Things Will Never be the Same Again

It remains to be see whether the measures taken by nations across the world to prevent the spread of COVID 19 by the corona virus will actually work. There seems no alternative except to do nothing and the scientists tell us that doing nothing will cost many more lives than enforcing the extreme measures that are being promulgated. Mostly, the measures are not joined up because the thinking behind them is not joined up. But who really expects governments to indulge in joined up thinking in times of crisis?

Once people find that they can work from home satisfactorily then more will do so, after the panic ends. There will be less demand for offices and work places less demand for transport and more demand for fast internet that will enable us all to work from home. Some businesses will be ruined, others will prosper. Some folk will be ruined by the economic problems that lock down will bring; some ruined will die early deaths or be driven from self isolation to making their quietus.

For now, we can do more take pause and see what happens. One thing is certain, though, things will never be the same.

Well done, City of Westminster

I am so impressed with the City of Westminster’s efforts to suppress the corona virus which is apparently such a serious threat to all of us. On Friday the streets of Marylebone were empty of people and cars. Car parking spaces abounded- there were six or seven spaces for every parked car, Yet the brave traffic enforcement officers of Westminster were out in force, handing out tickets on cars that overstayed by a few minutes.

You might question whether in these troubled times parking enforcement officers are really necessary. You may ask the need for enforcing parking restrictions when there are almost no cars on the road. You might wonder if the person power of traffic wardens could be better deployed elsewhere, in assisting society in some capacity as there is no need for them at present. . You may ask if those wonderful folk who run Westminster City Council actually think at all.

Better Safe than Sorry?

We seem to be in a succession of really serious crises, but things are not what they seem. First, we in the United Kingdom experienced a crisis about Brexit. Then we experienced a crisis about floods, which led to an upsurge of interest in climate change. Now as I write the nation is in crisis about the corona virus causing COVID19.

The common features of all these crises is that we are constantly told that they are incredibly serious and we are caused to fear them. The 24 hour news cycle repeats and repeats and repeats again stories that teach us that the crisis, whichever it was, is serious enough to cause large scale death and destruction of our ways of life. This 24 news cycle spews propaganda creating intolerance and hatred.

Yet when the crisis ends we find the nation has voted for Brexit and that crisis is put on the back burner. We find that the rain stops, the floods recede and that crisis is put on the back burner. Now we are in the middle of a Corona virus crisis, a pandemic no less because as I write nearly 13,000 souls have lost their lives after catching the virus. That is 13,000 out of 7.8 billion souls. We are assured that it is necessary to change our ways of life radically to prevent.

I understand that the average age of death of corona virus in Italy (apparently the nation which has had the most corona virus deaths) is just over eighty years old. I would expect that most of the 13,000 folk who caught the virus and died were either over 80 and/or had a serious underlying medical condition which may have ended their lives whatever virus they caught.

The UK government has offered some very sensible advice – particularly about hygiene. Good hygiene is the enemy of all disease, and as a nation perhaps we have become rather lax in enforcing the best hygienic standards both at home, in our work places and in some hospitals. However the government has offered some advice that I find hard to understand about self isolation. The measures taken seem to have panicked much of the population into buying more than they need and it is likely in some cases the constant repetition about the threat of corona virus has caused some to become so anxious that they experience symptoms that they do not have.

It is always better to be safe than sorry, but we must bear in mind that the remedy must not be worst that the disease.

It is a shame that governments across the world do not take the view that with climate change it is better to be safe than sorry, but that is another story to which the 24 hour news cycle has not yet returned.