15 March 2020
Your intrepid researcher’s London trip was uneventful, apart from being 10 hours out of the house for a 30-second injection. The first person I saw wearing a face mask was in Exeter but I didn’t see any more until I was walking the streets of London, not even on the underground from Paddington to Kings Cross. I ultimately saw 7 more masks – on 2 individuals and a group of 5 young women; all eight of their faces (well, the upper halves anyway) appeared to have far eastern features and I wondered if they were wearing masks for their protection or mine.
There seems to be a certain poetry in the fact that the first MP who tested positive was Nadine Dorries, the health minister (her mother has also since tested positive). And, by the end of the week, that nice Mr Johnson was looking awful but this might only be because he just wanted to be prime minister, he didn’t think about the responsibility that goes with it and he’s having to work for a living for the first time in his life.
I’ve never been frightened of being dead, though I have a definite preference for not dying painfully; my wife and I always used to insist on our right to die first but, now I’m her carer, my feelings are more mixed.
All this coronavirus stuff is getting very tedious so I’m reckoning that I’m either going to get it or I’m not and, if I do, I stand an 85%-90% of surviving, even in my demographic group, so I’ll take reasonable precautions and won’t lose any sleep. Mind you, my wife reckons there’s about a 50:50 chance that, if I’m asleep when it happens, I wouldn’t wake for Armageddon.
A medic has recently said that, if you do get a fever, you should just take paracetamol and not anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and cortisone because they might aggravate the infection. I must try to remember that.
Anyway, with all this handwashing stuff, have you ever thought what happens when you wash your hands after touching things like shop door handles? You turn on the tap with a potentially infected hand, wash your hands while you sing the Hallelujah Chorus (it was the Hallelujah Chorus wasn’t it?) then, with a lovely clean, disinfected hand, you turn off the tap that you just turned on with a potentially infected hand.
And I can’t understand why people are panic-buying lavatory paper. Oh look, another person’s died, I must go and wipe my bum?
More proof this week that some people do read this blog – the government has decided to think again about whether it’s a good idea to build houses on flood plains (see my entry of 29 February).
The site’s also had another visit from somebody in Russia who has become a follower so I did a little research and it appears that my follower is a ‘dating’ (aka porn?) site which can offer me a selection of naked women in my local area. I didn’t go any further because I don’t really fancy the idea of meeting a naked stranger covered in goose pimples, even though it’s been slightly warmer today.
There have also been a few readers in Botswana and I have to confess that all I know about Botswana is that it used to be called Bechuanaland and Alexander McCall Smith wrote some books about its No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. For some reason, this reminds me of the Fakawi people who lived in the lands of high grasses. They got their name because they couldn’t see over the grass and would have to jump up to see which way to go, shouting “We’re the Fakawi.”
So Harvey Weinstein’s going down for a well-deserved 23 years plus whatever he gets from the outstanding cases. One down, one to go.
Meanwhile the people who were responsible for the Grenfell Tower disaster have been offered immunity from prosecution if they give evidence at the enquiry. Why? If they knew that inflammable cladding had been used, why should they get off scot-free? Can’t enquiries and courts use subpoenas to require people to attend and give evidence without granting them immunity? And then charge people who refuse to attend with contempt of court, the penalty for which is up to 2 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine?
So to this week’s kindness, which came from a railway company! I was on my way back from London and due to change trains at Exeter but the second train, which was run by a different company, had been cancelled. I explained I was a carer and needed to get home so the GWR duty manager was called and, when he couldn’t get any answer from the other train company, he authorised a taxi to take me to our local station where I could pick up my car and drive home; I’ve written to GWR to acknowledge his kindness.
Don’t these small things make a difference while the rest of the world is falling apart!