Virus Deaths: One Story

I read something on a local newspaper website earlier this week. I went back to get a link to add here, but it has been taken down. Presumably to save the family from more distress.

We are all reading about deaths from the virus, all around the world. As the numbers get bigger, they stop becoming people, and are just numbers. I read that 1,000 people have died fom the virus in the USA. Can you imagine seeing 1,000 dead bodies laid out in a line? I once saw more than 20 bodies at the scene of a train crash. It looked like a lot of bodies. And I was an EMT, so used to seeing such things.

1,000 bodies arranged in a line would stretch almost 3,000 yards. That’s 1.7 miles. That distance would take almost 30 minutes to walk, at a normal pace. Hard to comprehend, I know.

So let’s just think about one person who died because of this virus, and the impact on his family.

A local man in his fifties had a mild heart attack last year. He had a stent procedure to open a coronary artery, was put on blood-thinning drugs, and sent home. He went back to work as normal, and returned home to his wife and two twenty-something children who still lived at the house. Just over a week ago, he woke up with a very high temperature, so stayed off work. The next day he had a very bad cough too. Covid-19 was suspected, and the call was made to the family doctor. That doctor decided to send an ambulance to take the man into the emergency department of the local main hospital.

He had to travel without his wife and family of course. They were not allowed to get close to him as he was taken to the ambulance, so no goodbye kisses. Then because they were in a house where those symptoms were found, they all had to self-isolate. Calling the hospital that night, they were told that he was ‘seriously ill’. The next day, someone called them to tell them he had died.

Imagine that. No goodbyes, no last moments together, no chance to comfort the man she had been married to for thirty years.

The funeral was just 24 hours later, a cremation arranged by a local undertaker. The family was informed that only ten mourners could attend. But as they were self-isolating, they were not allowed to go. Any relatives or friends that might usually have attended did not want to travel during this crisis. So the man was cremated in an empty facility. The undertaker sent a bill, adding that they understood it would be some time before payment could be made. The ashes would be sent to her in due course.

That’s it. Thirty years together comes down to three phone calls, and it’s all over.

Then the everyday problems begin. To get an official death certificate, you have to attend the appropriate department at the Town Hall, with the initial certificate given to you at the hospital. But you are self-isolating, and are not allowed out. Even if they could go out, the office is closed because of the lockdown of workplaces. And you would not be allowed into the hospital to collect their form, as you were too close to someone who died from Covid-19.

Without that death certificate, you cannot access the man’s bank account or savings. Cannot cancel his credit card, or any other payments still going out of his account. You cannot make a claim on his life insurance, sell his car, or do a dozen other things that have crossed your mind will need doing.

On top of your grief, you have to deal with all that stuff too.

Then there is the worry. What about me? What about the chldren? Will we get it now? You can’t seek comfort from relatives and friends either, because you are not allowed out. Anyway, it wouldn’t be a good idea, even if you were.

In the last 24 hours in Spain, 832 people died. Imagine that story above, mutiplied by that figure.

That’s the reality. Are you scared yet? You should be.

Yes still, social media is showing people, mostly young people and teenagers, who think it is funny to spit on food in supermarkets, or rub their saliva over the handles on public transport. Parcel delivery people spitting on parcels that they then hand to a recipient, idiots licking toilet seats, some deliberately touching things in shops then replacing them, and even claiming that Covid-19 is a hoax, and doesn’t exist. Some of those videos have been shared over half a million times, watched by giggling youngsters who think it is all a great joke.

Try telling that to the wife of the man who died near here this week.

Mythaxis Magazine: Spring Edition

The print edition of Mythaxis Review Magazine will be available to buy from Amazon in the next few days.

As you can see from the cover, it contains reviews from me, so think of this as blatant self-promotion!

I confess that seeing my name on the cover of any publication does make me feel very good, and makes all my hard work trying to write worthwhile.

By choice, I don’t make any money from doing this, but would of course be immensely pleased if anyone decided to buy a copy.

Keyboard annoyance

I have recently started to use the new keyboard I got for Christmas. It is identical to the old one that stopped being ‘recognised’ by my PC, for some reason.

However, it has developed an aversion to the letter ‘W’. Every word I type that includes that letter appears with the ‘W’ missing. Then I have to go back over everything I have typed, and insert the ‘W’ with great care.

This is very annoying, and it has also made me realise just how many words and names include a ‘W’.

It is also one of the reasons why my serial episode did not appear yesterday, as I got too frustrated to continue typing. Naturally, it is past the time when I could return it. I could raise a fault complaint with Amazon, but then I would have to send it back, and wait for a replacement or repair. I could just order another new one, but I don’t want to spend £30 on that at the moment.

In the current crisis, it is not a big deal. So please bear with me while I summon up the enthusiasm to struggle with that annoying ‘W’!

Featured Blogger: Shaily Agrawal

I am once again very happy to feature some poetry from Indian blogger, Shaily Agrawal.

Autumn Leaves

Autumn leaves adorn you.
Sleep deep, my love.

Sleep without regrets to fill every
Waking moment lying on the bed.

Sleep without nightmares to haunt
On cold, long, lonely nights.

Sleep without waking on a pillow
Wet with tears shed for lost love.

Sleep so memories can’t reach you
Deep under the ground.

I will see you there someday too.

I love you. I still do.

This is her short personal bio.

About me: Shaily Agrawal is an Instructional Designer, a mother, and a small town woman. She is notorious for her skewed perspective.

If you would like to read more from Shaily, or give her some encouragement in these troubled times, here’s a link.
https://fishinthetrees.home.blog/

Breaking News: Boris has the virus. (Or not)

The BBC has just broadcast a ‘home video’ of our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, saying he has to ‘self-isolate’ in his official residence.

According to him, he has had a ‘high temperature’, and a ‘persistent cough’. After testing, it was confirmed that he has the virus.

During the broadcast of three minutes or so long, he didn’t cough once. He didn’t even try to suppress a cough. And he looked very well, not at all like someone suffering from a high temperature.

According to the news report, he was ‘tested at Ten Downing Street by NHS staff’. Presumably some of those same overworked NHS staff run off their feet caring for seiously ill people in nearby London hospitals. And using test kits that are supposedly in ‘short supply’. And look how fast his results came back! Same day service, it would seem.

One of his cronies took to the telephone, stating, “This shows no matter how high you are, whether a Prince, or Prime Minister, nobody is safe from contracting this virus”.

That short statement from former Conservative Prime Minister Iain Duncan-Smith says it all. Tell the plebs the Prince has got it. Then tell us that Johnson has got it, and that’s supposed to make us feel better when one of our untested relatives dies in isolation.

My message to both Boris and Prince Charles is that I am not falling for it. Not until I see your bodies being carried out in coffins for incineration.

And even then, I want to look inside to make sure.

New London ‘Death Camp’ will be ready soon

Reblogging this from my other political blog because I think it is important for more people to see it.

REDFLAGFLYING

Much has been made of the fact that the government is rushing to convert an existing conference and entertainment venue into a new ‘Hospital’. They are working hard in East London’s Excel Centre to create two ‘wards’ that will each accommodate 2,000 people. They have even given it a nice name, ‘The Nightingale Hospital’.

Does that sound good to you? Well it doesn’t to me.

I would like to know how they expect to treat 4,000 people lined up together in a massive space that is one kilometre long. How will they keep them apart at a safe distance? Will there be respirators for those needing life support? (Unlikely) Where will they find the doctors and nursing staff to treat them? (Answer, The Military)

So what we have here is a place where those who are expected to die are going to be sent to, to do just that. In…

View original post 90 more words

Just Been Watching… (118)

The Beguiled (2017)

***No Spoliers***

Just got around to watching this, which I had saved on my PVR. For anyone who doesn’t know, this is a remake of the original 1971 film by Don Siegel, that starred Clint Eastwood.

Adapted from a novel of the same name, it is set during the US Civil War, in 1864. In war-torn Virginia, only a few girls remain at an academy for young ladies. Still being taught, and working the land to survive, they hope to see out the war safely, by staying in seclusion. Then one day, the youngest girl is searching for mushrooms in the woods, and comes across a wounded Union soldier. Despite him being an enemy, she takes pity on him, and helps him back to the school.

His arrival among the girls and two older women teachers causes a stir. At first they think to hand him over to Confederate patrols, but the novelty of having a man in the old plantation house makes the owner change her mind. She tends his wounds instead, and allows him to stay locked in a room until he has recovered enough to become a prisoner of war. The mixed ages of the women and girls means we see a range of emotions toward the man. From the repressed sexuality of the older lonely women, the curiousity of the pubescent younger girls, and the youngest one who looks upon him as an older brother.

The scene is set for a dangerous mix of passions to explode in the closed atmosphere of the school.

Director Sophia Coppola offers us a muted colour palette, a real sense of the summer heat in Virginia, and glances and nuances that betray the desire of the females, and their Union prisoner too. The casting is first-rate, with Colin Farrell as the Irishman who no longer wants to fight, seeing an easy life is possible by staying shut away with the women and girls. The owner of the school is played by Nicole Kidman with her usual flair, and the excellent Kirsten Dunst shines as the sexually-repressed woman who lusts after contact with the handsome man. The other girls in the cast capture the mood of the 19th century very well, and as each one encounters the man during his stay, they manage to perfectly convey their change in attitude to him.

As he grows stronger, and is able to mix with them, the soldier begins to take advantage of his unusual situation, and things build to a satisfying climax. All of this is packed into a suitably short running time that never stretches to boredom, or uses ‘fillers’. It sounds good, doesn’t it? And it is.

But, there’s a big BUT.

The whole thing is pretty much a scene by scene remake of the original 1971 film. In that one, Eastwood plays the soldier as a more sleazy and opportunistic character, and we always know his intentions. The women in that first film are less attractive too, explaining to some extent why they so easily succumb to his charms. Siegel gives us a more lurid film, as suits the story, and the sense of overwhelming repressed desire is better handled too.

In short, the remake was completely unnecessary. (They usually are) And the original, in my opinion, is a more satisfying film.

Many others don’t agree with me, I know. That’s up to them.