Well, here we are in a kind of “plague year” of the contemporary era. Things seem to be getting worse, and there is not so much overt panic as a sense of impending threat, a sense of muted dread.
I again made my way to Waitrose yesterday, for the first time in a couple of days. About half an hour before closing time (mid-evening). Few shoppers, including one couple the lady of which, as they passed by, looked right at me, looked boldly into my eyes and smiled as she saw me buy two jars of red caviar. Does she like caviar? Did she like me? Was she a store detective? We shall never know.
I was interested to see that every single roll of loo paper (of every type and brand) had (again) gone from the shelves, as had every single pack of pasta, and I do mean every pack, from the economy spaghetti and penne right through to the premium-quality-made-in-Italy-in-fancy-packaging-at-three-times-the-price stuff, even the giant pasta shells and odd types that are usually far less popular than standard linguine, tagliatelle etc.
People, whether panic-buyers or (not panicking but) bulk-buying shoppers, have woken up to the fact that this situation could be months not weeks, and that you cannot eat or drink loo paper (the large packs of water such as Volvic etc were also depleted).
Is anything of this actually sensible? Frankly, I fear that it may be. We are hearing now that people may be asked to “self-isolate”. That will apply particularly to people over 70 and (who knows?) even those over-60 (like me…63 since September). Not every person in those age groups uses or even has the Internet, with which Internet shopping can be done. That is assuming that the supermarkets have supplies, have the means to deliver supplies, and that their websites do not crash.
I am sure that Boris-idiot and his fiancee will not run out of loo paper or pasta, but many others may. In that sense, a reasonable level (whatever that means) of bulk-buying may be prudent, so long as it does not reach lunatic proportions.
There is also the point that, from the infection point of view, it makes sense to shop once in any given period rather than ten times. It also makes sense to use online supermarket shopping if possible.
There is a limit, not only to how much should be bought (of anything), from the social point of view, but to how much can be bought by most people. Not everyone has the cash to go out and spend £1,000 or £2,000 in one go. Also, not everyone has large houses in which to store items in bulk. I myself now live in a tiny flat which, in its entirety, would fit, maybe twice, into merely the (rarely-used) ballroom of a house in which I lived at one time
Most people are very limited in space, do not have cellars and unused rooms in which to store vast amounts of loo paper or dried and tinned food.
I have not bought greatly more than previously; I had some slack anyway. I suppose that (for 2 people) I have about 45 rolls of loo paper, mostly bought before the present crisis, and maybe enough for 3 months. That is prudence, not panic. Likewise, I dare say that I have on hand enough dried, tinned, frozen and other food for about a month, maybe longer. Living where I now do, I no longer have the large American fridges and freezers in which can be stored really useful amounts of frozen food.
In my present location, there are many people in large houses with equally large amounts of storage space, and who no doubt have enormous freezers etc. I suspect that most of the (unreasonably?) bulk-buying shoppers are such people.
Apart from the above, I personally am not only already rather “self-isolating” (as well as politically-isolating and isolated…) but have turned that up a few notches. I use hand gel after using the automatic petrol pump a few miles from my humble home, same when I leave the supermarket. When I return home, I wash hands and lower arms thoroughly. I socialize little anyway and have now completely stopped visiting anyone.
Having said that, we are all on this Earth for a limited span. I still have things on the wider spectrum (social, political) which I want to do or, more accurately, which must be done. I have a very limited number of years left anyway now that I am 63. For that reason, time presses. Of course, I shall reincarnate and carry on my work anyway, but this is a very important time in the history of the world. What has to happen must and will happen.
Is there an Israeli connection to Coronavirus?
Co-incidences happen without there having been a “conspiracy”. The only thing is, with Israel and the Jews the “incidences” seem so much more frequent…
By the way, it makes me laugh to see Zionist Jews asking “will antisemites use a vaccine produced in Israel? Are they hypocrites?”
Why not use any vaccine if there is one? After all, people who distrust Jews and their manipulations sometimes use Uzi weapons. They do not say, in extremis or otherwise, “no, I shall not use a weapon of Israeli origin”. Not when it works that well.
Classic British film
I had never seen this one:
Great shots of postwar Berlin, 7 years after the end of that war, inc. footage of Tempelhof Airport, mainly constructed during the time of the Reich. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Tempelhof_Airport
Hildegard Knef is a knockout in that film. I like the soundtrack, too. In fact, some of the scenes and also the soundtrack reminded me of another film, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, made 12 years later in 1965. Maybe the one influenced the other.
Coronavirus in Netherlands
Very strange. Different strains? How? Why? I am not a scientist, let alone a virologist or immunologist, but this seems very odd. It seems to be more like a weapon than an accident.
Coronavirus: messaging difficulties
The Government of the UK is pretty useless, but it is difficult to tell the public anything and to change behaviour. It usually takes a long time and much repetition. In my own lifetime, I have seen attitudes change, sometimes but not always for the better: against drink-driving, in favour of wearing seatbelts, against smoking, to name just three. All three required constant propaganda and also legislative change.
It seems (from an opinion poll) that only about 65% in the UK are now taking more care with hygiene (by washing hands etc), and that rather few are changing their plans to socialize, travel on public transport (and don’t forget that taxis are also public transport) or attend events. 25% are, it seems, not changing any aspect of their lives by reason of the virus emergency. That may be because young people in particular think that they are almost immune and so need not do anything (but they may still be infected and give it to others). I have also recently seen stubborn attitudes in older people who should know better.
I just saw the profile of a former fellow-member of my last chambers, Sara T., a family law specialist. I had seen nothing of her since 2007. I officially left my last set in 2008 and not 2007 (it being necessary to give them 6 months’ notice —and rent!—) but in fact stayed in France after Christmas and did not return to the UK after the last week of 2007. I believe that Sara T. also left those chambers in 2008 or 2009. She is now back in Exeter, it seems, but in another set that used to be opposite ours, on the bluff overlooking the River Exe.
What interested me was that her profile says “mother of a teenage son”. In the same year that I joined Chambers, there was a social event at the home of another member. Sara T. attended, along with her then boyfriend and their tiny baby.
It is obvious, of course, that a baby, in the course of 18 years, becomes about 18 years old. In a sense it should not surprise, yet somehow it does, just as it surprises me to realize that someone else I knew long ago is now very nearly 43, someone whom I met when she was only 4 years old, and at a time when she once identified me to her little friends (as recounted her mother, my then girlfriend) as “that was my big friend Ian; I drink chocolate milk with him”!
This has worn fairly well…
(scroll down to “Boris-idiot is getting worried” and the paragraphs below there)
The tentative election prediction has not worn so well, true, but the assessment of “Boris” has, I aver.
Oh well, Cummings can always sue me…Oh, no, wait—he can’t. No-one can. I am unsueable. I can say, write and do as I please.
“Night….for me there is no law” —Vladimir Vysotsky, 07 (long-distance telephone code)