Day 7356474

Yep, it is day 7356474 of our sojourn with covid-19, at least it feels like it has been 7356474 days. There have been a number of interesting developments since I last rambled about this so let us get it done with. From what I read at the Beeb many shops and businesses will be re-opening after the 15th of June and some schools may be re-opening on the 1st. However, it all depends on whether or not the criteria for re-opening is met or not. Unfortunately this is all uncharted territory and businesses will have to comply with a whole lot of rules before they can get back to work. The school issue is more complex though, but I cannot understand why they don’t keep them closed and then reopen them once the long summer holidays happen. It doesn’t affect me though so I am not overly concerned.

The numbers game:
Today Worldometer numbers are as follows: There are 5 601 521 cases worldwide, with 348 132 deaths.  The USA leads the log, with 1 706 226 cases and 99 805 deaths. The UK is still in top 5 with 261 184 cases and 36 914 deaths. South Africa currently sits at number 31 with 23 615 cases and 481 deaths. 

South Africa has moved to level 3 now although the Western Cape numbers may lead to it being reset to level 4. The big alcohol/cigarette ban is very contentious, and people are seemingly more worried about their smokes than they are about the people who do not have food on their tables. I read yesterday that the unemployment rate could rise to as much as 50% as a result of the pandemic. Unfortunately there are many strange rumblings afoot in the country, and the conspiracists are  having a  field day looking for ulterior motives. 

Talk about conspiracies; the whole Dominic Cummings lockdown break in the UK has been causing waves, with people questioning whether there was a set of rules for them and another for politicians. It is a valid point, and that is true not only in the UK but in the rest of the world  Personally I feel he should fall on his sword, you cannot tell people to do something and then do the exact opposite and expect them to listen to you ever again.   

On a personal note I was called up for a regular blood test by my local surgery, and frankly I was not in the mood to go there at this point in time and managed to get it postponed for 3 months. The fact is that it is really an unnecessary procedure given the situation we are in. Apart from that it is almost impossible to get an appointment that does not take me away from work. I would have take a days leave to have it done and frankly that is a bit of a waste too. Our department has been very busy for quite some time and getting time off is difficult. 

I did have a few other things to mutter about but naturally I have forgotten what they are so will end here and continue a bit later. However, be rest assured that I have all my ducks in a row.

On a side note.. today is my birthday so happy birthday to me!

DRW © 2020. Created 27/05/2020

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.

Musings About Covid19

It was inevitable that I would eventually blog some stuff about the pandemic facing the world, after all we are all about to live through it and suffer the consequences that will follow. For the record I fall into the 50-59 year old age group so that alone puts me in a moderately dangerous space. However, the proliferation of fake news and sheer rubbish being churned out by the media makes it really difficult to know where you stand. The fact remains that the only way you will know if you will survive is to actually have the virus. Unfortunately the end result of the media onslaught is triggering panic buying, paranoia, and shifty eyes at anybody that sneezes, coughs or shows any sign of a cold, sinus, allergies or dust related sneezing. At some point lynch mobs may just run around with pitchforks and flaming torches; it is entirely possible that people will loose their sense of reason and level headedness, and you know what happens when they do!

Our local supermarkets have empty shelves in the bogroll, soap, surface wipes, pasta, hand wash, paracetamol and a few other items as people stockpile like crazy. I bet the bottled water will sell out too, and before you know it no baked beans or instant noodles will be available. Pitchforks and flaming torches may soon be in short supply too. The company where I work has been posting NHS warnings and information in the building and are gearing up for the possible absence of staff who have to self isolate. So far the schools have not been closed but if they are this can impact on businesses too as staff may end up having to stay at home to look after children that would ordinarily be at school. Like it not many businesses will have to remain open as we rely on them for amongst others food deliveries, refuse removal, post, electricity and of course healthcare. The UK borders have not been closed as yet, but it is early days still and anything can happen. Naturally if a celeb tests positive you can bet that it will be splashed all over social media and millions will try to do the same because that is the nature of the fickle celeb and influencer worshippers.  The guidelines issued by my local surgery however may read as restrictive but in reality it is more or less what we go through anyway when we need to see a doctor. 

Back in South Africa there are supposedly 24 confirmed cases so far (202 as at 20/03/2020), but it is difficult to know what the true rate is because already there are rumblings that this is a Western middle class disease and not a poor African disease. Trust me, there are political brownie points to be made with something like this. As we head into a new week we will have to keep an eye on the news to see what plans will be cancelled and what cities will close down. I spotted an excellent post on facebook this afternoon and would like to ask the question that the original poster asked:

I am still booked for London on the 25th but whether the embassy will be open or not is another question, ask me again next week.  There is one smidgen of good news to bear in mind though: at least it isn’t Anthrax! 

DRW © 2020. First created 14/02/2020