The Corona Diaries – Day 290

Wow!! 290 days of this strange isolation, of a new normality, a routine that is becoming the norm. No friends, family or entertainment! It’s getting tedious!

We’ve decorated. I’ve written and written. I’ve walked 5+ miles a day. I’ve read. I’ve watched more box sets of dramas than I can remember – 45 series of Spooks – 500 series of Bosch, I’ve killed Eve, been destroyed, been on the bridge and spiralled out of control. I seem to have picked up Swedish, French and German on the way. I can’t even remember what I’ve watched anymore.

Today we went for an afternoon walk along the beach at Bridlington to Fraisthorpe. It was pleasant and bracing – ie. bloody cold!

Out in Coronaland the madness gets out of order. Trump has gone completely nuts. Not only does he still put out lies about fraudulent votes and claim the election was stolen, he now incites his supporters to storm the Capitol.

But where were the police and guards? Why wasn’t this rally, that Trump had been promoting for days, not properly policed? Trump said they were going to contest the election and it was going to be wild. They turned up in armour and helmets for a fight. Where was the security?

This mob knew exactly what they were doing. They brought ropes and scaled the walls. They had mace and weapons. They smashed their way in and ransacked the place. To think that a President actually condoned and incited this behaviour.

He needs impeaching fast – if for no other reason that to stop him running again.

Well, I suppose it made a change from watching dramas.

The tragedy is that as this was happening the death toll for the day was nearly 4000! Did Trump care?? Not a bit. Was the mob socially distanced? I don’t think so.

This is the table of shame:

CountryNew cases yesterdayDeaths yesterday
USA255,7283,914
UK62,3221,014
Brazil63,4301,212
New Zealand20
Vietnam10

It shows quite clearly where the problem is – three populist leaders trying to be macho and making a complete balls-up of the whole thing!

In the UK our hospitals are full to overflowing and deaths running at over a 1000 a day. 50% of patients in hospital have covid. The only bright bit of news is that the vaccine is out to GPs. At least they are not trying to use their cronies on this one. They’ve failed on everything else from PPE to apps and track and trace. Now, at last, we’ve got the professionals involved.

Stay safe everyone. Resist coups. Keep the fascists down! The end is nigh!

Today’s Music to keep me SssSAaaaANNnnNEEEe in Isolation – Little Richard – Here’s Little Richard

I discovered Little Richard when I was thirteen. It was a revelation. Such power. He blew everything away. I bought Here’s Little Richard and played it to death.

I remember at a school fete taking my record player in and becoming a jukebox. For a few pence I played tracks off Here’s Little Richard all afternoon. I had a great time.

Little Richard – Here’s Little Richard – Full Album (Vintage Music Songs) – YouTube

The Corona Diaries – Day 287

A bit of a mixed day today. I walked up my hill in the sunshine and then was rained on! Never mind! I’ve hardly got wet this year. Have to expect some sometime!

Back home I’ve been editing and playing some Bob Marley – great stuff.

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland we await the announcement from our invisible clown – actually he’s a cross between a clown and a scarecrow!

Nicola Sturgeon was on the radio a while ago – clearly laying down the action that Scotland were going to take. I said to Liz that it would be nice to have someone who was clear, concise and knowledgeable instead of a bumbling, dithering nincompoop.

There are two big things that we have learnt from this Coronavirus pandemic:

  1. That female leaders do much better than macho male leaders. The countries doing better are mainly led by women – such as Jacinda Ardern. The countries that have been a disaster have been run by arrogant macho males – Trump, Bolsonaro and Johnson.
  2. The really important people in our society are not the CEO’s, bankers chief executives; they are the cleaners, carers, drivers, shelf stackers, nurses, doctors, teachers and other key workers.

I think that should make us think. It should make us act differently.

Perhaps we need to stop electing these arrogant narcissists. They are hopeless and self-serving.

Perhaps we need to stop rewarding some people enormously while keeping others, whose contributions are enormous, on minimum wages – wages so low that it is difficult to live on!

‘Mr Trump – what measures do you think you need to bring in to curb the virus? Two to three thousand Americans are dying every day and there were another 201,980 cases yesterday. Do you need to take more stringent action?’

‘Don’t interrupt me with stupid questions when I’m trying to take a difficult putt!’

‘Mr Bolsonaro, it isn’t such a ‘little flu’ is it? It’s now killed 196,000 Brazilians. Do you regret pretending it wasn’t lethal?’

‘Don’t interrupt me when I’m signing documents to open up mining and ranching in the rainforest!’

‘Mr Johnson, with another 54,990 cases yesterday, 454 more deaths and our hospitals not coping with the influx of severe cases, are we going to have to shut schools? Put the country into lockdown? Have you lost control of the virus?

‘Arf, ugh, golly. We urgh. We jolly well have to some, er, er, arf, bulldog spirit! Right! Arf arf.’

The country is in good hands! They are managing the virus, sorting Brexit and rolling out the vaccine!!

Heaven help us all! The circus is in charge! The clown has taken over as ringmaster! The ERG are not really a bunch of nationalist Nazis.

Stay safe!!

Today’s Music to keep me SsSsAaANNnneEee in Isolation – Bob Marley – Rastaman Vibration.

Stewart reminded me of this gem of an album. ‘War’ must be one of the best tracks ever. I’ll enjoy listening to this! Are you picking up now??

Bob Marley – Rastaman Vibration 1976 Full Album – YouTube

The Corona Diaries – Day 286

A cold but dry day in Yorkshire. I took my walk in the afternoon and spent the morning reading. With short cold days there isn’t much to do. Phoning friends and family is not the same as seeing them. You can’t beat a bunch of friends, a bottle or two of wine and a good natter.

I played some Tinariwen to cheer myself up. The rhythms they generate are exceptional. I think I could get lost in the Touareg Desert Blues.

Out in Coronaland there is the usual chaos.

You put one school in

You take one school out.

In. Out. In. Out

And shake it all about

You do the dither dither

And you turn around!

That’s what it’s all about!

Oh Tory Tory dither

Oh Tory Tory dither

In. Out. In. Out

Rah Rah Rah!!

But the exams will go ahead – or won’t they?? Yes. No. Yes. No.

As our cases soar to 57,724 new ones yesterday with 445 deaths we find that we’re even worse than Brazil – and that takes some doing!

What I would like is to be addressed by a competent leader who explains what is going on, the criteria they are applying – what numbers and factors indicate what sort of tier and lockdown – and what is going on. Our invisible clown seems incapable of doing that. He’s great at standing on soap boxes telling us how great things are going to be with world-beating apps, world-beating moonshots, world-beating track and trace, that it’ll all be over by Christmas and Brexit will take us straight to heaven. Unfortunately it’s all guff. He can’t deliver any of it. It’s all wind.

There seems to be arbitrary reasons for various tiers. Whether it’s track and trace, testing, or PPE – it’s all rubbish.

The only thing we are beating the world on is the number of deaths and damage to the economy!

These same jerks are the ones in charge of rolling out the vaccine!!! We’ve no hope!!

We’ve got the Christmas and New Year surge to look forward to! Hospitals might collapse! bulging at the seams, floors giving way, spewing patients and whatever doctors and nurses are left. Every man, woman and child for themselves!!

Even the US dumped Trump. Not surprising really – another 291384 new cases yesterday and 2373 deaths and he’s still out there playing golf and moaning.

The world is run by alien lizards. It is flat. They eat babies. There is no global warming. Concrete is good. Who needs plants and animals. We never landed on the moon and covid-19 is a hoax. Bill Gates is injecting us with microchips and Elvis is alive and well.

What a world we live in.

Meanwhile there are no deaths again in New Zealand and Vietnam.

So as we turn to face the beast from the east and a freezing spell of cold weather, Johnson and the Bullingdon boys contemplate a strict lockdown – or is it to come out of lockdown? The effects of Brexit job losses, red tape, restrictions, loss of freedoms and price rises will start to become apparent – and we stumble into the new year!!

Stay safe!! The end is nigh!!

PS – I still haven’t got covid!

The Corona Diaries – Day 285

I was back up to walking up my hill today for my consecutive 5 mile+ walk. It was brisk and cold but it didn’t rain! It’s good walking in the winter air but I much prefer warmth!

Back home I have been editing and playing Nick Harper’s first album. A great little album.

The rumour is that having failed to secure Jacinda Ardern to take over as PM we’ve been casting around. Unfortunately The Marx Brothers are all dead and the Goons are no more so they are approaching the surviving members of Monty Python. Eric Idle would make a great PM and John Cleese could be put in charge of schools. Michael Palin is the obvious man for the Foreign Office.

The increase in competence would prove astounding.

As we start the new year our hospitals are near to collapse. The new strain is affecting young people much more and is far more contagious. People are asking why the Nightingale hospitals are not being used. The answer is glaringly obvious – there are no staff!

We’ve had eleven years of Tory rule. The NHS was cut to the bone. The poor pay and inability to recruit from abroad created big staff shortages prior to the pandemic. The hostile environment, ironically run by the very English Priti Patel, has driven away thousands of highly able nurses and doctors. Add to that the deaths in the NHS and those who are sick or isolating and we have a crisis. Those who are left are out on their feet – coping on a daily basis with death and severely ill people.

Great planning guys – bring on the clowns!!

We are expecting a huge surge following Christmas and New Year. Some people show no common sense. They’ve been partying away. But I’m sure that Matt Hancock has it all under control. It’s a bit like Hancock’s Half Hour every day!! With Sid James flogging PPE at exorbitant rates to the NHS (or isn’t he a Tory?).

Gavin Williamson AKA Stan Laurel, has been given a much larger torch so that he can find his own backside. While some schools are being threatened with court if they shut others are threatened if they stay open. The teacher unions are threatening a strike over safety and Gavin is hopping around on one foot with the other foot in his mouth gibbering.

Gosh I’m so glad we’ve got competent government – not like those bloody Kiwis or Vietnamese!! No new cases or deaths there! That’s really not playing the game.

I feel sorry for Biden! There won’t be anybody left in America by the time he takes office!!

The vaccine is being rolled out! I can’t wait! The only problem is that it’s the same circus operation dealing with that operation as been involved with our wonderful pandemic response! PPE, Apps, moonshots, track and trace. Bloody hell – we’ve got no hope!!

Well – back to the editing. If I’m lucky I might finish it by tomorrow!

I’ll have a break in a bit to read a bit and tonight it looks like a few hours of drama on the TV – probably a new series of Bosch!

Stay safe. The clowns are in charge! They know what they are doing…………………………………..

The Corona Diaries – Day 283

I started the year in the heat of the Brazilian jungle looking to photograph sloths, monkeys and iguanas. I ended it with a frosty walk up on to my hill on the wolds. It’s been quite a year. A year like no other.

When I started my diary in March I had no idea I would still be writing it at the end of the year. I had expected to go down with the disease and write about how it made me feel. That hasn’t happened yet.

Since March we have been in isolation. We have met up with friends and family for walks and meals outside but social contact has been extremely sparse. We miss it greatly.

Because the calendar has been completely empty it has enabled me to focus on other things. We have decorated the whole house, inside and out. I have written ten books (two of which were rewrites) and listened to a large amount of music. I have managed to do a five mile walk each and every day and seen more of nature than since I was a child. So there have been many benefits!

Life has slipped into a pattern.

Today was typical. I started the day with some editing then went for a walk up my hill. At midday there was still frost on the ground and the mud had turned solid. I took my camera in hopes of catching my pair of red kites but no joy. I did record a few pictures though. I’ll put them out later.

Back home, in between chores, I’ve been playing some Randy Newman and doing more editing.

Tonight we’ll watch some drama on the TV – it’s been Philip K Dick’s ‘Man In A High Castle’ recently.

That’s how my days have been going.

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland we are all paying the price for putting a batch of populist dummies into power. Apart from the nationalism, jingoism and Brexit (which is bad enough) we’ve got complete ineptitude on every front.

Trump is excelling himself with stupidity. While he is out playing golf and ignoring the calamity sweeping across the country another 229,349 people went down with the virus yesterday and a staggering 3808 people died of covid! That’s more than a 9/11 a day!! He has presided over the death of more than 343,000 Americans!

It’s going berserk in the UK with another 50,023 new cases and 981 deaths!

It’s the same in Brazil with 55,649 new cases and 1194 deaths.

I hear people saying – ‘yes but would anybody else do any better’. The answer is a resounding YES!! One only has to look at countries like New Zealand and Vietnam to see that. Hardly any cases and no deaths! They did it better!

Here it is utter chaos. They are locking everywhere down, dithering and changing their minds. Schools are definitely going back, now they’re not. Teacher will get the jab. Then they won’t. We no longer hear of Track and Trace or our world-beating app.

We are in a worse state than we were before the last lockdown.

Unprepared!! Complacent!! Arrogant!! Overconfident!! Dithering!! Incompetent!!

All this lot wanted to do was get us out of Europe. There is nothing else in their empty heads!! Disaster!! Catastrophe!! Stupidity!!

This bunch of nincompoops are in charge of rolling the vaccine out!! Help us all!!

Stay safe! Happy New Year!! Let’s hope it is a new start!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 282

Today started with a wonderful salmon-pink sky causing a radiant warm glow in all the windows. It belied the freezing temperatures outside!

We decided to go for an early walk along the beach at Bridlington. It was one of those magical winter days with a low sun and reddish pink glow on the horizon. That is another ten thousand steps. My fitness campaign extends uninterrupted for 282 uninterrupted days! I’m averaging sixteen and a half thousand steps a day! (You can tell that I’m proud of the achievement!)

Back home I’ve been playing some Linton Kwesi Johnson – he’s so good! Always fires me up!

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland there has been another milestone. The Oxford vaccine has been passed as safe and is going to be rolled out from next Monday. The end of the pandemic is now in sight. We have a weapon that can zap the virus.

The Oxford vaccine has a couple of advantages over the Pfizer vaccine in that it is a lot cheaper and does not have to be stored at minus 30 degrees. It can be stored in ordinary fridges. That makes it easier to deploy and administer.

There is still a big debate raging about vaccination. There have always been a small number opposed to any clinical procedures. They were boosted by a series of flawed reports on the MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) wrongly relating it to autism. Since then there have been a mass of bogus stories and conspiracy theories on the web. Many of these are cynically put out to prey on peoples’ fears.

The end result has been much death and misery.

Vaccination is good. It has completely removed smallpox (a massive killer) and could soon eradicate many other virus diseases (if it wasn’t for the scare stories).

As it is more people are refusing vaccination and we have the return of diseases that had almost been eliminated.

Since the MMR scare there have been 144,000 deaths from Measles and countless cases of blindness and brain damage. All of which could have been avoided.

The risk of an allergic reaction to a vaccine is tiny. The risk from the disease is much much greater.

The trouble is that the media, and particularly the internet, picks on a few cases, magnifies them out of all proportion and scares people.

It is all part of this crazy undermining of science that the evangelicals, religious fanatics and Trump have been doing. The right-wing propaganda machine has been pumping out fake news.

I can’t wait for my vaccination. It can’t come quickly enough. I know it’s safe.

The virus is going mad in all those countries with incompetent leadership! The UK, USA and Brazil show giant leaps in infection rates – 53,135, 201,106, and 58,718 new cases respectively. The death rates are also going berserk – 456, 3628 and 1,111 respectively. One wonder how long Trump can go on playing golf while three and a half thousand Americans are dying each and every day? One wonders how Bolsonaro retains any shred of credibility or Johnson can go on bluffing and pretending. These populist fools are a lethal disaster. The contrast with countries like New Zealand and Vietnam, who continue to have NO deaths, is stark.

So much for hoaxes or small flu’s – the arrogance and complacency has cost hundreds of thousands of lives!! Morons!!

In the UK there is talk of us all going back into severe lockdown or tier 4. Soon we’ll all be in Tier 20 – locked up in strait-jackets in padded cells!

It looks like the schools will not be going back but will be back on distanced learning for a week or two.

I can feel the fear. It is palpable. Christmas and New Year will harvest a a lot of dead relatives! The health services are already full to bursting. Some scientists are predicting catastrophe!

My advice – stay in! Stay safe! Many ends are nigh!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 281

Today is a day of contrasts. I walked up my hill in a blaze of sunlight. It looked and felt like spring. Yesterday’s frost had melted. The road was no longer icy. One of the red kites was perching in the trees at the bottom of the hill. He observed me approaching and took flight, gliding low across the field. Later, at the top of the hill, he flew close overhead and I was able to watch him with admiration.

At the top of the hill I looked to the right, towards the sea, to note that there was a great swathe of dark cloud with streaks of rain stretching to the ground. On the coast, there was a substantial downpour. To my left, towards Driffield, there was another bank of heavy cloud. I was in the middle of a wide corridor of sun and blue sky.

I walked down the other side and on to the sodden grass.

Climbing back up the hill I noted that the clouds over the coast, contrary to the direction of the light wind, were heading my way. It rapidly became dark and gloomy and I descended in wintry drizzle.

As I approached the bottom of the hill there were a series of loud bangs and I realised that there was some shooting going on. I soon identified the source. I stood to watch. Out in the field there were a lined of ten guns, all dressed in their brown tweed, To the side were four men with dogs. There was an island of trees and vegetation in the middle of the field and I could see ten beaters with their clapper boards yelling and beating through the undergrowth. Every now and then a bevy of frightened pheasants would take to the sky. The guns would be raised followed by a series of bangs and the birds would drop like stones.

I contemplated this for a while.

It was apparent to me that the whole landscape was a product of this ‘hunt’. Without it those copses of trees would have been chopped down long ago. The only reason any natural vestiges remained was for this very purpose.

Those ten guns came from privileged classes. They even travelled from abroad. They were guests of landed gentry and paid hansomely for the privilege of standing in a muddy field to take potshots at sitting ducks.

Gamekeepers were employed to breed and care for the millions of pheasants and grouse. The land was carefully managed and ‘vermin’ like foxes, stoats and my elegant red kites, were also ‘managed’.

The beaters were also paid as were the dog trainers.

This was a ‘country sport’ a pastime of the elite. They did not even want the birds they shot.

How much money was tied up in this unpleasant activity?

How very pointlessly unpleasant.

Back home I played some Talking Heads and did some editing.

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland things are going mad. The hospitals are becoming overwhelmed. The front-line medical staff, who have had no Christmas break, are exhausted, and they know that the fruit of Christmas and New Year mingling is yet to come.

The cases in the USA, UK and Brazil have shot up again. The hospitals are already overwhelmed. The death rates are climbing! Oh to be in New Zealand or Vietnam with better governments and clearer strategies, where the Covid-19 rates are in single figures and nobody dies!

the government is panicking and dithering again as the scientists warn of catastrophe.

It looks like we are moving to a stringent lockdown even as we begining to roll out the vaccine!

Already they are talking of closing schools again! At the same time they are talking about deploying troops to schools to handle the mass testing. Thoughh how that can be properly, and safely, carried out is a mystery.

I don’t think this government has a clue! They say the first thing that comes into their heads without thinking through the logistics!!

Bunch of twats and morons!

There is talk of a new Tier 5! Soon they’ll have the army on the streets shooting people!

The new variant is taking over and seems much more contagious.

The only good news is that the vaccine is being deployed quite fast, with a high uptake and no serious side-effects. The Oxford vaccine is likely to be available very soon as well. All vaccines seem to be effective against the new strains – though there are concerns that future mutations might make the virus immune to the vaccine. However, even then, we are assured that the new vaccines are easy to tweak!

It would be such a shame to go down with the disease so close to receiving the vaccination!!

Stay safe!! Herd immunity is on its way!!

Today’s Music to keep me SssaAAaaNnnneEE in Isolation – Talking Heads – Remain in the Light

This was a band that was very different. They always cheer me up!

Talking Heads – Psycho Killer – YouTube

Talking Heads – Remain In Light (1980) Side 1 – YouTube