The Corona Diaries – Day 131

Already 131 days in isolation and the WHO says that we might never get a vaccine or a cure. We might have to live with this forever!

That’s a bit daunting. Basically, it means that we have to learn to live with a variety of measures to reduce our risk for the rest of our lives. I don’t think I like that idea.

Meanwhile, we continue to blunder our way through with a series of mixed messages:

We are being encouraged to use vouchers to eat out and support our catering industry – but we are told that restaurants might have to close because of clusters of disease emanating from them.

Pubs have just opened but might be closed soon – Too much risk and too stupid people not distancing.

Schools will definitely open in September (didn’t we hear this before) but we still do not know how it can be done.

We can have six people mixing together in pubs but not homes.

They want us to go in to work and not work from home – but it unsafe to be indoors with strangers.

All seems a bit confusing!

So, the fall-out is continuing – firms closing and businesses going bust but they have got a new 90-minute test – that must surely help the test and trace??? But haven’t we heard this before – world-beating apps and testing? There is so much fake news, rumours and government cheerleading. It never comes to anything.

In the UK we still have too high levels – 771 new cases and 74 deaths.

In Europe, it looks to be taking off again! In the States, there were another 47,325 new cases and 452 deaths and in Brazil another 25,800 new cases and 541 deaths. Who’s going to win the prize for the most inept? My money’s on the States and Trump!

So today it is colder. I took the car in for a service, walked up my hill, worked on my book and played Led Zep really loud.

Another day eats dust! Stay Safe!!

Today’s Music to keep me NASE in Isolation – Led Zeppelin

Out of the ashes of the Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin exploded on the scene. At the time they were considered Heavy Metal but I think they were too complex for that label. They were a mixture of things.

My memory is that ‘Whole Lotta Love’ propelled them into a different orbit.

I’m not sure what it was about Zep that made them greatly different to the last incarnation of the Yardbirds. Page and Beck were amazing together.

I caught Zep right at the beginning at the Toby Jug when they’d broken in the States. It cost me all of 25p and I was able to see them right up close in a small club. They were very powerful!

So today I will play a bit of Zep to cheer me up!

https://www.google.co.uk/search?sxsrf=ALeKk00VOcWo9G_uKQrxtj9rQGEbwuKDuQ%3A1596460024027&ei=-AsoX56qAZaX8gLox5fwAw&q=youtube+led+zeppelin+kashmir&oq=youtube+led+zeppelin+&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQARgHMgQIIxAnMgIIADICCAAyAggAMgIIADICCAAyAggAMgIIADICCAAyAggAOgQIABBHOgYIABAWEB5QnT1YzFZgz3loAHACeAGAAd8BiAGrEpIBBjQuMTAuM5gBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXrAAQE&sclient=psy-ab

 

The Corona Diaries – Day 130

Today – another pleasant Summer day in Yorkshire.

I still have had no symptoms of Coronavirus, which is not surprising as we have been in isolation. We have been taking more risks lately – meeting up with friends and family in socially distanced walks and meals, going in shops, having a pint outside.

I went up the hill for my customary 10K walk. The devastation of the mowed habitat really annoys me. It does not matter that it is growing back. Countless seeds, fruits and insects were needlessly destroyed – food for the hedgehogs, butterflies, bees, birds and voles, habitat for the hares and stoats.

I was lifted out of my disgruntled state by a kestrel that hovered in the air just feet away from me. I stood and watched it. Magnificent.

Back home I did a bit of writing and played Tommy Tucker.

Here in the UK Johnson is still muddling through. The virus is on the increase – 880 new cases and a further 120 deaths. It looks to me as if opening pubs and restaurants was not a good idea. There is talk beginning about shutting them again.

Johnson is doing it again – making statements without facts, nor a practical way of putting them into effect. He says schools ‘will’ open in September, but has no idea how that can be carried out safely. Once again – a statement without consultation or foundation. How can schools socially distance? How many in a classroom? What about toilets and corridors? What happens if someone tests positive? What is the risk for staff? The questions are endless.

Meanwhile, the USA and Brazil set the standard for ineptitude and stupidity. With crashing economies, they will impact on us too. Then we have Brexit and the end of the furlough scheme. I’m expecting mass unemployment.

Is our track and trace system working? Are we ready for a second wave? Is the NHS funded for the winter flu onslaught?

The futures not looking rosy – stay safe! Things can only get better! We’ll have another election in four years time!

 

Today’s Music to Keep eM enAS in Lockdown – Tommy Tucker

The rumour was that Tommy Tucker died on a UK tour from eating a Wimpy Burger and getting food poisoning. Lol. Probably a bit of fake news put out by McDonalds or Burger King.

There were many R&B staples of the British Beat boom of the sixties and Tommy Tucker was one of them.

I wonder how many different bands played ‘Long Tall Shorty’  and Hi-Heeled Sneakers’? Absolute classics!

Today I’m going to be playing them too – but I’ll play the originals by Tommy Tucker:

 

Three Useless World Leaders in the Corona Crisis.

A casual glance at the statistics reveals what has worked and what hasn’t, who has been effective and who hasn’t.

There are my three candidates for most useless.

3. Boris Johnson – UK – 46,000 deaths

With 46,000 deaths (on a conservative estimate) the UK tops the European table.

Johnson ignored the Cygnus report, ignored what was happening in China and ignored the WHO. He was caught totally unprepared – no PPE, no chemical stockpile for testing, no plans or strategy.

He’s always been renowned for laziness, not reading reports or doing his homework, and it showed. He missed the first 5 COBRA meetings (couldn’t be asked).

All that was in his head was Brexit and power. He was complacent, slow to act, indecisive and dithered. His communication skills are lamentable. He hid away (or was kept away), made a balls-up of policies – shaking hands, face-masks, distancing and could not control his chief adviser Cummings. He, his adviser and father all made a mockery of the rules laid down by the government. It ended up with him contracting the disease and nearly dying, and the public not being clear on what they could or could not do and completely losing faith in his direction. If Cummings and his father could do what they liked with impunity then so could everyone else – The Barnard Castle effect.

A lamentable lack of leadership. He’s out of his depth. Hence the disease is taking off again.

Zero out of ten.

2. Jair Bolsonaro – Brazil – 93,616 deaths

Clearly does not give a damn about his people. He misinformed them, refused to lockdown, wanted them back at work and told them it was only ‘a minor flu’.

All he cared about was the economy and power.  He pandered to his base by continued with big rallies with no social distancing and is pushing fake remedies like hydroxychloroquine.

The result is 93,616 deaths (rising by over a thousand a day) and a wrecked economy. He now has the disease and I hope he finds out that it’s not ‘a minor flu’.

I’ll give him minus ten out of ten for his callous stupidity and sociopathic tendencies.

1. Donald Trump – USA – 157,000 deaths

A narcissistic sociopath who really doesn’t care about the health of his people. All that was on his mind was cash and re-election.

When he came into power he disbanded the pandemic institutions set up by Obama and withdrew funding from science projects.

He actively discredited scientists and experts and encouraged conspiracy theories and superstition.

He started off not only ignoring what was happening in China or Europe and the WHO warnings, but telling everyone it was a hoax, a democratic ploy and just flu that would go away.

He claimed he was on top of it and it was under control, told industry to open up and pooh-poohed social distancing and facemasks. The economy came first.

He tried deflecting blame on to others – the WHO and China, Europe and the Democrats. It was a Deep State conspiracy, a product of a Chinese Lab, everybody else’s fault.

He pushed fake news about cures such as Hydroxychloroquine and came out with stupidities about disinfectants, bleach and UV light.

His actions undermined the health message being put out by scientists resulting in a far bigger crisis than would otherwise have been the case.

His ignorance, bungling and outright lies have resulted in 4.7 million Americans becoming infected with 157,000 losing their lives (with 1200 a day being added to that death total) and an economy in ruin.

A truly lamentable lack of leadership. Easily the worst in the world.

I’ll give him minus fifty out of ten!

Corona Virus – A comparison table

Corona Virus – A comparison table

 

It certainly makes for interesting reading when you compare different countries. I know there are a number of caveats – the population size, health systems, timing etc. – But even so.

 

Country Total cases New cases Total deaths New deaths
New Zealand 1,565 2 22 0
Scotland 18,645 18 2,491 0
Germany 211,000 955 9,226 7
UK 304,000 880 46,193 120
Brazil 2,710,000 45,392 93,616 1,088
USA 4,710,000 60,817 157,000 1207

 

I know where I’d prefer to be living and which leader I’d like to have!

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!

The Corona Diaries – Day 128

Here we are in day 128 of lockdown!! Another beautiful day in Yorkshire. The sun shone all day long. It was a nice 25/26 degrees.

We went to the local beach – which, despite the day, was sparsely populated – very easy to keep at a distance. I did a good bit of reading. My present book is Stephen Hawking – Brief answers to Big Questions. It’s fascinating.

It takes my mind off the nonsense going on around us.

It looks to me as if we are heading for a surge. What with Dominic Cummings and Johnson’s father setting the tone, I think people have decided its every man for himself. Then with Johnson saying it’ll all be over by Christmas – what a joke!

The numbers of new cases are on the up – 763 new cases today and 83 deaths! They are getting very jittery. The relaxation of lockdown is on hold and they have introduced more stringent measures in the North of England.

In the States it’s going up again – 68543 new cases and 1231 deaths – and Trump still doesn’t seem to understand.

In Brazil it’s 57,837 new cases and another 1,129 deaths.

I don’t think these politicians care about people at all – yet they still retain some semblance of popularity! Unbelievable!

Well – after another lazy day – Keep safe everybody!!

Today’s Music to keep me sanEEEEEE in Isolation – the Fall.

The Fall were one of the few bands I really enjoyed going to see. They were brilliant live. They were still performing in small clubs which made it all superb, up-close and exciting. They never lost that. The riffs. The adventure.

Recently, at the last couple of gigs I attended, Mark E was acting strange. In Hull he went and sat behind the speakers so that you could only see the top of the back of his head. In York he disappeared into the dressing room at the back of the stage. I could just see him. He was spawled over the settee. He performed most of the gig from there.

I thought it was all part of the act. But then he went and died!

So few acts I can be bothered to go and see now. Probably half the venues will be closed anyway!

I so miss the Fall.

Today I’ll be reliving those gigs in my head as I play the Fall!!