Oh, something else to lighten the mood. According to Lockdown Sceptics (Third article down on this page), the Police have only limited powers to cancel your Christmas, even if some Stasi snitch has fingered your household. The simple rule is; politely stand your ground, ask for their grounds for requesting a warrantless entry (Specifically which infected person they are looking for and why if they cite the regulations) and give nothing but your name, rank and house number.
Big thank you to the Times Peter Brookes for this telling cartoon. I may not trust all the mainstream media’s output (certainly not without verification), but like with Matt of the dear old Torygraph and the Guardian cartoons, the truth does leak out.
Update: The UK Police are backing off on the cancellation of Christmas. They won’t be enforcing ‘minor infringements’. No idea what caused this volte face, but I’m very pleased to hear the news. Maybe the politicians will finally lift the lockdowns for the festering season so that we can get on with our lives once more.
It’s not so much the hanging around waiting for things to happen that I mind. It’s the uncertainty that nags at my hindbrain. At present we’re still waiting for our worldly goods to arrive, and the person who was supposed to keep us informed has buggered off for a long weekend. The banks are likewise being less than amenable. Which is annoying. Simple things are taking twice as long as they should. Deliveries of goods are all over the bloody place, and a refund is not much good if you’ve been hanging around waiting for a specific item for the last three flaming weeks.
The echoes in our new place tend to get on your tits after a while. Which isn’t a whole lot of fun. Not to mention being in ‘level five’ lockdown. No matter that lockdowns don’t really work, so why despite all the freaking evidence are we still in fcking house arrest? Not to mention the threat of the coppers kicking down doors on Christmas day because someone might have one guest more than some arbitrary figure pulled out of thin fcking air? Whoever thought that was a good idea needs their throat slitting and their dying cadaver nailed upside down to a post by a very large spike through their sexual organs.
Notwithstanding, Police worldwide are traditionally known to dislike intervening in ‘domestics’ as the “He said-she said-they did.” factor is astronomical, and the chance of stray cutlery going where it shouldn’t during such an incident is too high for someone hoping to be around to claim their pension. That sort of officer will have already decided that there will be a large number of NFA’s on Christmas day, if they can’t call in sick or get the day off. However, the newer breed seem to have an unpleasant zeal for ruining other people’s days. A predilection for unwarranted intervention. A lack of live and let live. They’re more like Jackboots than the Police officers I was brought up to respect.
There’s also a suspicion that some unpleasant individuals will rat on their neighbours to get their own back for some slight, either real or imagined. Some might turn anonymous informer simply because they’re having an unhappy time and they don’t see why anyone else should have any fun. There’s a word for that sort of person. It’s a short, pithy, Anglo-Saxon adjective. My last remaining reader will no doubt know exactly what kind of low-life I’m referring to. The poison pen letter writer, the curtain twitcher, the neighbourhood snitch; weak willed, nasty and spiteful.
Fortunately our local Garda don’t seem to be much in evidence and will only make their presence felt if there’s a real problem. We might be supposed to be confined to a 5km radius, but there are enough exceptions for everyone to negotiate their way around and get the necessities of life in without too much legal interference. And no-one in their right mind is even thinking about interfering with Christmas. Besides, we’re building relationships with our close neighbours, making ourselves known, helping out if need be and just being decent human beings. But those are tales for another time and place.
In the meantime at our new domicile it’s all hurry up and wait while the echoes of life amplify every single breath. Is it time to go out? Why yes I think it is.
How does human immunity from disease work? There seems to be a lot of confusion out there, even from people who should really know better. So in this post I’ll simplify things and try and keep them as easy to understand as possible. This is stuff I learned at school for heavens sake, and why this knowledge is not shared among the population baffles me.
Right; everyone has heard about antibodies and the role they play in suppressing an infection. What are they and where do antibodies come from?From type B white blood cells. Everyone has this type of blood cell unless you suffer from a rare genetic disorder.
Okay, so how do antibodies work? Antibodies against viruses work by latching on to the receptors on, say a coronavirus, and literally suffocating it, preventing the virus from latching onto certain molecular shapes in a given cell wall and doing what a virus does to reproduce, which is inject itself into the cell and use the material within that cell to xerox millions of copies of itself until the afflicted cell literally bursts. Antibodies prevent viruses doing this. That’s it. It is that simple.
Mmm, so now we know what produces antibodies and how antibodies work, how do the type B white blood cells know what kind of antibodies to reproduce? In a nutshell, type B white blood cells get genetically programmed by previous infections, a.k.a Immunological memory. The B and T white blood cells, when they reproduce, ‘remember’ the stimulus that went before and later generations (For a number of years) will produce antibodies that will block those same cell receptors. This creates immunity, whether by previous infection, genetic predisposition (natural immunity), or vaccination (Acquired immunity).
What’s this we hear about Mast-T white cells Bill? What’s that all about? There are various kinds. Some that aggressively attack a given virus in a ‘hunter-killer’ role and destroy infected cell tissue. Those that help spread the response by triggering other B and T white blood cells, known as ‘helper’ cells. And ‘memory’ cells, which ‘remember’ the right response to a given virus or bacterium and tell all the other white blood cells what to do, even when there aren’t any ‘programmed’ white blood cells left from a previous infection or vaccination. They all act together to eliminate a given disease, and even if you aren’t aware of it, do this all the time.
Which is why you should find out what your white blood cells need to remain healthy and ensure they get it. Like getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals and avoiding stress for example. Too much stress suppresses your immune system so your white blood cells don’t do their job as effectively. So if you are exposed to a given virus while under extreme stress you are liable to suffer more. Those who can ‘burn off’ the excess cortisol, say with vigorous excercise with plenty of fresh air suffer less because then their immune systems are not so compromised.
Which is why media panics and lockdowns should be avoided at all costs because they increase cortisol production in the general population and are thus injurious to the public health. This is the real science. Not the fantasy kind peddled by so-called ‘experts’ who are nothing of the kind. Governments and those who work in them should take note.
So a good stiff stroll outdoors in the park with plenty to drink, vitamins D (About 2000UI a day in northern climes) and C (About 2000UI) with the occasional top up of zinc and magnesium (Once a week, no more if your diet if deficient) should keep anyone with a song in their heart and a spring in their step whilst all the rest are falling by the wayside.
You know, it’s funny, but I feel quite relaxed now for having got that off my chest.
Not feeling too good at the moment. Sleep is a shattered mess with lots of staring at midnight ceilings, head buzzing and I’m noticing the little ‘tells’ that let me know I need to reduce my stress levels. Like now. A nervous tremor here, a tendency to spook easily, and a sense I’m flooded with adrenalin. I know my blood pressure is through the roof without even having to check and there’s bugger all I can do about much of it.
This is very unhealthy. I’m also getting angry far too easily, which can be less than healthy for those around me. My head readily fills with dark fantasies of mayhem. This is bad because I, despite advancing years, am still physically strong and have a good deal of knowledge about the human body (amongst other things) and might, although this is a very remote might, under pressure may end up doing something that I will certainly regret and other people may not have the subsequent luxury of doing so.
I’m not quite at the point where I can’t be trusted with sharp objects, but I can see where that point is and it’s too damn close for my liking. I need to do something about this, soonish.
Regrettably, all the things I usually do to reduce stress, like socialising, long distance travel, and weekends away, are now officially Verboten. I’m sure it’s the same for a lot of other people. Writing about what stresses me out helps a little, but there’s too much negative energy pushing from the wrong direction. Changing continents is stressful enough, like selling a house in the UK. It’s the uncertainty that chews at you. Will things turn up on time or are they stuck somewhere? I’m trying to be patient, but that patience is wearing wafer thin.
The echoes of an empty house don’t help. Our worldly goods were supposed to dock a week ago and we’ve heard absolutely nothing from the movers. Deliveries are getting later and later and the restrictions mean that doing anything takes five times as long as they should. Which also mean I can’t get on with things. I’m left sitting on my hands writing angry blog posts. Many of which never see the light of day. A number of which should be buried at a midnight crossroads after being digitally burned and boiled in acid.
What bothers me is the sense that we’re being tortured here. By the very institutions meant to protect us. And for no good reason. We’re in a hot mess caused by bad computer models, a fear-stoking media and clueless politicians. I’d spit in their eyes if I came across any of them. All of them. I never thought I’d hate anybody this much, because in real life I’m normally such an affable easy going sort, but here we are.
All this misery and stress comes from one source; officialdom. Bone headed, boorish, control-freak officialdom that has not an ounce of good faith or friendliness. An officialdom that cannot admit it’s got things catastrophically wrong. An officialdom whose first instincts are to repress. To leave uncaring misery in it’s wake. An officialdom insulated from the pain it inflicts upon others. Perhaps if officialdom learned a little about the pain it inflicts it might have the sense to back off a little. Unfortunately I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Christmas is going to be cancelled. Our Christmas is and I know exactly where the blame lies. This will not be forgotten or forgiven.
Food, glorious food. It’s been a long time since I wrote one of my favourite family recipes down and presented it for the delectation of the general dyslexic. I’ve been too preoccupied with other things. Wasting my time railing against the wind.
Right. Mac and Cheese, grilled. Cheap, easy and filling. You can buy those ghastly Kraft dinners, but frankly you’re better off doing it from scratch. The end result is far better than the packet varieties. Tastier, more filling. All you will need is;
A cup and a bit of elbow macaroni
About an ounce of butter.
A tablespoon of cornflour, cornstarch or flour.
Two ounces of strong cheese.
A quarter teaspoon of ground chili flakes.
A quarter teaspoon of ground black pepper.
A teaspoon of finely grated Parmesan cheese. The cheap stuff is fine.
A cup and a bit of milk. Doesn’t matter what kind, although 2% is best.
About a litre and a half of water.
Half a teaspoon of salt.
A handful of frozen peas.
One large, one medium saucepans and a casserole dish.
Put water in large large saucepan, all salt.
Bring to boil. Throw in macaroni. Put to simmer.
Put smaller saucepan on heat, melt butter. Stir in cornstarch until it forms a paste, stir in milk, cheese, Parmesan, chili and black pepper until it forms a thick sauce, keep stirring even after you take it off the heat.
When macaroni is soft, add frozen peas. Cook for five more minutes before taking off the heat and draining. Stir in cheese sauce and put resulting mass into the casserole dish.
Put casserole dish under grill and set on two thirds until it goes medium brown.
Remove and serve to grateful audience.
Serves two hearty adult appetites. Can be eaten hot or cold.
Accept praise and the sensation of your grateful stomach hugging your spine. Double up on ingredients to serve 4-5 people. Barricade doors to keep out unwanted dinner guests. Enjoy.
When the first lockdown came, because we didn’t know much about SARS/COV-2, I was uncomfortable, but moderately okay with it. Now we’ve got Governments locking down their entire populations on what seems like a whim. The real science just doesn’t support locking down. Professional epidemiologists say it, I, with my hospital training, say it.
Being restricted to within 5km of home doesn’t help. All the closures of retail, religious or sporting facilities doesn’t help. The masks don’t help. The excessive testing doesn’t help. All the fear doesn’t help.
When this thing first hit I thought: “All over by the end of April.” And, yea and verily, the worst was past in April, with the Pandemic effectively over in May. Huzzah! thought I. Health services were ‘saved’, for what I’m not sure, but they had come through intact. Great. Okay, let’s get on with our lives.
Then the lockdowns and restrictions continued all through the Summer, and I couldn’t work out why. The virus had run it’s course and hows about getting back to real life guys? Many epidemiologists and medical professionals say we needed Summer to get our immune systems ready for Winter. Which made perfect sense. The death count for SARS/COV-2 infections during the Summer months was all but zero and we humans need to get out in the fresh air and sunshine to bolster our vitamin D levels ready to fight off all the infections that spread like wildfire in indoor environments during Autumn and Winter.
Unfortunately, the mathematical modelers with the ear of Government kept on with their crazy predictions about infection rates, and thus presumably deaths. The mainstream media, because as I have said too often before, fear sells their product, kept repeating the false predictions like they were fact, stoking the fear factor in the wider public.
Those of us with a working brain cell left can see economic disaster like a looming cliff edge that all the fearmongers are driving us all over. Not to mention all the suffering and death caused by people who can’t access primary health care due to the restrictions. Or the increase in mental health disorders and resultant suicides.
Keeping people indoors doesn’t help either. Cold and flu season happens because people are corralled indoors in close proximity. Those who get out in the fresh air tend to suffer less. So why are people being forced to stay in an environment where disease can run rampant?
That and a lot of people have had their salaries drastically reduced, so they’re spending less and the economy has undergone massive shrinkage. Because although governments are using a magic money tree to pay ‘furloughed’ workers, they’re just storing up real pain for the future.
Why does all this upset me and drive me to drink? Because it’s unnecessary and gets in the way of that little thing we all call living.
Oh yes. The weather has turned and it’s been raining. So I’m sitting in a deserted kitchen railing against the wind via my keyboard. Heavy sigh… Could be worse of course. We could have moved to Wales.
Mrs S is relearning how to handle a car with a manual gearbox. So while we’re in yet another pointless bloody lockdown, we’re taking short pootles out half way to LocalTown, well within our 5km radius like the politicians tell us to. I’m sure the old muscle memory will come back rapidly the more she drives, so I just sit in the front passenger seat admiring the scenery and enjoying the ride. As I’ve been doing all the driving for the last seven weeks, it comes as something of a welcome break.
The traffic outside doesn’t seem to be reduced by much. Well, we’re in a rural area and it’s that time of year, so our landlord is busy ferrying cattle and sheep about, either from grazing area to grazing era or what is euphemistically called ‘cropping’ in some circles, in others ‘selling on’ or more honestly, slaughter for meat. He doesn’t tell us, and we don’t ask. Besides, while I’m quite comfortable with field to fork, Mrs S, like most non-rural folk, isn’t.
We have two solid fuel stoves, and as the chillier weather begins to close in, am getting in practice with the dark arts of fire lighting and grate maintenance. Dark as in grubby and arts as in these things can be finicky if you don’t set the dampers and draughts just so. We’re still waiting for our furniture, but we’ve got into a rhythm for the day, taking walks down country lanes and learning to step into the foliage when anything big and agricultural comes rolling down the road. And we’re being blessed with some fine Autumnal weather out here in the wilder west of Ireland at present. Even the rain has the good sense to let up after seven in the morning.
The politicians assure us these lockdowns are meant to ‘rescue’ Christmas, but I’m inclined to disagree. Christmas this year in the British Isles looks like being cancelled and the pollies are going to royally mess up New Year as well. They are succeeding where Cromwell’s Puritans failed. If it’s left to them, no one will be allowed to have any fun at all over the festering season, the miserable bar stewards.
Back in BC, Elderly friend is losing her last marbles, but we keep in touch by phone. She can’t walk any more because her balance has gone AWOL and her care staff report she’s being cantankerous. There’s nothing we or our proxies can do apart from watch and wait. Hell, she’s had a bloody good run at life, and everyone dies sometime. I hope that when my time comes, as it will, I don’t keep everyone hanging around, twiddling their thumbs. For one thing, it’s bad manners to keep people waiting because you can’t make up your silly mind.
On the plus side, the kids are fine in their chosen locales, and they’re even talking to me via email on a regular basis. We’re busy walking and talking. Getting to know the locale, showing our faces, getting mugged by over enthusiastic dogs and suchlike. It’s not all doom and gloom. There is wine, there is food, we’ve discovered the David Tennant / Michael Sheen lockdown series ‘Staged’, which is remarkably good for the chuckle muscles. See below.
Well, Mrs S and I like it.
Oh yes I forgot. It’s spaghetti and meatballs tonight with a nice Chilean red.
We’re being played. I have no other conclusion to offer. The numbers don’t justify lockdown and I even downloaded the source data just to check and did my own comparison with seasonal norms. Yes there’s the obvious surge in March and April for respiratory infection deaths, but now?
We got threatened with a ‘second wave’ of SARS/COV-2 which has turned out to be more of a second hiccup. Indeed, all the dire predictions circulating around this strain of coronavirus have proven effectively worthless. If this virus was a military invasion it would be in final ‘mopping up’ operations. It has done it’s worst. The vast bulk of the vulnerable have either succumbed or recovered. We are left with a relatively small rump of uninfected. The ‘cases’ we keep getting told about are most likely a phenomena brought on by widespread application of the flawed PCR test. Some authorities even say the ‘casedemic’ is somewhere in the region of 90% false positives.
For this I dived into the stats and gave myself a nasty headache? (seeing as we’re in yet another bloody pointless lockdown anyway) When other, far superior intellects have already done all the scientific and intellectual heavy lifting? For this I get called “A dangerous idiot”. Hmm. ‘Dangerous’ perhaps, but ‘idiot’ by appointment only, and only if I’m getting paid to be one.
You have to giggle at the rampant ignorance out there though. People who have never heard of Jenner, Pasteur or Salk. Three of the most famous names in vaccination. That’s the kind of people who are calling l’il ole me a dunce.
There are even people who believe that vaccines have been in use for ‘thousands of years’. Really? if that were the case, Galen, the Roman era authority on pre-industrial medicine would surely have mentioned the practice. Having read some of the modern translation of his treatise some three dozen years ago (I was bored and I found a copy in my local library), I cannot recall any mention of vaccination type treatments. Nor from the famous Islamic medical scholar Ibn al-Nafis, who documented some of the human circulatory system in the 13th century. Nor in the book known as ‘Culpeppers herbal’, an English Civil War era text on plants and their medicinal uses (As well as astrology and other such stuff, but such was the spirit of the age).
The history of medicine is something I like to read about when the mood strikes, and I’m sure Leg-Iron, trained microbiologist that he is, has had occasion to do so. Not to mention our antipodean authority on matters microbial (As long as they’re from Tipton), the Flaxen Saxon. I might be an idiot, but I’m damned sure they’re not.
That said, I don’t think these continued pointless restrictions are a conspiracy, but I do think there’s an unholy convergence of interests, from the pharmaceutical companies that have bet big on a vaccine, their financial backers, and the politicians that love the naked power lockdowns give them. Not to mention the mathematical modelers, who develop their algorithms on false assumptions, then present the resultant gobbledygook as ‘fact’, despite the burden of medical proof against them. Then there are the propagandists and their useful idiots both in the mainstream media and greater population who ‘believe in science’ when all they are doing is desperately seeking something that will give them power over others and so bolster the rags of their wretched self esteem. Their ‘belief’ has little in the way of fact and more to do with the giant hole in their life left by an absence of spirituality. They’re just looking for meaning in the wrong place.
Me, I just hate being so obviously bullshitted and having my face rubbed in it. It’s probably why I drink so much. It blots out the nonsense.
This new wave of lockdowns make no sense. Ivor Cummins runs the numbers below, and newsflash people; they do not lie.
The politicians and mainstream media are obviously deluded, seeing what are in effect seasonal norms and conflating them with some huge disaster in waiting. A disaster that, it is patently obvious, is mostly imaginary. As of Thursday over here in Ireland we go into a ‘soft’ level five lockdown where people aren’t officially allowed to go further than five kilometres from their homes, unless they are exempt for some reason.
As Ivor rightly points out, the data is in, and the numbers tell one simple truth. The SARS/COV-2 virus has already spread and is doing nothing like the damage predicted by the shonky Imperial College modelling. Because that’s what’s behind these lockdowns, bad data modelling. Not real science, but statistics based on false assumptions. Which isn’t science at all.
We hear a lot from the media talking heads and politicians about ‘doubling’ of rates, indeed we’ve been hearing this Greek chorus for quite a while now, but nothing of the sort appears to be happening. The seasonal norms continue to go about their business in blithe disregard of what those in the media bubble realities have been so breathlessly predicting. It’s like listening to Global Warming fanatics (Well of course, they’re often the same people). Those disaster fantasies are also fueled by these bad computer models. I believe the specific data models these things are based on is a particular algorithm which is about as much use as the proverbial chocolate teapot when it comes to any approximation of reality.
They rather remind me of my Canadian Brother in law, who gleefully latches on to the latest we’re all dooomed fad fiction and repeats it as though it were gospel truth. He doesn’t bother with the real science, never bothers with source data, just reels off out of context stories from the mainstream. All of his information is at least fourth hand from press releases. Unfortunately, no matter how wrong he is, he continues to believe that he knows the ‘science’, and often dismisses my observations that one disaster scenario looks awfully like the one predicted last month. No doubt, despite my well-founded scepticism, he will refer to me as a ‘denier’, which is nothing more than a rhetorical trick. Call your opponent names and dismiss anything they might have to say, no matter how reasonable.
Fortunately, Mrs S and I have stocked up on the necessaries, we have received assurances that our worldly goods will probably be delivered about the end of the month, and we’ve set up work arounds for most of the other little niggles that these futile bloody lockdowns throw up in our faces. Then there’s the ongoing saga of getting car insurance, which for strange reasons known only to Irish insurance companies, isn’t widely available to expats. And there’s no one I can talk to or reason with face to face under these restrictions. So far all my efforts have failed to bear fruit. Now if I was an alcoholic Lithuanian and an EU citizen with nine points on my license, it would be a snip. But since I’m a Canadian expat with a clean driving record, it’s “Sorry, can’t help you.”
But trying to convince my brother in law, and likewise the politicians, that they’ve got it all wrong, is quite simply an exercise in futility. It leaves you feeling desperate and slightly hollow. Or as I said to Mrs S today “Sometimes I just feel like crying.”
I was up early, pacing our empty kitchen this morning, worrying. Word is we may even be restricted to travel within 10km of home for the next four weeks. Bound by an insane web of ever changing rules that make the word ‘byzantine’ look like simplicity personified. Masks, no matter how useless they really are at this stage of the game at preventing viral spread, will be required everywhere, perhaps even in your own home. Although there are those who do that already. The insanity is, like the SARS/COV-2 virus, everywhere. It has gone from pandemic to endemic. There’s no escape.
Uncertainty has become the rule under which we live. At this point I don’t even know if our worldly goods will be allowed to be delivered next week. The situation is that unclear. We’ve put a deposit on a suitable car and it’s in the shop having a pre-sale detail and service. Unfortunately, as the car dealership we are buying from is slightly over 10km from our new home we may not even be allowed to pick it up at the end of this week. We have the money to spend, but we don’t know if we’re going to be allowed to spend it.
Insurance for independent expats like us is likewise an issue. Finding someone who will insure without a usable no-claims is a pain. We have full documented no claims in Canada for the last thirteen years and for at least six documented years UK no claims before that, but does any of it count over here? Nah. Only certain countries no-claims, such as some EU states and the UK (But not always) are allowed here in Ireland. We know we’re going to get stung. The only question that remains is ‘how much by’? When it comes to transport, there’s this constant feeling of; “Sticker, see that brick wall? That’s for your head. Off you go.”
However, our woes pale into insignificance if some of the lockdown stories surfacing are any guide. There’s a nasty rumour floating around the Interweb that people have died screaming in agony because they were prevented from getting prompt treatment by the lockdowns. Don’t know if these tales are true or not, but I’m sure that video’s will surface if they are. If this is the new (ab)normal they can keep it.
The truth is like that. It always leaks out. The harsher the censorship by the tech giants, the more things will pop up. The evidence will surface, one way or another. And we know where the blame will lie, as it has lain over the last two decades or more. On those who push the panic button to keep themselves in a job, the powers that be, and those who carry water for them.
Hear what Sargon has to say. They’re cancelling and censoring the White House’s social media accounts? Along with so many others. That’s going to come back to bite silicon valley and some of the big corporates. Especially if Trump wins his second term.
I don’t use social media anyway, having cancelled twatter and Arsebook years ago.
Fortunately our car hire guys have been absolute heroes. Sixt, when it comes down to it, may not be the cheapest, but their customer service is worth every penny. I’ve used them in four countries on three continents so far (Australia, France, UK and Canada) and unlike all the others, have always walked away without a care. There’s never been that WTF! moment when you check your credit card statement after a hire. Our currency brokers have likewise upped their game, as if it needed upping, and come through with some happy news. If you have a legitimate need to shift money from country to country, may I give the gold star of approval to Currencies Direct. Needless to say, Mr Bezo’s boys continually come up trumps. These guys have been life and sanity savers in very difficult times.
Update: Other people are not as fortunate or determined as we, and even children are cracking up under the strain. Watch the video below, read out from a report first penned in May 2020. God alone knows what that poor kid is like now, and he will be only one of thousands. Perhaps even tens of thousands. We can only guess.
These lockdowns are a crime against humanity and the cracks are showing. But I repeat myself. Again and again and a-bloody-gain.
Useful links; as far back as 15th May, 43% of UK Psychiatrists reported an uptick in cases directly attributable to the lockdowns.
That’s just the mental health side of the coin. The economic damage and attendant fallout promises to be far worse. Now the Welsh assembly thinks it’s lockdown will make any difference. They’re wrong. The real science says they are, but they are politicians who don’t understand what they’re doing or what they’re really dealing with and what actually works.
Had a bit of a scare today. Mrs S has been fussing about the last few in the plague of flies that afflicted our new home over the last week or so. Still can’t get over the fact that we’ve only been here just over a week. Anyway, she carried on so that I grumpily borrowed a stepladder from the farm and proceeded to check gutters for various carrion that the flies might be breeding in.
The gutters were clear, but while checking the section next to the most afflicted window, the stepladder suddenly canted almost twenty degrees sideways from vertical. Only some fairly swift and terrified gymnastics on my part stopped this being an incident where the unstable steps dropped me onto the bonnet of our expensive hired car, which only I am currently registered to drive.
Heart in mouth, I carefully balanced myself so I could get to the ground intact without either damaging myself or the car, then made my way to terra firma. Had I actually fallen, the inevitable damage to myself and the car would have been expensive. Or, as I tetchily remarked to Mrs S in the safety of our kitchen; “Don’t ask me to do that again. I almost became a COVID-19 statistic.”
Had the fall proven fatal, an outside but distinct possibility if the ironies of fate are taken into account, my death would no doubt be logged as a fatal COVID-19 ‘case’ when my post mortem PCR test came back positive. Regardless of whether I was suffering any symptoms of anything at all. That’s one of the reasons why ‘experts’ who can only see one side of the story are fucking up the lives of entire countries. They equate test results with actual infections and use their flaky Imperial College computer models to hold us all to ransom. Just like with HIV, BSE, Foot and Mouth, Swine and Avian Flu. I mean come on. How many more times do SAGE or NPHET have to be wrong before those eejits get fired for serial incompetence?
I may have a key fob that says ‘feckin eejit’, but even I’m not that stupid.
On the upside, we’ve found a suitable car. A little SUV with enough luggage space and then some for a few crates of wine, when booze cruises are possible once more. Colour isn’t great and it’s got a minor scrape but the price isn’t bad. Now all we have to do is get insurance. This is the mountain Mrs S and I now have to climb. Life seems to be full of these at the moment, but we’re managing to clamber to the top of each, only to take a breath and go “Oh right. There’s another one. Bugger.” When we see the next one looming on the horizon. So we sigh heavily, gird our rhetorical loins and pick up our metaphorical backpacks before embarking on the next part of the journey.
The secret about all this, if secret there is, is not to stop. Seriously. We’re not hungry or starving, we’ve been careful to do our homework so we can continue our journey. We have objectives. We have money set aside to pay for these things having sold up in Canada to afford this move, this great gamble. One by one, we’re hammering the pieces of our jigsaws into place, making the pieces fit and decorating our new landscape, taking each new hurdle with a deep breath and a sotto voce “So be it”.
I’ve signed. Using my real name and address. Just as a concerned citizen. You could too, all it requires is the courage of your conviction.
Maybe there will be a negative outcome for me. Maybe the thought Police will come kicking my door down at 4am, but I doubt it. Rural County Clare, Ireland is hardly Soviet era Russia. Besides, the local Gardai have better things to do and there aren’t enough of them to do it. There is a microscopically small chance that they might knock on my door and politely ask me why I signed, which is highly unlikely. Same for Police all over the world. Even where they’re acting more like jackboots than elsewhere, such as in the UK.
The UK Police have been used like a political hammer to quell even reasonably mild dissent on this issue and that should be a badge of shame against them. In acting as they have they have saved no-one and may have condemned others to a premature death. Not from a nasty bug that mostly shot it’s bolt in March and April, but from the other negative outcomes. The politically mandated redundancies, closed businesses and resultant negative outcomes. Not to mention beating up peaceful protesters whilst ‘taking a knee’ to Marxist rioters. The Met should be collectively hanging their head in shame for the 26th September debacle in Trafalgar Square. As for Cross-eyed Dickwit, well, I leave my one remaining reader to deliver their own judgement. Why she still has a job is a matter for speculation. Anyone else would have been fired by now.
On the subject of London, ‘North’ told us last night that she was becoming so used to the restrictions that she didn’t notice them any more. Or that they were only being lightly policed in her area, but she didn’t say. Although the number of boarded up shop fronts I’m told has increased. LocalTown over here has plenty. We’re not quite in ghost town territory yet, but the economic harms are plainly visible and going into ‘level five’, there will be even more to come.
Which is why I signed the Great Barrington Declaration. The COVID-19 insanity must end, and if we do not raise our voices, then it never will.
On the home front I’ve managed to sort out the problems thrown my way and obtained a slew of apologies. We’re all good for the time being. Mr Amazon is being useful and we’re getting our supplies in before ‘level five’ goes live and we metaphorically have to sit on the collective naughty step for no good reason. There is food, there is alcohol, shelter and warmth. The birds still sing and the sheep and cows make a racket in the small hours if so much as a squirrel startles them. Could be worse.
Oh yes, and I fixed my network printer issues. Yay! So long as our furniture is actually allowed to be delivered in the next two weeks, we should be golden.
I try not to deal in conspiracy theories, only in that which can be independently verified. The numbers contain truth, only people lie. So it is with COVID-19. I’ve been called an ‘arrogant conspiracy theorist’ for saying that the worst was over in May, when the numbers clearly support my view. However, there are those so entrenched in their world view, so poisoned with fear that they have nothing left but insult and denigration in their playbook. They will never be convinced. I say let them hide behind closed windows and curtains for the rest of their days if they so choose. At least let the rest of us get on with our lives. SARS/COV-2 is endemic within the population now.
I wish the idiocacy of the mainstream media would stop trying to sell the same tired old disaster narrative, which is, like the motivation for the second Iraq war, a conspiracy theory based on the notorious ‘dodgy dossier’. But no, the current crop of talking heads drone on with the same old tosh.
On the other hand, ‘awaken with JP’ nails it. The media deals in conspiracy theories better than real conspiracy theorists. Who knew?
Watch and laugh, then cry a little for all the harm that is being done in the name of fear.
Today I have to snarl at a few people. Something that never sits well with me. The dragons scales must flash a little. Not much, just enough to let the subjects of my displeasure know that they have erred. Then I can get on with moving some money around.
Great news! our worldlies have hit customs and we’re talking delivery dates after rattling around a near-empty house for the last week. Has it only been a week? Christ on a bike it seems like months.
Add to that I hit a bit of an emotional wall last night and slept for almost a solid thirteen hours. Some people have meltdowns, I just crash. Boom! Out like a light at twenty to nine last night and Mrs S said she couldn’t wake me until well past nine this morning.
Hardly surprising. The emotional weight of this entire move has been on my shoulders and it’s not been an easy ride. From planning and execution through all the frustrations with Banks and logistics companies, I’ve been doing most of the heavy lifting, then having to deal with the emotional backlash from my other half when she gets frustrated. Then there have been all the last minute changes, coping with sudden changes in COVID-19 restrictions, Gardai checkpoints and doing all the driving. If I said it’s been pretty intense and relentless I wouldn’t be exaggerating.
So today I need a day off. A time out to regain my sense of proportion. Tomorrow I will need the tatters of my emotional energy to go and shout at a few people for not doing their jobs. Work which they were paid to do. And this is from a man who does not really like to raise his voice. Except in celebration with friends.
As for the restrictions, the papers are all breathlessly reporting that County Cavan has gone into level four restrictions, which means you have to limit the number of guests at a wedding or funeral and that certain sports aren’t allowed as well as a few other things. Although no-one seems to have explained this to the locals who are all rolling their eyes and going about their business as usual. The local Gardai must be busy elsewhere, because despite the local station being just up the way, we haven’t seen any for days.
Now to me the reasoning behind these restrictions seems a little odd. Yes, there are more ‘cases’, but what constitutes a ‘case’? Is it a positive PCR test? A test that was never meant to be used as a diagnostic? Actual symptoms, no matter how mild? Actual hospitalisations or deaths? I know the death count for the entire country is around the seasonal norm. Masks don’t seem to have any real effect, apart from as a placebo. And if you’re wearing a mask in your street clothes, you might as well not be wearing a mask at all. Seriously, it’s all so disproportionate.
My main fear is not any virus, but the effects of Government lockdowns. I’m more worried about getting informed on and the COVID Police kicking down my door than about the virus itself. Not that any of the locals are of the snitching kind. This isn’t suburbia where they’ve go nothing better to do.
Fuck it, there’s a couch under the stairs, where I intend to lounge for the rest of the day. Mrs S has disappeared off to her makeshift office with a mug of tea and a whole packet of Ginger biscuits. There’s a network printer to connect, but nothing needs to be printed this week, so it can bloody well stay disconnected. We’ve got Mr Amazon delivering a bunch of stuff next week, but that’s more or less it.
Fuck ’em all. Come hell or high water I am going to keep my sense of proportion. Unlike the mainstream media.
Went into Local Store the other day, the local radio station was on in the background. “Er, yeah. So we’re going into level five in a few weeks. We’ve had a doubling of cases over in Ennis to at least thirty, and a report of someone sneezing in Shannon. Two elderly people died of an influenza like illness which we’re assuming was COVID-19. Health authorities believe a sniffle may have been involved and a Gardai task force has been set up. So we’re going to lobby Government to go into level five lockdown at the end of the next three weeks.”
All right, I made that up, but it is closely representative of the non-stop terrorism the mainstream media are inflicting on us all. Endless repetition of the disaster narrative. We’re all doomed unless no one can never ever go out of their house ever again. Don’t listen to the ‘Deniers’ or the doctors who say it’s not that big a deal, they’re all a bunch of cranks and half wits. On and on it goes. All the time.
This is how Hamlet’s father died in Shakespeare’s play, through having “Poison poured in his ear” by the evil Claudius until the King died of despair.
This is terrorism, plain and simple. A hostile act against an entire way of life, and we’re doing it to ourselves by listening to the scaremongers.
Switch off the propaganda, step outside out in your back yard, or open a window and take a breath of sweet morning air instead. Stop, look around and listen to the birdsong. Take a moment to drink in the calm. Masks are no longer necessary. There is little to be afraid of if you’re looking after yourself properly. Life, outside of the media terror bubble, is good. Chill.