Steve Bell – Covid Cartoons

Steve Bell used to be brilliant. These are great. Thank you John Peachey!

The Corona Diaries – Day 310

Today was a lot warmer. I had quite a pleasant walk up on to my hill. I came back to discover a Hermes courier had delivered my Hendrix at Woburn Abbey album.

It is certainly not the best Hendrix live album – a bit of a messy one really – a lot of amp problems and distortion – but then any Hendrix is great Hendrix despite the problems.

It has particular significance for me because I was there in 68 and it was one of the most exciting gigs I’ve been too. So it was nice, for the first time, to listen to those sounds of yesteryear. Very nostalgic!

Jimi Hendrix- ‘Woburn Music Festival’ – Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, England 7/6/68 – YouTube

At the same time I was continuing my editing! It’s going well!!

Out there in Coronaland there is starting to be some analysis of our lamentable performance. 100,162 deaths. One of the worst performances in the whole world! Lamentable is probably the right word but doesn’t really come close. That is 1,400 deaths per million people. Appalling!!

The concensus was that countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia were prepared and took decisive action – They were fast to lockdown. They shut borders and insisted on isolation, imposed social distancing and mask wearing, had effective track and tracing – in other they had a plan!

Countries such as the UK, USA, Brazil and Italy walked into it with complacency, denial and were slow and useless.

To make matters worse it appears that our stats may be underestimating the number of deaths. The ecess deaths for this period are 110,100!

The government has repeated said that this pandemic has caught everyone unawares and there is no playbook. That’s a lie!

It did not catch everyone out and there was a playbook. It is the one all those countries with very low death rates have been following. They put it together following the SARS and MERS outbreaks. It works!

Out pathetic cross between a scarecrow and a clown said ‘I take full responsibility for everything the government has done.’

Is he taking responsibility for:

Not monitoring what was going on in China back in November 2000?

For running down the NHS for a decade?

For driving away nurses and doctors with their draconian hostile environment policy?

For not looking at the playbook from SARS and MERS?

For having no strategy?

For not having enough PPE stored for emergencies?

For not having enough store of chemicals for Test and Trace?

For ignoring what was going on in Europe during February and March?

For being utterly complacent?

For not shutting borders and testing people coming in?

For not having an adequate Test and Trace system?

For appointing useless people (proven to be useless) such as Dido Harding into organising Track and Trace and Apps just because they have Tory contacts?

For giving out huge sums of money to Tory cronies who had no experience of setting up apps or producing PPE but just happened to be Tory donors?

For locking down too late?

For not seeking help from countries who know?

For coming out with all manner of waffly cheerleading rubbish about world-beating, oven-ready, moonshots?

For stupid campaigns in the Summer – such as Eat Out To Help out and Back To The Office – which helped put up the rate of infection?

For vacillating on masks?

For sending kids back to school without adequate protection?

For sending students back to university to catch the disease and spread it?

For keeping superspreader events like horseracing and international football?

Seemingly he won’t take responsibility at all. He went on to say ‘We truly did everything we could.’

100,106 deaths is them doing everything they could!!

Well, despite their utter ineptitude the levels are coming down. We are getting through the winter. Vaccination is rolling out.

Stay safe! The end is nigh!

The Corona Diaries – Day 309

It was a pretty lousy day today for a number of reasons that I won’t go into. The morning was very cold but sunny so I went up my hill.

Back home I’ve been playing some Velvet Underground, which seemed to suit my mood!

I’ve ben mooching around and doing some editing. Not a particularly fruitful day.

Outside in Coronaland there are some causes for elation and some for misery.

The numbers of new cases do seem to be coming down as well as the numbers of deaths – Hurray!!

The lockdown appears to be working – Hurray!!

There now appears to be concern for the continued supply of the vaccine at the necessary level – Booo!!!

The EU say they are not getting enough vaccine and are sueing Pfizer – Boooo!

The EU say they will block the export of the Pfizer jab – Booo!

That would have big implications for us and might create all manner of problems for people needing the second jab. They have already extended the time between jabs. If it becomes too long immunity might be compromised – Booo!!!

Thirty one police have been fined for getting haircuts during lockdown – Booo!!

It looks like quarantine hotels are going to be used for all travellers coming into the UK – Hurray!!!!! (about bloody time!!)

They are looking to get kids back to school – Hurray!!!

A new survey suggests that teachers are not more likely to catch the virus compared to the general public – Hurray!! (I find that hard to believe!!!)

The older students are superspreaders – Booo!!

Well there’s a few things to mull over. The implications are profound. Will schools go back? Will they use better ventilated buildings?

We’ll see.

Stay safe and sane!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 308

It was cold, crisp sunny day in Yorkshire. I took a brisk walk up my hill and surveyed the entire universe – well not quite all of it – the planet was in the way of quite a lot and the blue sky stopped me seeing too far! But it felt good.

Back home I was playing Edgar Broughton and I’m back to editing my two Roy Harper books – the finishing touches. The first one has a release date of June 22nd. The book is already up on Amazon to preorder. That’s nice to see.

Out there in Coronaland things are looking up. The rates seem to be coming down in both the USA and UK. It must be the Biden effect! In the USA it has gone down to 129,527 new cases with 1815 deaths. That’s a substantial drop in both. In the UK it has dropped to 30,006 new cases with 610 deaths.

That sounds like good news to me!

All we ned now is for the research on the new strains to show that the vaccine is still effective. I’d settle for it stopping you getting really ill. We’ll see.

If we had an effective Test, Track and Trace system we could hunt the new strains down and eradicate them. Unfortunately we don’t have anything as remotely effective as the systems they have in places like Singapore, Vietnam and New Zealand. They make us look daft.

So why is that?

Well the first thing that comes to mind is corruption, nepotism and incompetence. This government has been gushing out our money to their wealthy friends and putting their Tory cronies in charge – people like Dido Harding. Instead of using the profession public services set up to administer things cheaply and effectively they have been doling out contracts to their incompetent chums – apps, PPE, Track and Trace, testing. They are putting out multimillion pound contracts willy-nilly and the return is pathetic! People are being paid thousands of pounds a day to oversee ineffective systems. Go-betweens are walking off with millions! It’s criminally mad!! Somebody needs to be held responsibly.

I suggest locking the entire cabinet up in the Tower of London for starters.

Thank heavens they’ve put the NHS centre stage in vaccination. If Dido Harding or Serco were put in charge we’d still be vaccinating in 2050.

It think it is obscene that people are making huge sums of money out of this! According to the BBC ten people have made enough money to vaccinate the whole world!!

Wealth increase of 10 men during pandemic ‘could buy vaccines for all’ – BBC News

They need locking up! They are morally bankrupt. It should be a criminal offence.

Makes my blood boil.

Two more things come to mind. Firstly, we will need to vaccinate our pets. Cats and dogs can catch and pass on the virus. They could be a reservoir of the virus! The second thing is that there are advances in medicines taking place. They think they have found something that can stop you catching the disease. If the vaccine no longer works at least in future there might be suitable treatments to prevent you getting it or becoming seriously ill.

Sunshine at the end of the tunnel!!

Stay safe!!

Cronyism and Corruption in the Tory Government’s handling of the pandemic. George Monbiot exposes the terrible ineptitude and waste of money at the heart of government.

George Monbiot explains how the Tory Government has wasted billions taking contracts away from the professionakls in the public services and giving them to incompetent Tory patrons.

The result is that billions of pounds of our money has gone to wealthy incompetent people who have made a complete mess of everything.

We do not have an adequate Test and Trace system. We do not have a tracking app because the Tory fools put in charge are incapable.

These people are making a fortune and their incompetence is killing tens of thousands of us!!

Double Down News – George Monbiot Exposes Coronavirus Corruption at the Heart of Government | Facebook

Thank you John Peachey!

Hapless Boris Johnson Cartoon!

Thanks John Peachey.

As the bodies pile up (very soon a 100,000) and the floods drive people out of their homes our clown of a PM celebrates the fact that his dire Brexit hasn’t driven everyone away. Nissan is still here! We’ll soon see how many other firms have been bowled over by Brexit.

What a sorry story of incompetence. Not exactly a world-beating performance (unless you’re counting bodies or looking for the worst hit economy).

The Corona Diaries – Day 307

It’s very cold here in Yorkshire. We’ve had frost all day and the ground is solid, but there’s no sign of snow.

We went out for a walk into Driffield and took a pasty with us. We had lunch on a freezing cold park bench. But we were wrapped up and it was good.

Back home I’ve been playing some Free and doing a bit of editing.

I’m about to go off, get a beer and watch some football!!

Meanwhile out in coronaland there is confusion.

Thankfully, our rates are beginning to come down, 33,552 new cases yesterday with another 1348 deaths. Terrible but going in the right direction. Over 5 million have been vaccinated. That must help.

When all the vulnerable have been vaccinated, in the next few weeks, and the two week after for the antibodies to build, we should start to see a bit of an impact.

The biggest impact will be when they start rolling it out to key workers and younger people. They are the ones who will be spreading it. When they are vaccinated the rate should come down.

By May the weather will be improving, a good portion will have been vaccinated, and the virus should start to come under control.

It should never have been allowed to get out of control in the first place. Let’s hope our buffoons look at what New Zealand, Australia and Vietnam are doing.

There are still a number of worries. The South African variant appears to be resistant to the vaccine. The mutation might mean that no vaccine can be effective against it at all. That would be a worry. We’d have vaccinated everyone only to find it was totally ineffective.

The other worry is that it appears that those vaccinated can still pass the virus on. So masks and social distancing are still required.

Hopefully, our clowns will get it together this summer. As the heat/UV of summer sun (coupled with outdoor living) lowers the infection we have a chance to really get on top of it and eradicate it altogether. If all people coming into the country are checked and isolated we can keep on top of it. If we particularly focus on getting rid of the African variant we have a chance!

This is precisely what successful countries have been doing.

Do you think our Eton clowns are up to the task?

We’ll see. Eat Outside to Help Out!

Stay safe. We’re going to live with this virus for a long time yet!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 306

It’s just another day in lockdown – more of the same – monotonous – unchanging. The days are all the same. Nothing changes!

It is a bit sapping.

Never-the-less I went and did my 306 consecutive five mile walk. I walked up my hill. It was cold and a bit overcast. Nature is asleep.

Back home I’ve been playing some Peter Green Fleetwood Mac. So good.

I’m reading Terry Pratchett and Yuval Noah Harari. They make a good combination!

Out in Coronaland it’s a mixed message. They say the R rate is coming down but there were 40,261 new cases yesterday, slightly up on the day before. The deaths were 1401 yesterday – again up on the day before. We have now 96,000 deaths and in a few days time we’ll top 100,000! We are the worst in the world and not getting any better!!

It’s the same in the USA. Trump has left an ethos that is killing people. They had 191,912 new cases with 3734 more deaths. It’s going to take a lot to change it around.

The vaccination programme is rolling out. It is giving people hope but it’s not going to be a panacea. No vaccine is 100% effective.

The two big talking points is the controversy over the second Pfizer shot. The government has opted to delay the second shot in order to quickly vaccinate more. The unanswered question is whether the first jab gives enough protection on its own and if delaying the second jab compromises the immunity?

Time will tell.

The second area of discussion is whether the various variants are going to cause major problems. The British variant not only appears to be much more contagious but also more deadly. That’s not good news but at least the word is that the vaccine seems to work on it. That does not seem to be the case with the South African variant. The vaccine might not work against that. That’s really bad news. If that variant gets into the country the vaccine is useless. Hence the panic and sudden shutting down of borders (something they should have done a year ago!).

They say it’s OK – the vaccine can be easily tweaked.

By the end of a year or two we could be like pin cushions!

It seems to me that the only way to deal with this is to vaccinate the whole world and get rid of any reservoir of the virus.

Chin up!!! Stay safe!!