27 January 2021

100,000

Stuart Goodman in his daughter's arms - one of the 100,000

On and on this bloody pandemic goes. So many words spoken about it, so many words printed. Together they could make a pile that would reach the moon. A year ago, very little had been said about the virus. It was just easing itself into our consciousness - the ultimate elephant in the room.

Yesterday, Britain's official death toll surpassed one hundred thousand. Our scruffy, bumbling prime minister appeared on TV saying that he was sorry about all the lives that have been lost. Arguably, he should have also said sorry for dragging his feet at various points in this living nightmare, having the guts to  admit to some of his many errors.

Incredibly, it is only now - this very day - that airport border controls are going to be beefed up to get incoming travellers from South America, Portugal and South Africa into quarantine hotels. Who is going to police them?  Who is going to arrange food supplies?  In past months our borders have been pretty porous with people coming and going as if there was no deadly pandemic. As I say - quite incredible and the latest initiative just seems like an attempt to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.

A hundred thousand. So many people. Enough to fill the old Wembley Stadium in London.  For them the match is over. No more flag waving. No more brass bands marching on the pitch. They have gone. Their families could not even bury them with the funeral goodbyes and the dignity their lives merited. So tragic.

As if in the aftermath of a war, let us pause to think of the hundred thousand... "At the going down of the sun and in the morning - we will remember them".

33 comments:

  1. Boris Johnson's legacy - presiding over the deaths of over 100,000 people, the impoverishment of thousands of others and the Brexit that's nothing like what was promised.

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  2. Good morning Neil. This is off topic (feel free to not post it) but I wanted to let you know that I've sent a small package to you for Phoebe via Amazon and I got a notification that it will be delivered today. Please be on the lookout! I would have emailed you but I've been locked out of my yahoo account and didn't have your email saved on the other one (sparrowtree23@gmail.com). Here's hoping it arrives safely!

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    1. We have just spent the entire afternoon with Frances and Phoebe. When we got home there was an Amazon package on our doormat. It was addressed to Phoebe Pudding. I phoned Frances about it and she gave me permission to open the package. It contained two books - "How To Babysit A Grandad" and "On The Night You were Born". We had no idea who they were from but I should have guessed that it was you Jennifer! You are so very kind! Thank you with all my heart. What a lovely thing to do and one day I promise that I will read both books to Phoebe.

      I see there's an email address in your comment. Do you want me to delete our two comments?

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    2. I'm so glad that you got them! On the Night You Were Born is so sweet, and has such nice illustrations, that I often give it to new babies. How to Babysit a Grandad is a picture book I once read to kids during storytime at the bookstore, and I thought of it when I was trying to pick another book for little Phoebe. I'm so glad you like them and will read them to the her! Please send my best wishes to Frances and Stewart!

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    3. Oh, and no need to delete the comments unless the fact that they're off topic bothers you!

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  3. 100,000 lives that did not need to end when they did end, had the pandemic been delt with in a better way. My home town has just above 90,000 inhabitants, so I think of the 100,000 as if they were all of Ludwigsburg and then some.
    Unfortunately, even the vaccination campaign has not yet brought the desired results - too little, too late, at least at the moment (and even less and later here in Germany).
    I caught a bit of Johnson's address yesterday on BBC Radio York while ironing.

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    1. I wish you had been ironing Johnson.

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  4. There was a day in the middle of last year when here in Melbourne Victoria we had the same number of COVID cases as the UK. We went into hard lockdown of the sort now being proposed in the UK I think (borders closed, schools closed, masks, only essential supplies open, work from home if possible, exercise for one hour a day within your 5km zone, restaurants takeaway only, only reasons to leave home (medical, I shopping trip, medical appointments, care and work if essential, curfew 8pm, no visiting between households. It took 4 months to get to zero cases in (end October). In that time the UK cases had blown out hugely. It gives a fairly clear measure of what Boris didn’t do but Dan Andrew the premier here did.NZ was even stricter.

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    1. Britain is I think a harder country to lockdown like that Jayview and maybe it is now too late. I applaud the Australian response to COVID. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Tough love.

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  5. Isn't it odd that at this particular moment in history we have had two such weak and ineffectual world leaders? Tragic.

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    1. At least you have got rid of yours even if he has left a bad smell behind him.

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  6. Our governments could have done much more. Even the vaccination plans are a mess. Very few have been vaccinated here.

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    1. Over here in Britain the vaccination rollout has been going surprisingly well but that has little to do with our political leaders.

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  7. That's just today YP - what will the real cost be at the end of it all? Not just for the UK but for every country, and every single person, on the face of the Planet? No matter how much we complain, or wring our hands in despair, this is not going to leave us until it's wreaked havoc in every country.
    Sadly the UK also has the fiasco of Brexit to contend with too.

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    1. If only vaccines were being developed to suppress the terrifying Brexit Virus.

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  8. And as someone said on the news, each one represents another 5 with serious long-term health problems.

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    1. The full truth about the British government's approach to the COVID pandemic will take years to come out.

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  9. And sad to say, it will be many more than that before this is all over.

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    1. I sincerely hope that I am not one of them but of course I could be in spite of my carefulness.

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  10. I wish they would break down the statistics and tell us how many people are old, young and if they had underlying illnesses. It's very sad.

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    1. Knowledge is power and more comprehensive facts and figures would be very illuminating.

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  11. *Even the Tories increasingly fear they have inflicted the worst of all worlds on Britain.*
    The words of Andrew Rawnsley, last summer. (The Guardian online 14 June 2020.)

    As someone said in 1918, *We summon the living, we mourn the dead.*
    It is quoted at the end of Barbara Tuchman's book, The Proud Tower, when the steeple bells in Basle tolled for all who had died.

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    1. It's a nightmare made worse by the "Get Brexit Done" nitwits.

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  12. Over two million souls lost, world-wide. It is heart breaking. And still there are people that think this is nothing. Nothing at all.

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    1. One of them is holed up in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

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  13. There are plenty of examples around the world as how hotel quarantine works but of course like here, the wheel always has to be reinvented. I saw a figure of 10,000 international arrivals at Heathrow each day. Extraordinary if true.

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    1. Heathrow is now the second busiest international airport in the world - after Dubai.

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  14. This was a really moving post. When you think about all those people filling Wembley it's heart breaking.

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  15. I think this past year is scourged into our memories, your side and mine. Those most responsible will never admit culpability.

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  16. Just watched a video of Johnson's actions during the first three months of last year and how he ignored Cobra meetings, rather like Trump taking to the country for 'short breaks'. The trouble with Johnson he stands at the apex of people to blame, yet many more have contributed as well. The indecision we have all been aware of has manifested itself into many deaths, and like Trump, Johnson must carry the blame for bad leadership.

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  17. So sorry for those losses, like ripples in a pool, affecting all their loved ones too. I hold Trump personally responsible for much of the carnage here, especially his politicization of mask wearing and sane precautions. It would have helped both countries to have competent leadership.

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