Virus Isolation 5

The good news is that I am hardly coughing anymore, and even felt well enough to get on the turbo trainer for half an hour. Which just reminded me that:

  • Being at home constantly means you eat all the time
  • I haven’t exercised for a week
  • I hate the turbo trainer

So this means that on Tuesday I can go out into the big wide world and see what is left of it. Part of me expects a dystopian wasteland,

Although I suspect, based on the local Facebook group pages the problems will be nowhere near as bad.

Imagine – no branded groceries.

Today it was reported that the number of deaths exceeded 1000, which was readily [predicted by every exponential curve ever. However, this was a cue for a number of commentators to ask whether these are deaths of people from the virus, or did people die with the virus. We’re going to see a lot more of this – it’s a narrative that has appeared in the US and is now being seen here. It seems to feed in to yet another skirmish in the manufactured culture wars. The writers who are questioning this – and they are right to question, provided they have evidence to back up their claims – are the same ones who oppose the strategies that have been taken to minimise contact between people. The same writers are on the lookout for over-zealous police responses, just so that they can shout out that individual freedoms are being lost, and that this is becoming a police state (and look, the libs are quite happy with it this time!).

For example, look at Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet. He had previously tweeted that the virus may not be too much of a problem. Fast forward, and now that he has more facts at his disposal he changes his mind, and criticises the government’s response on Question Time. And right on cue, the accusations fly, saying he is an Extinction Rebellion leftie (I’m not sure how a view on climate change or party politics has anything to do with responses to a pandemic), and in choosing to identify him with ER and the left, the debate has been neatly shifted, from a point he was making about the current situation to a snap-portrait which is supposed to reveal everything that he thinks. This is the tactic – deflect and mislead. Just ask – why people want to stifle valid criticism?

It’s manufactured outrage, and it’s all for clicks and likes. I’m not going to give Brendan O’Neill and his crew a link, but they are loving the opportunity to write their usual contrarian views.

My view remains the same – as yet we still don’t know the mortality rate, and so caution seems like a good idea. Very strict lockdowns do seem to work, as we can see in China, although we may want to question the data they provide (again, I’m being even-handed, I’m not going to assume it’s automatically wrong).

Certainly looking at what is happening in the US, where the President wants business back to normal by 15th April, we can see that the lack of testing, the initial refusal to accept that the virus will affect them, and the lack of socialised medicine are going to hit hard.

Today’s Heroes and Zeroes


Lauren Laverne – her 6Music breakfast show is the antidote from rolling TV and radio news. Listen in, I guarantee it will make you feel better.

All the dogs of Twitter


Chartwells, who supply food to schools. This is what they provided for 5 days’ worth of lunches for those on free school meals. Let’s face it, if you’re rich or even just on an average income, and have a nice house, possibly with a garden, feel physically safe at home, you’re pretty much ok. But a lot of people won’t be.

A final thought.

Maybe this cartoon from today’s Observer is what we should start to think about – what happens when this is all over.

Uncertain future.