Second Wave? No, This Is Much Worse

From midnight on the 31st, 75% of the population of Great Britain will be under the high-level Tier 4 Lockdown.

This follows a huge increase in cases of Covid-19, and the fast spread of the new variant that began in the south-east counties of Kent and Essex recently.
In the last twenty four hours, 961 people have died after contracting Coronavirus, and more than 50,000 new infections were notified.

Not much of a start to 2021, but let’s hope the lockdown does some good.

Here is a full report from the BBC News website, in case those of you with friends or relatives in the UK would like to know more.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55489932

Beetley Update: Yet Another Covid-19 Saturday

As this situation drags on, it even seems to be geting to the local dogs. I was awakened early by dogs barking in nearby gardens, and that set off some ‘yappy dogs’ on the street outside. Very soon, there was some kind of ‘Canine Concerto’ happening, and getting back to sleep was impossible.

During the current lockdown, even allowing for the recent ‘easing of restrictions’, waking up early is not advised. With nowhere much to go, it makes a long day feel a whole lot longer. We can of course drive to the coast if we wish, but there are still no cafes or public toilets open, so maybe not a good idea. Not much point going into town to look around the shops, as only the food shops and chemists are open at the moment.

Uncertain weather doesn’t help either. Depending which forecast you look at, we are due to have either a dry humid day up to 24 C, or a 60% chance of thundery showers in the same temperatures. The obvious conclusion is that it is going to feel uncomfortably humid, whatever happens.

Next week, ‘non-essential’ shops are allowed to open. I predict there will be a rush on for hairdressers and barbers, as well as people browsing in gift shops, charity shops, and card shops, just because they can. Not because they actually want to buy anything. The local supermarkets are retaining the same distancing measures and queueing system, and I think that’s a good idea. When Macdonalds reopened last week, the queue for the drive-through brought local traffic to a standstill. Imagine if the restaurant had opened too.

People are craving what they were used to, and will not hesitate to have it once they can. All this talk of the world ‘changing’ becuase of the Coronavirus is just fantasy, I’m afraid. They will jump in their cars, head to the shoppping malls, book holidays abroad on jet planes, pack out any public venues that actually open, and get back to ‘normal’ in a heartbeat, as if nothing had happened.

Don’t believe me? Wait and see.

Fear Of Strangers.

There has been a gradual change of personal interaction around here since the pandemic continued so much longer than many thought it might. At the start, people kept their distance, but were still chatty. Whether familiar dog-walkers, or people never previously encountered on walks, everyone was ready to stop and talk, if only about the virus, or the weather.

This week, I noticed more people in the supermarket keeping their distance, and obeying the rules. Then out with Ollie, I could tell people were not only keeping a distance, but settling for a wave from a long way off, rather than the six-feet gap to allow a reasonable conversation. In some cases, this is to be welcomed, as there are a few walkers who like to ‘latch on’, and talk at length about things like Brexit, or house prices.

But in general, I detected a palpable sense of fear. Fear of strangers, as well as fear of people they already knew reasonably well, like me.

Walking back to the house, I refelected on why that might have happened. I conclude it might be about survival. When all this started, few people really expected to get the virus, and even less to die from it. But the stark statistics of 32,000 deaths in the UK cannot be ignored, as we see them every day on the news. The longer the virus scare continues, the more it creeps into your head that you could be number 32,001.

Other people are now potentially lethal. Especially strangers.

INDIA ON COVID-19 || COVID-19 UPDATE.

Another view of the effects of Covid-19, this time from Suzan, in India. Fascinating to hear about how the virus is affecting life in different countries around the world.

Magical BookLush

Good morning people. How are you all?? How’s corona?? Is it still traumatizing you?? Well, India has learnt how to fight it…actually India has learnt how to overlook it. I haven’t been writing or commenting on any Covid-19 posts basically trying to avoid anything related to it because I got my news reporting mom. To be honest she should be a journalist. Too much reporting of news. Well, I had thought of informing you all the state of India so here I am with today’s special post about Coronavirus. So without any further ado let me step by step take you to all the things going on in India. Let’s go, shall we??

So as we all know Coronavirus is spreading all around the world and killing many people. It’s hard to avoid the news when the only news you get is ‘coronavirus killed these many people in these many…

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Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

What if I die?

I had a disturbed sleep last night. No doubt the coronavirus was on my mind, as I was still thinking about it when I woke up this morning. And about one aspect in particular, what would happen if I was to contract the virus, and die.

Recovery rates in my age group are still low, and if I get the symptoms, there is the possibility that I could be dead within less than a week, perhaps even in just three days. Don’t get me wrong. I am not panicking about it, and not even greatly concerned. If it happens, there’s little I can do to change that.

So should I be planning for that possibility? Making some sort of arrangements, compiling lists, and contacting people I might never see or talk to again? It’s a ‘just in case’ situation, I know, but if I am suddenly struck down, it will be too late then.

One of my friends has my password for WordPress, so should be able to let all my fellow bloggers know I have gone. But what of everything else? All those small ‘administration’ details that never really enter most of our heads.

I don’t have a lot of savings, and the only life insurance I have will pay for my funeral, and leave some change. Julie would have to apply to receive half of my work pensions, and a State widow’s pension. With her part-time job, she might be able to afford to stay on in the house, as it is already paid for. But the regular bills never go down, so there are Council Tax, Water Rates, Electricity, Heating Oil, and regular maintenance to consider. She might well do better to sell up, downsize, and stash a good lump of equity to help in the future.

Then what would she do with my car? It is 13 years old, and expensive to run. She might be able to give it away to one of her family, or sell it for a small amount. Her car is much newer, but has a lot less room for Ollie.

Yes, Ollie is a huge consideration. She will have to change her routine to take him for walks, and cope with him expecting me to come home at any moment.

She doesn’t know the access code for my new PC. Not that she is interested in using it, but even if she gave it away, she would need the code. Perhaps I should write it down for her? And she is never sure what day the bins go out, as I always do that. Should I start a notebook, with all this stuff jotted down? Leave her the contact numbers for the plumber, electrician, and anyone else I usually contact? It seems to me that I should create a ‘Just in case’ notebook, with all sorts of things written down.

Then there is the funeral situation. She already knows that I want a basic funeral, with no religious element. She might even remember the two songs I wanted to be played. But given current conditions, the funeral would be quick, and almost nobody allowed to attend. So maybe that doesn’t need to go in the notebook at all.

The more I think about it, the more small details need to be recorded. Where I keep the key for the electric meter cupboard, how to check the amount of heating oil in the tank, and who to email to order more. When the boiler has to be serviced, where I keep the tiny spare lightbulbs for the bedroom lamps, and so many other silly small things that we take for granted.

Seems to me that dying takes a lot of preparation.

Covid-19: Thinking Aloud On Easter Sunday

A Virus is NOT Bacteria.

Hard to think about much else these days, though I am trying my best, with some reblogs and short-story fiction.

When the panic-buying started, some of the many things to disappear from the shops – alongside toilet paper – were the Antibacterial sprays used for cleaning surfaces. The shelves were empty of them, including the brand leader that claims to kill “99.9% of all known germs”.

Last time I went to the supermarket, a young man was handing out the trolleys inside the entrance, after first spraying some antibacterial spray onto a cloth that he gave each shopper to use to clean the trolley handles before they entered the aisles. I used it as instructed, then threw the cloth into the bin provided. But I felt the need to advise him of something before I began shopping.

“Thanks, but this is a virus, not bacteria or a germ. Antibacterial sprays will not kill this virus, anymore than they will kill the ‘Flu virus, or the common cold. If they did, nobody would ever need to catch the ‘Flu, or a cold. Just so you know”.

He looked at me as if I had slapped him around the face.

“Sorry sir, but I just do as I am told. If you don’t wipe down the handles, you can’t be allowed in to go shopping”. I felt sorry for him, as he couldn’t have been much older than 17. I pointed through the window to the car park, where people were returning trolleys to the small sheds, and others taking them and walking across to the front of the shop, pushing them. “Too late for them. They have already touched a trolley used by someone else, before you tell them they have to wipe the handles with one of your cloths. See what I mean?”

He didn’t. “Please move on, sir, there are people behind you”.

**Please remember** This is NOT a bacterial infection, it is a viral infection. Antbacterial sprays are good for keeping surfaces clean, and smell nice too. But they will NOT kill off the Covid-19 virus.

You need something with either a high concentration of alcohol, or something that is very soapy. Like washing-up liquid, or liquid hand soap.

Please stay safe.

Covid-19: Irresponsibility and Social Distancing

We are supposed to be approaching the peak of virus infections, yet deaths continue to rise here.

Is it any wonder? The Police are having to break up house parties, social gatherings in the streets, and even quite large organised ‘gigs’. Youngsters are still seen in groups even here in Beetley, sitting around, playing football, or walking just inches apart.

Underground trains are still overcrowded in most cities, and many shops have yet to introduce measures to enforce any kind of safe social distancing.

And if any of us think it is still dangerous here, look what is going on abroad.

Churches are flouting the rules in America, with ridiculously criminal evangelical preachers claiming that they can ‘blow away’ the virus. They are encouraging their congregations to shake hands and hug, telling them that God will protect them. Then they take the collections, and fill their coffers with money from the dazed and confused. Some states in the USA are on the verge of catastrophe, yet the residents are complaining that not being able to go and have their hair cut, or a pedicure, is an infringement of their ‘human rights’. Even the president of America acts as if it will all be fine and dandy in ten days or so. He should be leading that nation using commonsense, instead of leading it over a precipice.

What is it with them? Group hysteria? Collective insanity? Or just good old plain ignorance and stupidity.

In India, parts of South-East Asia, and in most African countries, street markets continue to be packed with shoppers, and public transport is full to overflowing. As cases begin to increase in number even in the remotest parts of the planet, those in the most populous appear to have the same mentality as lemmings running off a cliff.

I don’t think this is anywhere near over. It feels to me as if the rest of the world is just catching up with China and Europe. Sadly, it is going to be with us for a very long time yet. Despite that, I am listening to a government spokesman on the news claiming that “the worst should be over in two weeks”. I feel as if I am the only sane person in an asylum.

It can’t happen to you, you think? Well I am here to tell you that you are very wrong.

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.

Beetley, and The Virus

Whatever happens, 2020 will always be remembered as the ‘Year of The Coronavirus’. Life in Beetley was always pretty quiet, but this year it is even quieter.

The population of Beetley, including the hamlet of Old Beetley, is just 1,390. On a busy day, I might see perhaps ten or twelve of those people, and they will mostly be walking dogs. Almost every home here has a pet, and the majority of those are dogs.

On large dog-friendly areas like Beetley Meadows or Hoe Rough, we might be joined by prople from the next village of Gressenhall, or from the nearby market town of Dereham, four miles south. But since returning from a short trip on Tuesday, I have hardly seen anyone.

People here are taking self-isolation quite seriously. Like me, many are only venturing out to walk dogs, or to buy groceries. Even though the schools are not closed until Friday, lots of children have already been kept away from school.

My daily dog walk has become quite strange. Other walkers are keeping a distance, in some cases turning round and walking away from me and Ollie. Over on Hoe Rough today, the sight of us approaching sent one family into an apparent frenzy to avoid walking past us. I felt as if I should have a bell around my neck.

I wonder how long it will be until we have to start painting black crosses on our front doors?

Blogging, and Coronavirus

As this new dangerous virus sweeps around the world, one good thing about staying at home more is that we can all spare some time to keep blogging. Some bloggers live alone, and their online community is very important to them. In some cases, it might be the only regular human interaction they enjoy.

But even as we isolate, let’s not forget those less fortunate. Reach out to fellow bloggers, and find out of any of them live nearby. Near enough that you might be able to help them, if needed. Without physical contact, we can still help each other. Perhaps get some extra groceries, and drop them off outside. Payment is easy to arrange through Paypal, after all.

Or maybe we can all just try that little bit harder to read and comment on the posts of our friends in this wonderful WordPress community. Let them know someone is reading, listening, and thinking about them too.

As anyone who has been blogging for over a year will be aware, bloggers are essentially kind and caring people, with a great sense of community. Many of us regard our blogging friends as real genuine friends. We worry about them when they are absent, and get to know a great deal about them over the years of following and being followed.

Unlike those selfish panic-buyers and hoarders, we can show the world that bloggers are genuinely caring and supportive. Yes we have to make sure us and our families are safe. But once we have done that, spare some thought, and time, to keep in touch with our online friends too.

I send everyone my best wishes, and my hope that none of you fall victim to this pandemic.