Thursday 19th March
A mixed sort of day really: My youngest daughter’s partner sent me a couple of cheery links about not spreading the dreaded virus following admonitions the night before, when they heard that we were thinking of going to a supermarket. One was the video showing a line of matches catching light one after the other, with the chain being broken when one match became animated and stepped back. Out of the line of fire so to speak, thus breaking the link. The other was a bit more pointed, showing a generic NHS worker, masked-up, holding a note saying:
I STAYED AT WORK FOR YOU.
YOU STAY AT HOME FOR US!
OK, OK, We’d pretty much given up on the idea anyway. He also sent me an absorbing if slightly obsessive article with a tool for modelling viruses: https://meltingasphalt.com/interactive/outbreak/ that really got my attention and is well worth a look.
Another thing that amused me were some of the great Trump pronouncements: maybe I’ll make this a regular feature, The Sound of Trumpets or something.
Anyway today’s came from the net via one of our kids:
The Sound of Trumpets: No 1 March 18th 2020
“People are dying who have never died before”
The most disappointing news of the day as far I have been concerned today is to discover that the Government’s approval rating is riding high! Now, I knew our electorate was as thick as two short planks, but this is just taking the piss. Never mind, let’s just press on and enjoy the day. After a sticky start, I managed to distract myself with the joys of giving our bathroom a really good clean. It’s nice to get back to basics every now and then.
However, there’s no avoiding the numbers…
Date Tested Positive Deaths Positive Deaths
18/3 64621* 3269 144 643 40
17/3 56221 2626 104 676 33
16/3 50442 1950 72 407 17
15/3 44105 1543 55 171 21
14/3 40279 1392 35 252 14
13/3 37746 1140 21
- Government figures for the number of people tested is still proving difficult to find. Maybe because they have plateaued. This figure comes from the BBC reality check team for 19/3. The promised HMG daily update paper due at 14.00 on 19/3 has still not been published at 11.30 on 20/3. I wonder why.
This made me look further into what turned out to be bogus claims by Grant Shapps MP, that Britain ranked third in the World in numbers of tests carried out (Today programme on 16th March). Unfortunately, this is just not true (Full Fact). The UK was ranked 5th at the time behind China, South Korea, Italy and Russia, and this was only from the relatively small number of countries making returns at that time.
In fact, on 17th March, when the number of reporting nations had grown to 64, and when population size is taken into account, the UK ranks 27th. Not quite leading the world eh?
Would I lie To you?
Still one thing we can be sure of, if our Government says it, we should bring on Rob Brydon for it is likely to be a lie.
A triumph of hope over action
My brother shared a post that resonated for me. It was from Best for Britain and it said of Johnson’s latest press conference:
“A prime Minister who HOPES people stop going to pubs, but won’t close them, HOPES ailing firms don’t sack people, but won’t help them, HOPES businesses don’t profiteer, but won’t stop them.
A complete vacuum of leadership.”
I watched Johnson grin and blather his way through questions to the obvious embarrassment of his two “Scientific” colleagues. It was full of the usual clichés: The, “If we all pull together”, “We’ll send this virus packing” sort of crap, smiling diffidently at his support players in turn, while they stared steadfastly straight ahead.
Most telling was the final question where he was asked what he meant by “turning the tide in twelve weeks”. It was clear from his blathering that he hadn’t a clue what he meant. “Er, get on top of it” was the best he managed. There was a really telling hiatus when he paused for breath and a winsome smile; neither of his colleagues wanted to take up the baton and explain what the lunatic meant. I wish he’d go away and get on top of something – I can think of some activity that seems to work for him.
So, on a day when China announced zero new cases, we have a government still pretending that all will be well as long as WE all pull together. Presumable if it doesn’t turn out well, it’ll be because we didn’t do as we were told. Nothing to do with the government who are still working flat out, 24 hours a day on absolutely everything!
Oh well onwards and upwards as the figures unfortunately show.