I am struggling just now to find the kind of news I want about Covid-19. I want to know, with examples, how the virus spread, the beginnings of each cluster and how the virus was passed on. Was it through the schools, the shops, the physical contact or simply sharing the same air? Did the UK do contact tracting? Is there a crack team investigating how the virus works, where are the most likely places to come into contact with it? Is it on trains, buses, in taxi cabs, shops, on the paper and plastic bags we collect our food in? Is it on our food, should we disinfect our salad and tins? I want to know the nitty gritty. I want to know the hot spots in my area, I want to know where the contagion originated, where it came from, how it will spread. I want to know how all those people who are staying in are doing? Have any of them caught the virus, even though they have stuck to all the rules?
I looked at carehomes for the elderly as an example. I wanted to know how the virus spreads so rapidly between patients who are, presumably confined within their own rooms. Is it brought in by visitors? Or is it being spread by doctors, nurses and carers who are not being tested and who are not being supplied with PPE? Sadly, it is more likely to be the latter. Those countries that have flattened the curve, have been meticulous in making sure their key workers on the front line have the protection they need.
To be fair, I have not researched these questions too intently, I'm not absolutely sure I want to know the answers. Silly of course, because once you have all the information you can calm your own fears. Information gives you the power to make your own choices, to assess the risks
If I were younger, I would probably be eager for life to return as it was. During my twenties and thirties, I would literally weep when I could not go out. I guess I even enjoyed going to work every day, I mostly worked in the City of London as a temporary secretary for decades, spent nearly two of them in one firm alone! I didn't understand the philosophy behind 'Greed is Good'*, but I was fully onboard with the partying. I worked in an area where the lunchtime pubs were filled with derrivatives traders on manic highs, it was hard to tell their ages as most were burned out by their thirties. Always up for a good party though! Young people must be going demented, at the prime of their life they are stuck indoors. Thank heavens they have social media. They must be suffering far more from the social isolation than their elders. For we elders I think, the staying in will be months rather than weeks.
As my regular readers know, I am obsessed at the moment with US news and the antics of Donald Trump especially. In a world that is becoming increasingly unreal, his being President of the USA is perhaps the most bizarre. I watched his press conference last night, his worst to date, astonished that his wall of enablers didn't bat an eyelid, as he claimed to have absolute power and raged at journalists. I only caught the tail end so didn't see the campaign ad, as fascinating as Trump the Insane is, his rambling off of statistics and tributes to himself are repetitive and boring. I usually just opt for the highlights on twitter. Will Trump ever reach the point where he should clearly be taken away in a straight jacket? And will the people lined up on the Praise Trump wall acknowledge it? Will Ivanka and Jared hold onto an elbow each and prop him up 'Weekend At Bernies' style, when he starts dribbling and talking about the old MAGA days? Has anyone checked to see if he is actually alive? He keeps repeating himself over and over, the tape may be stuck?
But I wandered. My kindest wishes to all who keep popping in, even the grumpy ones. These are strange and surreal times, and it is hard to stay strong when there is so much to fear. But, as every disaster film will tell you, staying strong is the key to survival. Healthy food, daily exercise, reading facts from reliable sources will keep the fears in perspective. Take care.
*Gordon Gecko, Wall Street