In March, our government, led by English Trump, shut down the country a week too late. That error of judgement led to thousands more deaths than might have been the case. However, the majority of British people complied with lockdown rules and gradually, as months passed, COVID-19 infection and death figures plunged.
All was looking rosy. We had taken the bitter medicine and it had worked. Consequently and tentatively, elements of normal activity were resumed. Schools and universities re-opened. So did many businesses. The government even introduced "Eat Out to Help Out" - subsidising visits to restaurants and cafes.
Sadly, COVID-19 has not played ball. Infection, hospitalisation and death figures have been on a worrying upward trajectory through the last month. Tonight, with his little piggy eyes, English Trump will look down the barrel of a television camera and tell us all about "new measures" designed to send COVID-19 back into its kennel. These "measures" will undoubtedly differ according to current numbers in different cities and regions. The rules for cities like Liverpool and Nottingham will be especially harsh. Sheffield won't be far behind.
We are already entering the dark pit of wintertime. Christmas is up ahead. On October 25th, the clocks will be put back an hour as we transition to "Greenwich Mean Time". It's all rather depressing. And let's not throw "Get Brexit Done" into the mix right now. It also looms like a ruddy spectre thanks to English Trump and his troop of blinkered clowns.
Yes. This is the calm before the storm. This afternoon I will be up at "The Hammer and Pincers" for a few beers and manly discussion before watching The Pigman speak to the nation. Captain Johnson aka English Trump addressing his assembled sailors. "Aye-aye Cap'n!":-
Good post YP. I watch Sky News report on what effect Covid is having on the old country. It appears that there is a North South divide with regulations. Also can they stop calling it a Pandemic and call it an endemic which it is. Covid is everywhere and looks like it's here to stay.ReplyDelete
I thought Endemic was an Irish singer.Delete
Enya's brother and sisters and cousins. They are changing Clannad to Clandemic.Delete
It was plain obvious what would happen when students went back to university and schools reopened. Meike and Ursula might not be too happy with that bit about germans spilling the seeds of ungratefulness.ReplyDelete
You shoulda gone to "Specsavers" Mr Dunham. It says "germEns" not "germAns"!Delete
Don't worry, Tasker, Germans are generally thick skinned. Anyway, I'd forgive YP virtually anything - even a bit of German bashing. He'd do so in a considered manner, and only if deserved (or funny).Delete
As I am easily amused it keeps causing me no end of hilarity how close the spelling of Germs and Germans is. Not least because if ever there was country with a heightened need for cleanliness it's the motherland. (I shan't mentioned how close the spelling of cleaning and cleansing because that'd be in bad taste - even by my standards). At my sister's-in-law you could eat straight off the floor and you'd come to no ill.
Apropos of nothing: One of the first advertising slogans that entered my orbit when a child was for Persil (washing powder). It promised to wash "whiter than white". That's quite a promise, don't you think? Vorsprung durch Technik.
"Whiter than white" is a surreal concept.Delete
Ursula, your reference to "Weißer als weiß" was quite the blast from the past! I am now humming all those tunes that came with the TV adverts back then when we (assuming that you are more or less in my age group) were little.Delete
Whenever anyone thinks they have to do some German bashing, I do not take it personally, as it is usually not specifically aimed at me. When on some blogs I read references to war time horrors and other things directly related with the nation I happened to be born into, it does not make me particularly happy, but again, I do not take it personally - after all, it was not my decision to be born in Germany to German parents, decades after the war(s), and there is nothing I can do to change the past (and my place of birth or my parentage).
I wonder how many of the anti-maskers also voted for Brexit. A dislike of being told what to do seems to be the common theme in their agenda, regardless of what harm it brings on others.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure how many anti maskers voted for Brexit, but here in the States almost all of them voted for Trump. And will again.Delete
I wonder if these dumb anti-maskers object to doctors and nurses wearing masks when they go to hospital for operations. Perhaps they imagine that the masks are worn as fashion accessories.Delete
I bet most of them wear their seat belts when driving. Some didn't like being told to do that when it became law, regardless of the fact that not many people were ever thrown through a car windscreen but it was fairly catastrophic for those that were.Delete
As a free man it is my right not to wear a seatbelt, to shoot neighbours' cats when they enter my garden, to drive at 100mph in a 30mph zone, to say whatever I want on Twitter, to disagree with all women called Jean and to go here and there without a mask. Freedom!Delete
I know what you are facing and it isn't good. I don't think there is an alternative other than go into extreme lockdown. It has worked around the world and in perhaps the second richest country in the world, it can work. But what is this thing called Brexit? I forget now.ReplyDelete
The thing called Brexit is a debilitating mental condition that causes sufferers a range of unpleasant symptoms including loss of judgement and unsettling fantasies of grandeur.Delete
When the clocks go back an hour, you transition from. Daylight Saving Time, not to it.ReplyDelete
Thanks for pausing on that error Bob. I have just checked the British government website and we call the winter time change period Greenwich Mean Time.Delete
A responsible post as Northsider and others have said.ReplyDelete
Winter is upon us, but need we call it the dark pit? Remember the rainbow, in your recent post, and what you seemed to understand, while you stood in the garden. This is what saves us from despair, we can hold on to these illuminations.
Michael Rosen (born 1946) was 12 weeks in hospital with Covid-19, and only a few hours from death. I purchased his book of poems some years ago in Cheltenham. He writes for The Guardian (online): *It felt like a pre-death, a nothingness.*
Both Lear and the Scottish play go down into the pit, but the greatest poet in the English language looks *the Last Enemy* in the face: *The old hath borne the most* and *Men must endure their going hence* are from King Lear. The latter is inscribed on the gravestone of C.S. Lewis: I am about to reread the best biography of Lewis, by Roger Lancelyn Green and Walter Hooper.
Emma Smith's outstanding book *This is Shakespeare* is just out in Penguin.
Ben Crystal's compact and well-designed book *King Lear* was published by Bloomsbury in 2013 as part of the Springboard Shakespeare series, and opens many doors.
*Death where is thy sting, grave thy victory?*
Saul of Tarsus, he who called death the Last Enemy.
I once met Michael Rosen's father Harold at a residential conference about English teaching. He was a leading light in making the teaching of English Literature more relevant and accessible to ordinary teenagers.Delete
In my exceedingly humble opinion, "King Lear" was Shakespeare's best work.
You know the joke? Laurence Sterne, author of *Tristram Shandy*, was a good writer, unfortunately he was influenced by James Joyce.Delete
Shakespeare's Lear was the Bard at his most elemental, unfortunately he was too much under the influence of Sam Beckett by then.
*Hamlet* gripped me in its vicelike jaws when I saw the Nicol Williamson movie, though they made some unforgivable cuts, and as for Marianne Faithful as Ophelia, gosh, words fail ... Catch it on DVD, and the Ian McKellan film of Lear.
Some mornings I wake up in complete despair. This is one of them. All does seem very, very dark. It seems to me that we have the exact wrong leaders for this time in history and the suffering will be prolonged indefinitely.ReplyDelete
Thank God for blogging and the healthy exchange of thoughts. I wear a mask when blogging to ensure that my blogposts are not infectious.Delete
So there is no misunderstanding: I am not an "anti-masker", and I keep my distance. Indeed only the other day I measured out two meters for someone behind me, almost on my back, in a supermarket queue.ReplyDelete
I don't think it good to bash some who don't observe the "rules". I believe that they are those who are short changed at the IQ till, unaware, oblivious. Which is, obviously, different to those who have a few brain cells to rub together and refuse themselves wilfully.
However, and it is a niggle, there are scientists who put forward that all these measures do more harm than good, may make the en/pandemic worse. I wouldn't know. All I know that there is a (mass) hysteria in the air which, to me, appears in no relation to the actual problem. You, YP, are into numbers and statistics. Alas, in the scheme of COVID they are, to me, meaningless. Some time ago, you yourself brought up some shaming figures of people suffering, dying (unnecessarily), all over the world - far BIGGER losses of life to whatever the plight than those lost to COVID. Yet COVID hogs the lime light. WHY?
Maybe I read too much Orwell, Huxley and Kafka at an impressionable age (late teens). There is something in the air I really don't like. Intangible. One might go as far as to say: Are measures to keep COVID at bay put into place as some sort of trial run? How to shepherd the masses into mindlessly following the "leader"? How to make the populace compliant? Brainwashing by stealth?
I don't buy that particular conspiracy theory Ursula but I have been known to be wrong - once in a while. By the way, in relation to deaths through starvation it was heartening to observe that the World Food Programme won The Nobel Peace Prize this year!Delete
I have been feeling that "calm before the storm" feeling for some time now. I feel it with the coming of what has been predicted to be a difficult winter, with the much political unrest and coming election in our country, and most particularly I feel it with the daily increase in covid cases where I live. When you combine it all it is difficult to not feel the darkness of what may be ahead for us all.ReplyDelete
I read about your new three tier system of dealing with covid. I'm sure many will not like it but I would be glad that at least your country is taking a united effort based on where the number of cases are higher. I wish our country would do something universal. What little we have in rules now, such as mask wearing requirements, is very much hit and miss across the country which reduces the effectiveness of anything you do to be safe. I wish the best for you, your family and your country. We've all faced so much this year and it simply has to improve.
Will a magical vaccine ever appear to send COVID-19 into history? I have my doubts even though I am not a scientist.Delete
I don't think covid will ever go away completely but I do think we will eventually have a vaccine. But I think it will take longer than some expect for the vaccine to be effective.Delete
But they can't even create a vaccine for the common cold Bonnie! However, I do hope you are right.Delete
To quote Shakespeare, I looked up the quote because I know sweet FA about Shakespeare, "Hell is empty and all the devils are here." That sounds about right.ReplyDelete
Of course Shakespeare was very familiar with death and indeed plagues. Epidemics touched his home town, his own family and indeed London where his genius was flexed at The Globe Theatre. You picked a very pertinent quote for 2020.Delete
Lilycedar: Read a paperback by Simon Sebag Montefiore, *Stalin - The Court of the Red Tsar*. You will see that the men who ran the Soviet Union during the Great Terror were not evil by default, they were in love with evil. Beria and Yezhov were only two of the depraved monsters in Stalin's court, Beria was a serial rapist of young women. These men could not possibly be in Heaven.Delete
Christ spoke more of Hell than he did of Heaven, and he gave us these warnings because he loves us as no one else ever could. The great Protestant preacher Jonathan Edwards brought many lost souls to salvation because he made it clear that Hell is a real place and it is peopled. The Catholic saint Faustina Kowalska had a vision of Hell, and said she could only bear it because she held on to the arm of an angel.
Listen to the online sermons of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a former surgeon who preached like Jonathan Edwards. The YouTube sermons of Arthur W Pink are first-rate too. When the Gospel is preached it always brings violent opposition. John Wesley had stones thrown at him when he preached in Preston.
Nice metaphor. Covid doesn't tell us anything. Covid just does what it wants. Keep well and safe.ReplyDelete
Covid does what it wants - sounds rather like Trump.Delete
My town is close to Stuttgart, which is one of the larger cities in Germany with worryingly high numbers of new infections. At my clients', policy has already been changed to cautious re-opening of their offices and having people come back in from their desks at home, to recommendations of working from home again as much as possible, and not let external staff (like me) come in unless absolutely necessary.ReplyDelete
It feels very much like being back to late March/April of this year, only without the beautiful long hours of daylight and sunshine we had for most of spring and summer.
I haven't read too much about Johnson's lockdown levels but Dave was telling me about them. It sounds once again like there are more questions than answers, and I question the wisdom of making some regions of the country suffer more than others. I still don't think Johnson is quite an English Trump but he's certainly not the person I'd elect if it were all up to me.ReplyDelete
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