Category: coronavirus

Covid-19. The story continues

My last post about the corona virus situation was on the 25th of April, and to be frank I have not been in the mood to waffle about it much. The situation is depressing, exacerbated by some of the images coming out of America featuring armed men and women shouting the odds about the “plandemic”. It is a pity we are unable to split the populace in half: one half that does not want to die and another that wants to see a conspiracy between the Illuminati, 5G, the lizard people and black hats. The anti-vaccine fringe is also shouting the odds and the numbers do not mean anything to them, because they think its all a conspiracy. Tell that to the family of those who have died so far and see whether they believe it is a conspiracy or not.

How do the numbers look? my usual source of numbers is worldometers although for all I know they may be part of the conspiracy too. 

There are 4 103 537 cases of the virus worldwide ( 2 832 454 cases worldwide on 25/04) with 280 470 deaths. Leading the field is the USA with 1 347 318 cases and 80 040 deaths. The UK sits at 215 260 cases and 31 587 deaths. The UK has the highest number of deaths in Europe and the 2nd highest in the world. South Africa is seeing a gradual rise in numbers with 9420 cases and 186 deaths. Unfortunately South Africa seems to be unwinding even though it has changed to a level 4 lock-down state.  Please note that the image below is only pertinent to South Africa and nowhere else. It was sourced from the SA Corona Virus website 

Locally I found the following table that illustrates the numbers in Gloucestershire where I live: (sourced from https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/

This last Friday was the VE Day commemoration and there were many public festivities planned around the day, but these were all cancelled although local groups did their best to celebrate and commemorate as best they could. I went down to the war memorial in town (I do go out on occasion to “exercise”) and walked down the high street with it’s closed shops and scattered people. It was very depressing. 

I then made a turn around the Abbey which is closed for the duration (or until they are allowed to reopen). It is at times like this that the Abbey would be better off open so that people can find some sort of solace within it’s ancient walls. The building has seen so much in the almost 900 years that it has been standing, and it can add this pandemic to it’s long history. I find it a very comforting place, and it did help me when my mother passed away last year. That reminds me… Happy Mothers Day Mum. 

Outside is it cold and windy and overcast. I may just self isolate today. I am watching an excellent anime called Cike Wu Liuqi or Scissors Seven. It is quite a zany and erratic romp and I have enjoyed it thoroughly. It is in Chinese but as usual I am using subtitles so the language does not bother me too much. However, spoken Chinese is very different from Japanese so it does sound quite odd. I may experiment with changing it to Japanese dub with English subtitles and see how it plays out. At least it keeps me amused.

I have also posted quite a few more ships to our shipping group on facebook and I am surprised at how many memories it has stirred in myself and others. It is just a pity that ships draw such a small interest group in the country, but then it is to be expected. Here is a ship just to cheer me up, I hope she cheers you up too. 

Till next time…

DRW © 2020. Created 10/05/2020 (Day 2893476484)


Grendelstaat

Grendelstaat? that is the one possible translation of lockdown in Afrikaans (inperking is another), while kwarantyn is the Afrikaans word for quarantine. Yep, it is day 94787 and we have been at a state of inperking just over a month. What do the stats say? there are 2 832 454 cases worldwide with 197 342 deaths. The USA still leads the charts: 925 758 cases with 52 217 deaths and I am afraid that the death toll for the USA is going to keep on rising for a number of reasons; denial being one of the biggest. The UK has 143 464 cases and 19 506 deaths so far.

Since my last diatribe there have been many developments. One of the bigger issues we still sit with is that the PPE that is crucial to the safety of workers on the ground is still insufficient and fingers are being pointed at everybody. The fact is that we are woefully and inadequately prepared for this pandemic, and had it been an Ebola type situation we would be in serious brown smelly stuff. Even the army is shocked at how bad the situation is. The papers are still giving way too much airtime to vapid celebs and their ilk, and of course the adverts for overpriced designer crap continues. Outside the weather is glorious although the mornings have been cold. At work we all received a letter from the site director explaining were we sat and thanking us for our work. Our small department is flooded with work for the next 3 weeks and we are going to be very busy for quite some time.  Kudos to the company where I work for helping to keep our workplace safe. The number of businesses that will not be re-opening once normality returns is rising steadily, and shopping patterns may never return to normal (or what appears to be normal). The effect of the corona virus on the UK economy is going to be with us for a long time. 

An interesting article appeared online regarding the number of corona virus cases in the Cheltenham area following the Cheltenham Festival from March 10-13. There was a distinct spike in the number of infections in the areas around the racecourse; many of my co-workers live in and around Cheltenham but I do not know if any were infected. The map also showed that there were no infections in the GL20 postal code region.  This can change at any minute. 

The other effect that will be felt is that people with life threatening diseases or illnesses are not going to see their doctors and their treatment has been cancelled to concentrate on the pandemic. I know that trying to get an appointment locally is difficult during normal times, it is probably impossible now and I sincerely hope that I do not have to see a doctor because if it is something dangerous I will die in my bed. 

Back in South Africa I watched the President address the nation and once again he was a picture of calm re-assurance in-spite of his fumbling with a face mask at the end of the address. The numbers for South Africa are: 4220 cases and 79 deaths and there may be a slight lifting of the lockdown as of next month. One of the most visible casualties of the pandemic is SAA. It is now in a terminal spiral and may end up not emerging on the other side. The airline has been like a large hole that money was poured into. Money that would have better been used on the poor and homeless.  South Africa has a number of these huge holes and they go through tax money like crazy. Unfortunately South Africa has many social problems and many communities are borderline cases that live from hand to mouth and the line between food riots and normality is very fine. As usual though people have been busted with their hands in the till (or food parcels) and I hope that they do get the punishment they deserve.       

Unfortunately once again the sabres are being rattled between the USA and Iran. As if we don’t have enough problems in the world as it is.  

That’s a wrap for today. I will add in anything as I remember it. Keep safe.

DRW © 2020. Created 25/04/2020.


Still Here

10/04/2020. Day 84899. Happy Easter. May the Easter Bunny not be in lockdown. I have just been watching President Ramaphosa address South Africa and cannot help but admire how calm and collected he is and how much gravitas he is able to project while speaking on such a serious matter. He has also extended the lockdown until the end of April which is going to hurt an already battered economy even more. The country does seem to be holding its own though, although there are 1934 confirmed cases in South Africa with 18 fatalities.  The president also announced that “In support of this effort, we have decided that the President, Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers will each take a one-third cut in their salaries for the next three months. This portion of their salaries will be donated to the Solidarity Fund.”  I hope some of the fat cats and suits sitting in their ivory towers do the same. 

South Africa does have a useful website that is worth looking at if you are needing local information.

Back in the UK we still don’t see any lockdown measures being removed, and authorities are battling to get people to adhere to the lockdown in many cases and places. Boris Johnson is now out of ICU but remains in hospital while the numbers for UK are as follows: 65077 total cases and 7978 deaths. The curve has not flattened! 

08 April 2020. Day 6898. Our Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was taken to intensive care after failing to get better, he is holding his own at the moment and we all wish him  a speedy recovery and hope that he will continue to show leadership the way he has. Naturally there are those in the UK who wish him otherwise, but then even Donald Trump has supporters too.  Spring is busting out all over outside and its quite strange to be sitting in this surreal situation and having to theoretically watch the world go by. Still no sign of the lockdown being lifted yet and there is already talk of re-opening schools (much to parents delight). But so far so good. I popped down to my local Morrisons and was amazed to see the toilet rolls on the shelves; and in all sizes and thicknesses too!

Trawling through the newspapers I can’t help but be struck by the many adverts for overpriced designer label clothing and gimmicks in spite of the misery all around us. I guess a layer of normality is needed but I struggle to think about the difference between somebody that has been made redundant and somebody who forks out more than a months rent for a pair of flipflops. 

Otherwise nothing new to report. Worldwide tally is 1490154 with 87317 deaths. 

05 April 2020. Day 6472. And still we battle through this pandemic. The UK went into lockdown on 23 March so we are really in week 500? it feels like longer. There is no real good news though. The world has 1204075 total cases of covid-19, of which the majority are in the USA (311637), the UK is still in the high numbers with 41903. South Africa is holding out reasonably well at 2169 so far but at any moment that could jump dramatically as once again the government caves into the taxi industry. At what point will they break the stranglehold that the taxi industry has on South Africa? 

On the economic front the Rand is battling, at the time of writing £1 is worth R23,63, and this is probably the highest it has ever been. The UK economy is taking a battering though and it will take years before we climb out of this hole. The world is not going to be the same when we do though, the history books will make for very interesting reading in the future. The current crop of school children are facing a huge challenge in their future, and I sincerely hope that in that future more attention will be paid to the lower paid elements of society who clean and pack and drive and do the many menial jobs that are proving to the the most vital. No longer must the suit and banker clones be in charge. Unfortunately the conspiracies are becoming more laughable, and at this moment 5G is the newest culprit, although personally I blame the lizard people. 

I am holding out, although I have been hitting low points in my day. Like so many others I am sitting with an uncertain future, and the longer the status quo remains as it is the bigger the risk that I face. I am however not alone because there are many like me out there who face a similar situation. Stay calm and don’t panic? Very difficult.   

DRW © 2020. Created 05/04/2020