Day 3: Tuesday March 17th
Well, inexplicably, I got a good night’s sleep last night, by my standards anyway. According to my sleep tracker, I got over six hours and that is pretty unusual for me.
I deliberately switched off external virus news input after the early evening news because it was making me so angry. How this band of incompetents can get such an easy ride from the news media beggars belief!
Our neighbours are being pretty supportive as the significance of our situation starts to kick in. One guy had dropped into the local supermarket on his return from London at around 19.30 last evening (Monday) and was shocked to find it pretty much stripped bare. OK if he had gone in to buy some shelving units, but not very helpful in the milk, bread, fresh veg, pasta, etc aisles. He asked the rest of us if this was widespread this morning and got a mixed sort of response. After all many of us in this complex are not supposed to be going out.
Still, we have a few younger folk here who seem willing to help us through the times ahead. It is hard though to make the switch from someone who is used to supporting the community to someone who needs that sort of support.
We’ve had calls from some relatives checking up on us and that was nice, but we seem fairly well set up for the time being.
It’ll be my birthday in 5 days and we had a number of things planned . The pair of us were going to shoot up to Edinburgh for a long weekend break in a nice boutique hotel but we took the decision to cancel that late last week because of the way things were shaping up. Have had to take a hit on the train fare but that doesn’t seem particularly significant this week.
I’d also been bought a balloon ride from York (shunning the Virgin offering I might add in favour of a local company) but we’ve had to postpone that until next year. It was a question of getting an “exceptional” refund because of the situation and our age(!); or going for a postponement with the booking being restarted a year after the pandemic is over. We decided to go for optimism.
Late this afternoon I looked at the NHS site for the previous day’s figures. Actually, I’d signed up for constant updates which seems to be working well. The numbers for testing and confirmed cases had come up when I looked at around 15.00 but there was just a message about the number of deaths being published later.
What are they hiding in there?
The day’s numbers looked pretty bleak (See below) but not at all surprising.
I was left wondering what figures the experts had been looking at and discussing because the published numbers still did not really justify taking these actions at this particular moment any more than they did a few days ago. So, what did they know that they are not sharing?
Cumulative figures published Tuesday 17th March 2020.
Tested Positive Deaths Positive Death
16/3 50442 1950 71 407 16
15/3 44105 1543 55 171 20
14/3 40279 1392 35 252 14
13/3 37746 1140 21 ________________________________________________________________________________
Not me Gov
Now, having just seen an article from the government’s own research support team, I understand why they were reluctant to publish it in full yesterday and why they were being so coy about why they were taking such abrupt measures (although in fact all they were doing was making recommendations rather than actually taking any measures that they could be held responsible for).
The material they had in hand at the time, that they were basing their actions on, indicated that, unless they took drastic action, they should expect a quarter of a million people to die in a catastrophic epidemic and that the NHS would be overwhelmed. They also indicated that measures including school closures should be taken and the whole shebang might have to be in place for 18 months!
Pandemic: “Coming, Ready or not!”
I also saw a report on how successive governments, certainly since 2012 had steadfastly ignored reports that we were woefully inadequate in the Ventilator department and that urgent action was required. The reports also indicated that our pandemic readiness was basically crap, needing an urgent update. Not something that our trustworthy, transparent government happened to mention.
The only thing transparent about this shower is their untrustworthiness.
Looking at the information the government had before it and its inability to learn from previous experience, I concluded that it was reasonable to cut it some slack. Consequently, I came to the satirical view that, in a more caring society we would decide that the cabinet were suffering from a learning disability.
Sadly, Facebook took a different view and banned my post. Odd really, it was being posted to a private group and the target was the government and certainly not those suffering from real learning disabilities. I’d be interested in other people’s take on this.
I also made the decision that the only news programme worth watching at the moment is Channel 4 News. They seem to be the only news channel I have watched recently that is not obsessed with reporting what three dim-witted passers-by in some obscure town, anywhere in the UK, think about an issue that they clearly have no knowledge of. I don’t watch news so that I can form the same views as an ill-informed majority. I actually want some hard information,
So much of the media output is just rehashed crap that, in an effort to protect my mental health, I’m trying to avoid news input until 7.00 pm each day.
Beyond the fridge
Now that Johnson has decided that this is the moment to make his mark on the world stage, he has emerged from his fridge with renewed bluster. Not much else apparently, judging by his new Super team, put in place to make sure things all go to shit as quickly as possible. Well, someone has to make sure they “Get it Done” don’t they? With Johnson, Gove, Hancock, Sunak, and Raab, what could possibly go wrong?
We’ll see how that pans out.