The Corona Diaries – Day 338

It was meant to be cloudy but instead the sun has been shining nearly all the time. It is exceptionally warm for February. I took an early walk up my hill. I took a carrot along for the horse I have adopted. He trots over to me now expecting a treat. He likes carrots and apples.

Back home I’ve been editing – and – YIPPPPEEEEE!!! I’ve finished! The Roy Harper book is now set out in the house style and fully edited.

But………………… is anything ever finished? No. Merely abandoned. I will give it a quick read through before sending it back in to the publishers.

Photos to sort next!

I’ve been playing Lou Reed and in a minute I’m off to do a bit of reading. This life in isolation is not too arduous. I just miss people!

Meanwhile – out in Coronaland we are repeatedly told that we cannot eliminate corona virus altogether. I don’t believe that. It seems to me that they have managed to do just that in a number of countries – in New Zealand, China, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia they have effectively eradicated the virus. New Zealand just has two new cases, Vietnam 11. By monitoring borders and being vigilant, track, tracing, local lockdowns and isolation they have completely eradicated the virus from the population. Any outbreak is quickly recognised, tested, tracked along with local lockdown. It is stringent.

What our pathetic leaders are saying is that they can’t do this well enough. So Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam can do this but we can’t? Why’s that? It couldn’t be because we keep giving these important jobs to incompetent people, could it? It’s not because of cronyism? Or is it lack of leadership?

We’ve had Boris the cheerleader crowing about oven-ready, world -beating moonshots that go off like damp squibs. Now we’ve got doleful, dreary Johnson telling us we can’t do anything.

What we need is realism!!

It’s simple. Tests and health checks on all immigrants with follow up. Good track and trace. Isolation with compensation. And use professionals to do the job – fund the NHS!!!

The Covid Passport is becoming a reality. It is obvious that airlines, foreign countries and anywhere that people congregate are going to need reassurance that people are not going to be spreading a lethal virus!! They are going to want to see proof that people are safe and not a threat to others.

Tough on antivaxxers??? No. That’s their choice. If they don’t want the vaccine then they have to stay away from others. They can’t travel or mix with others because they are a danger to other people. I do think there is an element of selfishness about people who choose not to vaccinate themselves and depend on the herd immunity set up by others to keep them safe.

As for the vulnerable ones who for one reason or another cannot have a vaccination because of medical reasons – I don’t know. Maybe an exemption certificate?

Where is the eruption of public wrath at the incompetence? Why aren’t people shouting about the way the government keeps lying – like Hancock now trying to tell us there never was a shortage of PPE when our care workers and nurses were dying because of shortages of kit? Why isn’t there a furor about the way the government ran roughshod over the rules and regs to give contracts their buddies – like millions given to Hancock’s pub landlord!! Doesn’t this cronyism and deception matter any more.

Another day in Coronaland. I’m off to read!! Stay safe!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 326

It’s absolutely bloody freezing! I don’t like the cold.

I have spent the morning editing my Harper book and listening to David Gray. Then I took a break for a bit of light reading – Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King. I finished my Robert Harris book yesterday but still have my Yuval Harari book on the go.

This lockdown is a strange unreality where time merges into an undifferentiated continuum. There are no landmarks to puncture it.

I’m off for a walk in a minute – a socially distanced stroll up my hill with a friend.

It’s now eleven days since I had my jab. My immunity should be quite good by now but I’m not taking any chances.

As for my mental/emotional state – I’m on an even keel. I’m certainly lacking in energy compared to what I was feeling like in my early stages of lockdown – nearly a year ago!! Then I was energised, writing and decorating like mad. Now I’m plodding. The editing is a good example. I’m working away at it without great enthusiasm. I have an outline in my mind for a new Sci-fi novel but no great desire to embark on it. I’ll complete the Harper book, relax and regroup.

This ennui is also manifesting itself in what I’m reading (light entertainment – Stephen King and Robert Harris – nothing too exacting) as well as the TV dramas that we are watching – currently ‘The Bay’.

it feels as if I cannot be bothered to grapple with anything requiring any great intellectual focus.

I’m running out of steam!!

Meanwhile, out there in Coronaland the levels continue to come down. The scientists say that the virus reproduction R rate is below 1 for the first time since last July. That’s good – although the levels are still high. There was another 13,494 cases yesterday. There’s a long way to go. They reckon we’ll be back to the low level enjoyed in the Summer by March! That’ll be good.

14 million now vaccinated. A new arthritis drug that could be a game changer for the treatment of covid. It’s looking good.

I feel sorry for Biden. The levels in the states are still high. How do you get some of the more loony Americans respect other people? How do you convince them to distance or wear masks. Some of them still think it’s a hoax despite the 475,000 deaths. They are truly nuts. Then you have all the antivaxxers!! Just imagine a world without vaccination. We’d be back in the days where half your kids died in childhood and diseases like scarlet fever, smallpox, polio, tuberculosis, diphtheria and cholera ravaged populations. It’s madness.

Likewise in Brazil – the levels are still high there too. While they’ve got a nutcase like Bolsonaro in charge they’ve got no chance.

Meanwhile – no deaths in Vietnam or New Zealand.

Stay safe!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 321

It appears that the Beast From the Baltic has arrived! I was woken by the sound of frozen snow blustering against the window! It is cold and windy but that did not prevent me from taking my walk! Instead of my customary walk up the hill we set off for an excursion to Cattleholmes – a small clump of houses a few miles away! The wind was bitter as it blew across the fields (a few more hedges would not go amiss) and the frozen snow stung the face! I think you can call it bracing. I certainly earnt my 321st consecutive 10,000 steps!!

I’m not sure how the birds can survive these low temperatures. I’m dressed up in thick coat, scarf, gloves, hat and hood. Their little naked legs are uncovered. I’d certainly opt for migration!

Back home we warmed up with a cornish pasty and cup of tea!

Today I’ve been editing the Roy Harper book and playing some Ry Cooder. Great stuff!!

We were just reflecting on how lucky we are. Being retired we receive a steady income without having to worry about losing our job and income. We have our own home, enough money to keep us warm and provide food and wine. I have a wealth of books and music. We both have lots of interests. There isn’t enough time to fit everything in. We are in the countryside with fabulous walks. None of our family have been put out of work or have become really ill with Covid. And we have each other and Liz hasn’t killed me yet!

How lucky is that?

After nearly a year of isolation and lockdown we still feel frustrated and wearisome. We crave for some proper contact with friends and family. We miss gigs, theatre and cinema. We’re completely spoilt!

Every now and then it’s good to think of the less fortunes – the homeless out on the streets in this cold, the refugees with no home to go too and an uncertain future, those who are poor and don’t have enough to eat or are unable to heat their homes. It makes me feel guilty!

Out there in Coronaland it is definitely looking as if things are improving. The number of covid cases continue to come down (here and in the States) – 18,262 new cases yesterday. The number of deaths are also coming down – 828 yesterday.

It’s been six days since we had our first jabs. The immunity will be starting to set in.

As more people become vaccinated herd immunity will begin to set in. I am hopeful that by summer we will be able to get back to normal.

We should be inspired by places such as Vietnam and New Zealand. Vietnam had a spike of a hundred new cases. They used their local shut down, track, trace and isolate and appear to have got on top of it. Likewise New Zealand is doing the same.

Unlike our bunch of clowns they did not allow the virus to get out of hand. They were prepared. They locked down, shut borders, tested, tracked and isolated. They are back to normal.

We let it get completely out of control, had ineffective systems and now have 111,000 deaths instead of 25!!

It appears that the more virulent Kent variant is spreading fast in our area – Hull and East Riding. It also appears that the South African variant makes the vaccine far less effective. We’ll need a tweaked booster in the Autumn to cope with these variants!

The sooner the world gets vaccinated the better. The smaller the reservoir of virus the less mutations!

So stay safe!! Nigh is at an end!!

Today’s Music to keep me SssSAaaANNNnEEE in Isolation – Mothers of Invention – Absolutely Free

There is nobody who comes close to Frank Zappa. That should cure me of any Covid Blues!! Not sure it’ll make me sane though!

The Mothers of Invention – Absolutely Free (Full Album) – YouTube

The Corona Diaries – Day 300

Bloody hell!! Three hundred days of abnormal isolation! Three hundred consecutive five mile+ walks. Three hundred days without gigs, restaurants, theatre, cinema, friends and family!

it’s much worse in winter, isn’t it? Short days, cold, rain and dreariness. It saps the energy. We’ve run out of things to decorate. I don’t feel inspired to write any books. I’m lacking in motivation.

I think I’ve gone mad!!

Today was cold but sunny. We went for a walk up the hill. There was a big flock of geese. We watched them go over in a great V and watched as they alternated at the front of the formation like cyclists. We had a debate as to whether it was a conscious move to alternate or just instinctive. I think all creatures, including fish and other sea creatures like squid, are far more conscious and intelligent than we give them credit for.

Back home I’ve been raising my spirits and political awareness by playing Fela Kuti’s Zombie. Brilliant.

Still not inspired though.

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland – There is no sign of the virus abating in the three incompetent countries – in the USA the new cases are still running at 201,732 and the deaths at 3353. In the UK we have 41,342 new cases ans 1295 deaths. In Brazil there were another 61,567 new cases and 1050 deaths.

In contrast the countries that have shown us up by handling the pandemic continue to point the way. New Zealand had just 10 new cases and no deaths and Vietnam had one new case and no deaths.

If they can do it why can’t we?

No – don’t answer that. We all know why.

The rest of the world must be furious with us. Not only are we a breeding ground for the virus, exporting it to all parts, but we are enabling mutations to occur.

The more people who go down with the disease the more virus there is. The more virus there is the more mutations there are. The more mutations there are the more different strains there are. The more different strains there are the more likelihood of one of the strains being immune to the vaccine.

Our three macho fools of leaders are putting the whole world at risk because of their denials, complacency and dithering. Useless pillocks!!

Thank heavens Biden is taking over and we get some sense!! I see he’s doing a big executive blitz on Trump policies, reversing the environmental and covid policies. After 4 years of madness and ineptitude it’s good to see intelligence at work!!

The ray of hope is the vaccination. As soon as we reach herd immunity the virus is well on the retreat. The programme has to be world-wide though. We do not want any reservoir of virus mutating away throwing up new variants!

Vaccinate away!! A global operation!!

Stay safe!! The end is nigh!!

Today’s Music to keep me SsSAaAannnNeeee in Isolation – Randy Newman – Little Criminals

Randy is very clever. I love the humour and use of irony.

Randy Newman “Short People” Little Criminals (1977) HQ – YouTube

Little Criminals – YouTube

Randy Newman – In Germany Before the War – YouTube

Randy Newman – Baltimore – YouTube

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

The Corona Diaries – Day 248

Well incredibly, I still have not had Covid. I suppose that is not surprising because we are not have contact with people, but it wasn’t really what I was expecting.

I do now know of a number of people who have had the illness with varying degrees of sickness, and one who has died (a 52 year old cyclist).

With Christmas looming we are steering clear of meeting up with family. We might have a get together when we’ve had the vaccine!

Today started sunny so we decided to head for the coast and have a walk by the sea.

There were lots of wading birds along the water’s edge. Great to see.

Back home I’ve been working on my poetry books and listening to some early acoustic Dylan. He was brilliant, wasn’t he?

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland, Mad Trump continues to rail and whine. He is now saying that he must have won because of the size of his rally crowds! Poor fool hasn’t realised that it is the size of the vote that counts – not the rally crowds! They are just the fanatic nutters.

His incompetence killed another 2313 people yesterday. Can you believe that??? If this had been a terrorist attack the USA would be nuking people. That is now over 263,000 people dead in the USA compared to 25 in New Zealand. Jacinda Ardherne was presiding over 1 new case yesterday. She did it right. He did it wrong and is still doing it wrong. At this rate Biden won’t have too many left to preside over! It’s a catastrophe.

In the UK we are still in lockdown but had another 18,213 new cases yesterday. I think people have stopped paying any attention to our clown in chief. He’s an idiot. We had another 695 deaths.

In Brazil it is zooming up again – 47,898 new cases and 654 deaths!

Populism is taking a heavy toll on people. Hopefully we have learnt our lesson – but I doubt it. People are daft.

I’m getting back to my poetry. Stay safe everyone. A vaccine is coming!