Thursday, 14 May 2020

BACK IN THE COVID - The Lockdown Diary Day 6

Gary Pockett was taken to hospital and had emergency surgery to remove an infected appendix. He will be back to his beautiful little family today for a quick recovery but they will all need to stay in isolation for a while.

The now long overdue total lockdown enforced by law agencies is coming, probably later today. Rumours of a cabinet mutiny abound and any case the French will quite rightly close their borders if Johnson does not get serious and start following expert advice. Starting 7 days two late and who knows how many unnecessary deaths. I have been following the cases and death statistics and it is now so bloody serious I have found it better to swap over to a logarithmic scale.

The sun is out again. I am anticipating that the weather will deteriorate in a day or two and intend to spring clean the bird boxes, make essential repairs and put out some fresh fat feeders. The garden was very peaceful. We are not far from a main road but there is always an ambient thrum as the world goes about its business up and down Cricklade Road. Today was noticeably, even eerily quieter. The calm was welcome. As the Buddha said. You cannot calm the storm. Calm yourself. The storm will pass.

I am getting increasingly pissed off with whiners and holier-than-thous complaining about stockpiling as if panic was avoidable. I suspect they were so busy climbing to the moral high ground that they were too late to the shops and are inconveniently short of a few things or were simply not paying attention. People should think before mindlessly circulating moralising memes around the internet. In any case stockpiling is sensible, reasonable and what is more saves lives. If your government is telling you to get indoors for possibly three months of isolation you are going to get some stuff in. We are going to be reliant on others but we did our best to keep that need to a minimum for their safety. Of course we should be concerned about those who are housebound or otherwise vulnerable and running short but panic spreads like a virus itself and it is for government action to stop both. Being merely human, we cannot stop either.

Why does stockpiling save lives? Because fewer visits to the shops yourself or indeed your family if you are confined indoors the fewer people there are out there spreading the virus about. There is a direct relationship between the amount (or extent) of social distancing and the number of deaths. The greater the distance, the lower the spread, the fewer the deaths. As of today there are 100 deaths in crowded London and 6 in the whole of Wiltshire. Social distancing at work. So the message is stockpile and make fewer visits to crowded supermarkets reducing people at large and avoiding close contact for hours in long queues with strangers.

The real blame for shortages lies with the government who should have dictated to supermarkets, there are only 7 main supermarkets after all, to control supply to average amounts right from the start. You cannot blame people, especially those with families to support, when all they are doing is looking after themselves and their loved ones.

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