The Corona Diaries Day 344

Pretty much a repeat of yesterday – cold, overcast, misty but not raining or windy. I was back wearing a scarf for my walk. I don’t mind. As long as I’m wrapped up. I don’t much like driving rain, gusty wind or sleet. The rest I can cope with. Over the course of my 344 days I’ve been walking in all sorts. Today was good.

I visited my adopted horse who came over to receive his carrot.

Back home I’ve have been doing a last read through my Harper book before it goes off to the publishers and I’ve started writing a new Sci-fi novel. I’ve nearly drafted out the first chapter – lots of ideas. It’s flowing.

I’ve also been playing some uplifting Coasters! A fun band!! I do like 50s R & B.

Meanwhile out in Coronaland it’s a mixed picture – mainly good though.

The new vaccines are proving exceptionally safe and remarkably successful at preventing illness and death. More even than the scientists and politicians could possibly have hope for. The death rates are now coming down so fast in the older groups who have been vaccinated that we will soon be recorded far fewer deaths than normal.

I bet this is making the antivaxxers feel really silly for believing all those rubbish conspiracy theories and not having more faith in science. I blame fools like Trump for undermining belief in science.

It is becoming more and more obvious that we will be having vaccine passports as countries are already making demands.

I have noticed a real upward note in the scientists as they see the fantastic effects of the vaccine. There is talk of getting back to normal by summer.

When the vulnerable are all vaccinated it will take the pressure off the health service. People will not be getting ill enough to require hospital treatments and the death rate will come right down. The only people at risk will be antivaxxers, those unable to have the jab for medical reasons and an unlucky small number for whom the vaccine is not effective.

It is rare for the young to get very ill.

That then poses the question – do we have to stay locked down in order to protect that minority when the bulk of those more vulnerable are choosing to put themselves at risk by refusing to be vaccinated?

I would suggest not. When all those above fifty are vaccinated I reckon we could completely open up and go back to normal.

There are only a few major obstacles:

Firstly we have the possibility of variants, such as the Brazilian strain, which might make the vaccine useless. If they were allowed to spread (now that our inept government with its lax border control has allowed them into the country) we could be in trouble. That could keep us locked down under a modified booster jab is available in Autumn.

Secondly, there might be too many antivaxxers so that the strain on health services would be too great to allow opening up.

Thirdly, vaccinated people might still be able to spread the disease (athough the evidence is mounting that this is not the case).

Let’s hope!! I want my freedom and a big dose of normality!!

Stay safe!!

Today’s Music to keep me SssSAAAAANNnnnEeee in Isolation – The Coasters

A lot of the 60s Beat groups were covering the Coasters. As I loved 50s black R&B I went back to the originals. The Coasters were great! I’ll revisit today.

The Coasters – The Best of the Best – YouTube

The Corona Diaries – Day 343

Today was a complete contrast to yesterday’s blue skies – overcast, cold and misty. So I walked up my hill and gave a carrot to my adopted horse. I worked on my writing, read a little and began the final read through of my Harper book.

Another busy day in lockdown.

To brighten the day up I played some James Brown.

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland our incompetent fools have allowed the Brazilian variant into the country and can’t even track someone who is infected!! That’s all we need!!

The vaccination programme has rolled out to 20 million now and statistical analysis shows that even with just one shot it is 80% effective at stopping people requiring hospitalisation – even with the elderly. Both Pfizer and AstraZenica seem equally effective.

It rather makes a mockery of the silly antivaxxers. For some obscure reason they would rather dance with death and a life dribbling away on a ventilator than take a shot that will save them. I think they are plainly nuts. They believe conspiracies put out by people with vested interests rather than trusting scientists. It is a sad state of affairs that we have reached. I blame it on Trump. He has undermined faith in experts and scientists to such an extent that people are prepared to die rather than trust in the vaccine.

Silly people.

Meanwhile, with the effect of the vaccine becoming evident the levels in the USA and UK continue to come down. Brazil has a bigger problem. Bolsonaro has allowed the virus levels to stay high resulting in variants.

All we need is for one of the variants to be resistant to the vaccine and establish itself and we’re back to square one!

Johnson is a fool. His slow responses have allowed the Brazilian variable in and his appointment of Dido Harding means we have a Track and Trace system that is totally ineffective (though costing 22 Billion!!). For heavens sake give it to the NHS and let the professionals do the job for a fraction of the cost!! Hasn’t the vaccination success taught us anything???

It looks like Vaccine Passports are coming in and those vaccinated will be able to visit a number of places abroad as well as venues in the UK. The price of being an antisocial antivaxxer!!

For some reason these antivaxxers seem to think it’s being rebellious to not have the jab. They see it as some heroic stand for freedom. It’s like the Trumpists and their adoption of the Confederate flag. It’s not rebellious; it’s just plain daft.

The Confederate flag stands for racism, slavery and ignorance to me – not rebellion.

Perhaps it would be better if people were rebelling against racism, exploitation and gross inequality rather than supporting a billionaire who is responsible for all those things?

We’ll see what tomorrow brings!! Stay safe!! Beware the variants!!

Today’s Music to keep me SsSsaaAAAnnNnEEe in Isolation – James Brown – Live At The Apollo 1962

James Brown certainly had a tight band and could generate excitement with his brand of high-power R&B. Just what I need today – a burst of energy!!

(Side A) – JAMES BROWN & THE FAMOUS FLAMES – Live at the apollo 1962 – sonet records vinyl – YouTube

Lost Someone (Live At The Apollo Theater, 1962) – YouTube

The Corona Diaries Day 342

It was a fabulous day in Yorkshire – clear blue skies and warm sun. There was no wind at all. It felt very spring-like. We took a long three hour walk and had lunch on a bench in the countryside. The birds were chirping in the trees and bushes.

Unfortunately it is not going to last. Next week looks to be cold and cloudy all week. At least it’s not going to rain!!

Back home I have been listening to the early Animals and doing a bit of writing.

Meanwhile out in Coronaland our lying government continues.

I think it is worthwhile every now and again to remind ourselves of the sheer level of incompetence of our populist macho leaders.

CountryPopulation In millionsNew casesNew deathsTotal deaths
The USA32862,6941567512,000
Brazil21161,6121386254,000
The UK677,424290123,000
New Zealand54026
Vietnam966035
Australia2650909

Even accounting for the differences in size of population the differences are stark. Vietnam with a population one and a half times the size of the UK, a massive border and close proximity to China, has only 35 total deaths compared to the UK’s 123,000.

The three macho populist leaders – Trump, Bolsonaro and Johnson have nearly 900,000 deaths between them. They three non-populist leaders have less than 1000.

Why is that?

The reason is obvious – policies. Trump, Bolsonaro and Johnson were complacent, denied, dithered and were slow to act.

The successful countries were quick to act, decisive and quickly got outbreaks under control.

Simple.

My conclusion – macho, populist leaders are crap and should be held to accound for the massive death tolls their attitude has unleashed!!

We’re still not on top of things. Despite the vaccination programme now rolling out to the over forties, the damage has already been done!!

One thing I’m perplexed by is why are we not hearing anything much about long covid. It seems that between 10-15% of covid cases end up with long-lasting effects – brain fog, lack of energy, aches, pains, headaches, difficulty sleeping……….. Why aren’t we hearing more? Is it brain damage? Liver damage? Kidney Damage? Damage to blood vessels? Heart or lungs? We are not hearing. I’m sure people are looking into it.

So, as the vaccination rolls out – get yours as soon as you can, get yourself safe and help protect the community. As the Brazil variant starts to appear in our midst we need to keep the virus down to a minimum all over the globe to stop new variants and protect us in the future.

Stay safe!! The nigh has an end!!

Today’s Music To keep me SsSsAaaAANnNnNeEe in Isolation – The Animals.

When the Animals started up in 1964 they were a great little R&B combo. They rapidly became a pop group. I like that early R&B. I’m going to be playing that today. I might even remember what it was like to be fifteen!

The Animals – The Story Of Bo Diddley – YouTube

The Animals – Club A Go Go – YouTube

Boom, Boom (Live at The Club A-Go-Go, Newcastle in December 1963) – YouTube

The Corona Diaries – Day 341

Beautiful sunny day in Yorkshire so we decided to take a carnish pastie and head off for a long walk – up to Driffield and then down past the nature reserves along the canal. We managed to get halfway round and found that the canal had burst it’s banks so we had to turn back. Even so it was a great walk.

Back home I was playing some Yardbirds, reading and now I’m off to watch the rugby!!

After 341 days in isolation it’s rather hard to imagine what normality was like. I think it might have a lasting psychological impact. Will we feel safe going into crowded indoor spaces? Hugging people? Not avoiding people when you are walking past? I don’t know. I guess it will take time to readjust.

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland the madness continues. The Trumpists still believe that the election was stolen, that it wasn’t Trumpists who stormed the Capitol but antifa dressed as Trumpists (despite all the indictments to the contrary). They still believe in QAnon and yet claim they stand for the truth. They believe in Jesus and buy guns. They have a new silly conspiracy theory that Trump is going to return to being President on March 3rd (he has a plan) – good luck with that! There is no accounting for ignorance and stupidity. Some people will believe in the nuttiest things.

Here over 18 million people have been vaccinated and they are rolling it out to the over forties. As soon as we get those in their thirties and forties done we should see the rate of new infections come down fast. They are the ones spreading it. The older ones are in isolation like me. The rate is still stubbornly high even though the hospital rate is falling.

The rate is not coming down all over the country. There are hotspots where it is still rising fast.

I haven’t seen any evidence that the new drugs regime is drastically cutting the death rate. I think a lot more work is needed.

We can now start talking about herd immunity. The vaccine has made it a possibility. As long as there aren’t too many antivaxxers we should get our freedom quite soon!! If there are we are going to be isolating a lot longer and a lot more people are going to lose their jobs.

The race is on. We need to get the world vaccinated so that the virus is brought down. The more virus the more mutation the more variants. We might get variants that are lethal and that the vaccine doesn’t work against. That would be disaster. I hope the antivaxxers appreciate that. They have a duty to the rest of the population.

It’s a race.

I cannot understand the antivaxxer position. Surely not too many people believe the silly conspiracy theories?? Surely they cannot now believe the vaccine might be unsafe? With tens of millions vaccinated and no major reactions that seems absurd to me.

Covid is potentially lethal. Long Covid could be debilitating for the rest of your life. If you were going in front of a firing squad and somebody offered you a bullet-proof jacket I think I’d definitely take the jacket. Why wouldn’t you?

This isn’t about freedom – it’s about common sense and responsibility.

I’ve written to Johnson to ask to have Dido Harding transferred to Vietnam or New Zealand. New Zealand had 1 new case of covid yesterday and Vietnam had 5. If Dido was given her 22 billion pounds she might just possibly be able to manage an effective Track and Trace system in either of those countries.

All the best – stay safe and get vaccinated!!!

The Corona Diaries Day 340

Glorious sunshine today in Yorkshire though the air was cool. My mate Nic came for a socially distanced walk. We headed off down the beck to the Mill and across to the nature reserve. A bit muddy underfoot but a great walk. I don’t think I stopped talking for three hours! I suspect you will find that all the world’s problems will have been sorted by tomorrow!!

Back home I’ve been playing some Sleepy John Estes and drafting out a new Sci-fi novel. I woke up at 5.00 a.m. with a head buzzing with ideas. So I got them started.

I’ll clear the Harper book and then I’ll enjoy getting stuck into that! I’m calling it Pornographic Wars.

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland there is much controversy. Boris Johnson says that he’s treating the vote in parliament as a vote of confidence in his leadership. Good heavens!! Leadership?? When??? How can anybody have confidence in something that has never existed???

The amazing thing is that the government still has a lead in the polls. How is that possible. Are people stupid?? The Brexit mess. The Coronavirus mess. PPE, Worst death-rate. Hardest hit economy. Blatant cronyism and corruption. What does it take to get people to see what a lousy job the government is doing?? Do they have to lead a storming of Buckingham Palace?? Even then, as with Trump, a lot of people would excuse our clown with a haystack on his head!!

I find myself in rare agreement with the Queen – the antivaxxers should start thinking about other people! We need herd immunity to suppress new strains mutating. We’re all in this together.

The alert level has dropped. The NHS is no longer in danger of being overwhelmed. Hospital cases have gone down. The infection rate is coming down but is still far too high. We still have nearly 10,000 new cases a day and over 300 deaths.

More money was paid to Dido Harding for her incompetent Track and Trace that has proved so ineffective that was taken to land a Rover on Mars!! We should have sent Dido and the Cabinet up there instead. We’d probably be a lot safer without them! Have we seen good value from the £22 Billion we’ve put into it?? I think not. Why on earth didn’t they pass it to the NHS and give them an extra £22 Billion?? It would have been sorted!! But no – more cronyism!!

I was in a debate about whether the drop in the virus level is seasonal, due to a weakening of the virus or due to vaccination.

Although 18 million have been vaccinated in the UK that is too early to notice in the figures. The death rate in those vaccinated has come right down but they tend to be the elderly who are in care homes or isolating. They are not the ones who are going to be spreading it.

We won’t notice the effect of the vaccine until we get down to vaccinating the key workers who will be the ones spreading it.

I’m not sure about this idea that we virus is killed by sunshine. Brazil is very hot with plenty of sunshine and over 5000 people died yesterday. They have 66,000 new cases a day!

The virus isn’t getting weaker so it appears that the factor most effective is social distancing. Lockdown has closed indoor meetings. That is what is having the biggest effect. We’ll see what happens when schools go back in March.

Today’s Music To keep me SsSAaaaaNnnnNeeeE in Isolation – Sleepy John Estes

I used to love Sleepy John Estes. I remember, back when I was 15, trying to impress this young lady I’d enticed back to my room by playing some Sleepy John. I thought it was so sophisticated to be into this old authentic blues. Very disappointing. She was more into Herman’s Hermits. We didn’t last long!!

I still love the Blues. Sleepy John was special – that mandolin added a dimension.

Sleepy John Estes – The Best Of (Full Album / Album complet) – YouTube