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I have a burning need to know stuff and I love asking awkward questions.

Monday, April 27, 2020

A Sixth View from the Apocalypse

How fast time flies when you can’t go anywhere! I think I’m getting into the habit of existing within four walls. I was always a homebody but it’s rather different when you can’t go anywhere and not just don’t want to. It’s a funny feeling. One thing I’m not is bored. The days actually rush by. I have a pretty standard schedule so I’m not looking for things to do. Reading helps of course. If I can’t leave the house physically I can at least leave it in my head (I’m spending half of the day in 19th century Bath presently which is interesting as I know the present day city – or at least I’ve been there on multiple occasions). Then there’s learning stuff on YouTube (World History mostly but also a bit of Science too), catching up on TV boxsets (just finished Stargate: Atlantis Series 3 and will now be re-watching Series 1 of WestWorld to catch all of the things I missed in the first viewing) and then there’s gaming (2 Point Hospital ATM which is funny and challenging in equal measure) and chatting to the Guys online in the evenings (we’re even talking of having a Virtual Curry as we presently can’t meet up in a restaurant).

In the larger world the UK is still in lockdown so there’s nowhere much to go. I do visit my local supermarket every few days for about 15 minutes which does honestly increase my stress levels before, during and after the trip. I couldn’t help but thinking that my present habit of cleaning any plastic bottles with anti-bacterial wipes followed by door handles, light switches and other hard surfaces when I get back felt like I was about the exit a crime scene and didn’t want to leave any DNA evidence behind. I couldn’t help but chuckle at that.

Larger still it looks like a lot of Europe is starting to open up – at least tentatively. No doubt our government is keeping a weather eye on that and taking any results into account for their own plans in the coming months. I still think we won’t see any return to a new normal (how far that will be from per-Covid normal is anyone’s guess) until after a vaccine and effective treatment are in place. If any changes will be permanent I don’t know. It’ll be interesting to see if people will still shake hands in 12 or 18 months’ time. I think Bill Gates was right when he said that the Pandemic would accelerate the move online – both for workers (at least the ones who can do so) and businesses (likewise). I think in the future far more will be delivered to your home rather than going out and buying it. I do wonder if we’ll start valuing those in various parts of the Service Sector though. It’s all smiles and clapping now but will that translate into higher wages and more status? For a while maybe… But at least it has highlighted just how important these people are and, as they are human beings, they deserve to be appreciated anyway rather than be regarded by far too many as menials there to serve the better off.

Hopefully the other lesson that the whole world has learnt is that we can no longer ignore and underfund Pandemic preparedness and research. If we’d been spending the millions early on we could have saved the trillions its costing right now. Because as sure as God made little green apples there will be another Covid outbreak which could be a lot worse than this one. If we’re not ready for Covid-25 or Covid-35 then we deserve to have our civilisations butt kicked. We need to stop ignoring the science and start listening to the scientists and, far more importantly, plan and act accordingly. Maybe after the tragedy we’re living through starts to fade we’ll be stronger for it. Here’s hoping that’s the case. Be Safe. Stay Safe.   


Stephen said...

The states around us are opening up, but Alabama is staying the course -- at least, for now. We'll see what happens once May arrives. Our governor hasn't said anything beyond the fact that our re-opening should be data-, rather than date-driven.

I don't think we're done with COVID-19, anyway....it's still percolating its way into the global south, from what I hear.

mudpuddle said...

whole-heartedly agree re science... unlike 80% of the American public, dummies that they are... the "new normal" is going to be interesting, that's for sure, altho i suspect the ranters and ravers will have their own ways as usual...

Stephen said...

Judging from reddit, those states that have relaxed their rules are seeing an immediate surge in moronic behavior -- people trying to crowd into restaurants at double their USUAL capacity, that sort of thing. I'm going to be avoiding places even once rules are relaxed, just to avoid the crowdy-backlash.

Judy Krueger said...

As most humans learn nothing from history, I find it hard to be optimistic. If scientists get a larger voice, I am all for that. I will probably stay at home through May and watch what happens. We are planning a curbside pickup of pizza for excitement this week!

CyberKitten said...

@ Stephen: Funny that the Whitehouse issues 'guidelines' and then doesn't say 'boo' when they're completely ignored. Unfortunately the States that open FAR too early will rue the day. There's going to be a lot of sorry people in the next month or so.

@ Mudpuddle: If *only* people put Science first. When the get a politicised Pandemic you're asking for trouble. It's no great surprise that the USA is doing so badly compared to the rest of the 'developed' world.

@ Judy: From what I've been seeing on US news I'm not optimistic either. The only thing you can really do it seems it look after yourself, your family and your neighbours. It'll only get back to anything like normal post-vaccine (which I'd be cautious about the way they're 'warp' speeding it through the process. Again FAR too much politics involved it what should be sober Science.