Day 11 in the Corona house: If I only had a brain.

Day 11 in the Corona house.

Today has been mostly about technology not being up to the job, biology and a bit of anthropology thrown in for good measure. My apologies for the loss of this blog for the better part of 24 hours. That was the first bit of tech that gave up the ghost. The site hosting it was overwhelmed, not I hasten to add by visits to my musings, but with the general increase in browsing and daytime access. I took the opportunity to move the hosting and refresh the template which was getting a bit tricky to manage so hopefully two updates today will make up for the absence yesterday.

I also witnessed Vaughan lose his sherbert for the first time in over five years. He’s usually very laid back and doesn’t let stuff get to him. However, when his work tech failed to play ball yesterday, I thought it was going to be completely marmalised. Thankfully, the tech survived and I learned a new combination of anglo-saxon, so every day is a school day.

This rather austere Victorian has sprung to mind more than once today. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise him, I’ll come back to him later. In the meantime, I have two questions. Firstly when did we become such a selfish lot and when did so many people get so stupid? It’s as if people have lost the capability for rationale analysis. So what has caused this questioning?

I’ve spent most of the day watching the news then picking my jaw up from the floor before rinsing and repeating. I’m wary of mentioning the unnecessary panic buying but it’s clear two things are now taking place. The first, opportunists who may have been known as spivs or wide boys in the 1940’s see the opportunity to turn a quick buck, buy in bulk and sell at a profit. I’m pleased to see supermarkets in the UK starting to limit the amount of goods that can be purchased. Second, the behaviour of the dim-witted is starting to feed on itself and bolstered by the equally ravenous news cycle we’re presented with news of panic buying, pictures of empty shelves which prompts guess what, further panic buying.

We all know the idiots are out there, buying three hundred rolls of toilet paper. Let’s face it if you need that many you should have seen the doctor well before the Coronavirus reared it’s head. It’s a vicious circle powered by the stupid. The words of this critical care nurse sum it up pretty well. Perhaps those who may need her care at some point will ponder on her words, but somehow I doubt it.

Today even Vaughan who is rarely flustered by the masses began to question whether if everyone else is buying stuff we should too. This hasn’t been helped by his last visit to the local tesco which looked like a display room for shop fittings. It certainly didn’t have anything by way of bread, rice, pasta, canned goods or really anything else. That experience is what forces those who are normally quite well balanced to join the demand on the food supply chain and so it continues.

Similarly, I was struck by the exchange of one particular charmer featured on News 24. A London man who tested positive for Covid19 but gave this response when asked if he would be self-isolating .

Charmer: I’ll be going out. If I need to go somewhere I’ll go Reporter: But you could infect someone else couldn’t you? Charmer: Maybe they ought to stay in then shouldn’t they Source: BBC News24 lunchtime news 19/03/20

At present, for us, it’s a case of leaving for the acreage once we have water back on in the Shire. Chatting with a friend who lives 20 miles or so away near Chippenham, it’s clear delivery slots are under pressure everywhere. However, ironically we are likely to have greater options in Wiltshire that in inner London.

We are lucky to be able to make that change (possibly early next week), but not everyone is. Inner London isn’t somewhere I’d want to ride out this particular storm. I can’t help but wonder when we stopped caring for or considering anyone other than ourselves. So much for the selfish, what about the stupid?

Well let’s start with the current UK government advice relating to virus reduction and social distancing:

  1. Don’t go out unless you absolutely have to. Keep at least 2m from other people and avoid all unnecessary travel

  2. Don’t gather in places where the virus can spread easily such as bars, pubs, clubs, concerts and theatres.

  3. Avoid unnecessary social contact and shield the vulnerable by isolating for the next 12 weeks.

That may not be popular, but it’s hardly complex advice. Next, let’s consider whether given what we know, this advice is proportionate and appropriate in the circumstances. Here is what northern Italy is facing in one of it’s most modern hospitals.

Warning: Important but not easy watching – Italian Coronavirus hospital

In my humble opinion, you have to be stupid not to see the risk a situation such as this poses to each of us. Of course, if you’re twenty and still believe believe you’re imortal and the rules of disease and infection don’t apply to you it’s possible you may underestimate the risk to yourself. However, it takes a particular form of stupid to not only ignore that but also the risk you may pose as a carrier to others. Speaking of a particular form of stupid here’s how the students currently flooding into Florida see the situation … as ‘getting in the way of their spring break’.

It isn’t often I’m left speechless, but in this case I’m reminded of the question asked of the scarecrow – “But what would you do with a brain if you had one?”

Well Billy Bob and Jonelle, you have a wonderful spring break along with the several hundred people with you all apparently similarly challenged to find a second firing neuron. Then toddle off back to mum, dad, gran and extrended family taking Covid19 with you. As least you can be happy in the knowledge that before you infected half your family you had a good weekend.

Alternatively, they may join the list of twenty and thirty somethings who found that the problem wasn’t just one for the crinklies and wrinklies. In both Italy and the States there are significant minorities of patients under the age of 30.

That of course would bring us back to our elderly Victorian gent as a perfect example of Darwinism in action. Although I recognise it’s tactless and potentially inappropriate it also reminds me of Patsie’s comment (Absolutely Fabulous) about it being God’s way of dealing with the stupid. Maybe she had a point after all?


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