease can be tossed over the wall into the North. That’ll work – ground-breaking, world-beating and super-sonic. Building the wall will provide work and stimulate the economy!!

There is a big debate to be had concerning Covid-19 and strategies.

there are suggestions that – surprise surprise – we’ve been following the wrong strategy.

Paul Weston argues the case for completely opening up the economy for all those below the age of 60.

On the face of it that sounds quite reasonable. The suggestion is that those under the age of 60, with no pre-existing conditions, have negligible risk. So we could just isolate those with risks and allow the disease to spread in order to build up herd immunity and allow the disease to die out. That way we would not damage the economy

Sounds reasonable but we would have to have a lot of other questions answered before considering such a strategy.

What precisely constitutes a vulnerable person? What diseases make one vulnerable? What level of these diseases?

How can these vulnerable people be protectively isolated while all those around are infected? Is it possible to isolate them sufficiently?

What would be the effect on people isolated in such a way? Psychologically? Emotionally?

What number of people in the under 60s group would suffer severe symptoms requiring hospital treatment? Would it be enough to overwhelm the NHS?

What number of people would suffer ‘Long Covid’ or permanent damage to organs? And what would that damage be?

What about children and Kawasaki syndrome? What numbers might we be talking about?

We probably do have sufficient knowledge and data to answer these questions but I see no signs of a debate.

I just listened to the Prime Minister give his prepared script and avoid answering the questions – as usual.

I like the tiered systems. I want more details on what numbers trigger them. I want scientific info on why these measures and not others. I want the PM to explain things clearly. I want discussion with local leaders on what would be effective. I would like to see better support for those people who can no longer work – the musicians, clubs, promoters, suppliers, hospitality etc.

At present I seem to have more questions than answers. I’ve been in this artificial lifestyle for 202 days now. I would love some normality, to see friends and family, share a drink, have a laugh, go to the cinema, theatre and a gig or two. This abnormality has become the new normal and it is sapping my energy!!

Enough – I’m going back to writing my book.

Stay safe everyone!!

17 thoughts on “The Corona Diaries – Day 202

  1. Opher, Maybe you could put a shout out to encourage your followers to brave the virus and go out and support their local pubs. Last Friday I went to my favourite pub and what a disappointing sight it was.

    This pub brews its own range of the most delicious beers and normally, Friday nights would be packed with drinkers and eaters but last Friday the place was half empty. The landlord told me that the takings for the evening would not cover the staff wages. So unless we are prepared to lose these delightful places, we need to go out and eat and drink and enjoy them as we used to.

  2. Opher, you’re asking for politicians to be honest, and to treat people reasonably. Whereas their stock-in-trade is to lie, evade responsibility and treat people like shit. You’re not going to get very far with that kind of argument! ๐Ÿ™‚

    But I’d be very careful about the “open-things-up-to-over-60s” stuff. The idea that some bureaucrat (or even some doctor) should be able to allow or prevent people doing things, on the mere basis of some arbitrary measurement compared with some arbitrary line, is anathema. How would you feel, if you were banned from going on your daily walks on “grounds” such as “you can’t meet the minimum average speed to be a fit person, so you must stay home?” The only rights-respecting way to deal with risk in a situation like this, is to give people the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and let them make their own decisions.

    You’re asking some good questions, though. Which the political class would never even dare try to answer.

    1. I agree – we need the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – and we’re far from getting that from this lying bunch of Tories.
      I don’t quite share your cynicism towards ‘all’ politicians. Some do care. Some have morality. Some have the best interests of people at heart. You tar them all with the same brush.
      I’m not sure I’m saying that the vulnerable should be made to do anything. That’s largely up to them. But I’d, once the questions were answered, like to suggest a system that might work – keep the vulnerable safe – provide them with income and support for the shortish duration – while the economy and younger people get back to normal, catch the disease and provide herd immunity.
      The proviso being that it depends on the answers to those questions. If too many of the younger generations need hospital care then it’s a non-starter.

      1. Hey Opher, how you doing?

        Just a quick line….talking of developing herd immunity, this from Ghebreyesus, WHO chief:

        โ€œHerd immunity is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached,โ€ Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a virtual press briefing.’ (1)

        I agree with his ethical perspective. Herd immunity should be acquired by deployment of a vaccine.

        Regards the new 3-Tier system – let’s be honest, BoJo has lost control, Covid is ripping through the population, so it is now about restricting transmission – I’d rather the government followed the scientific advice from SAGE and imposed a series of two-week circuit-breakers – evidencing their decision with non-disputable facts – whilst operating in full agreement with regional politicians, healthcare authorities, mayors and council leaders. Serco Test and Trace should be devolved to local authorities and managed at the regional level, adequately funded by central government. Greater powers must be given to local authorities so as to permit them to operate within broad government guidelines so that a range of measures appropriate for the region can be implemented. Harding is superfluous.

        In the commons today, Hancock defending the government’s 10pm curfew on pubs suggested that as a matter of policy, the government has decided to put limits on hospitality to protect education: schools, universities and shops will stay open.

        DN

        (1) – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/12/who-chief-says-herd-immunity-approach-to-pandemic-unethical

      2. I think there is going to be a few interesting debates.
        Covid-19 is rather a strange illness, isn’t it? The way it seems to focus on the old and vulnerable.
        I certainly would like to see the answers to a number of questions but this shower are less than transparent.
        Yes, I agree we should have done a circuit break! But when do they ever do anything sensible?

      3. Transparency in government’s reasoning, in presentation of facts, and in decision-making are key to maintaining public confidence. That the U.K government has consistently lied, deceived, and obfuscated, (and continues to defend their shambolic response) does not instill public trust or public compliance. Trust in the government’s response went out the window when Cummings and Jenrick broke the rules and Serco’s T & T failed. Whether regional authorities can regain public trust remains to be seen, but I think they are better placed to react, to implement policy, and take control in responding locally to the mitigation of Covid.

        That government rejected SAGE advice to implement short circuit-breaker lock-downs suggests that their priority is now attending to a tanked economy and mitigating the effects of a global recession. As someone said dryly to me the other day, it’s likely in the near future ‘that lock-down restrictions will be eased in any environment where there is a till to take people’s money.’ It is the Tory way.

        It is true to say Covid-19 has effected the poor, the vulnerable, the elderly, BAME individuals and those with underlying health conditions more so than other groups of people.

        ‘But when do they ever do anything sensible?’ – If the nation didn’t want idiots in government, then they shouldn’t have voted for idiots; we are, as Stephen Reicher – professor of psychology at the University of St Andrews – ‘saddled with a woeful lack of leadership’ (1)

        DN

        (1) – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/13/johnson-ignored-science-second-wave-sage-advice

      4. Well he’s disappeared again hasn’t he? Why anybody thought this shambolic, lazy idiot was a leader is beyond me. The only leadership I can see him doing is to lead the parade around a circus ring with a red ping-pong ball on his nose, a frizzy red wig and trousers twenty times too big!

  3. To be fair, some politicians are indeed less bad than others. Remember David Davis’s stand against 42-day detention without trial? But they are a minority. In the Tory party, I used to guess there were about a dozen; maybe 30 at the most. In the Labour party, before the last election there were Kate Hoey and Graham Stringer, but now Kate Hoey is gone. But if you take the average of the politicians of each party, it’s pretty damn awful.

    But beyond that, you and I are in severe danger of agreeing again!

    1. Neil – the Tory Party was put together by the establishment to look after the interests of the establishment. That’s is what they have been doing.
      The Labour party was put together by the people to fight the establishment. Yes they have been taken over by the establishment but that’s the only way they can get elected. The media drip-feeds a steady stream of lies and spin.
      I am surprised you endorse any Tories and don’t support Labour.

      1. Well, Opher, the Labour party have indeed been taken over by the establishment. (Actually, I think it was almost the other way round; in the 1960s, the trade unions all but became the establishment). That’s why I can’t have any truck with them. And on top of that, of course, Blair and Brown cynically ruined my career.

I'd like to hear from you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.