Tag Archives: Family

What about…

…Florida. Apparently direct comparison of mortality and cases between Florida, a US state that dropped all lockdown measures last year, has an infection / mortality curve significantly lower than ‘hard lockdown’ states like New York and California.

Watch, share, then cry a little for all those who didn’t get their serious health problems treated because all the hospital systems were fixated on SARS/COV-2. For all those who lost hope because of lockdowns and took a step off this mortal coil.

For my part, I’ve been trying to keep our household and that of ‘South’ (Via video message) jollied along. Which has been a trying task. My normally genial disposition has almost gone into acute failure mode on at least thirty occasions in the last twelve months alone. You see the despair of those you love and it twists a knife in your guts because they are trapped far away, and you are precluded from visiting them to offer succour.

The real world data does not lie. You can talk up ‘R’ numbers and ‘cases’ all you like, but the corollary evidence that lockdowns do more harm than good is all out there. In the real world, not in the shonky mathematical models coming out of places like Imperial College.

Maybe Boris Johnson will hear of this, sack the current bunch of time pleasers in SAGE and decide to lift the UK lockdowns. If he does, other nations will follow. And the more quickly the better. The world, social, economic and scientific needs to heal from this Lysenkoist Government-induced disaster.

A great reset needs to happen, but not the one the World Economic Forum want. We need a great reset where people are free to go about their everyday lives. Free to trade, create, live, love and work again. That, as the data coming out of Florida tells us, is what will fix everything, not some neo-fascist totalitarian nightmare pushed by the mega-rich, who it seems don’t have enough so they want everybody else’s money and possessions.

I’d like to believe that there is a light ahead in the darkness of lockdown, but my native cynicism tells me this may yet be another false dawn. Please let me be wrong on this specific point.

One thing we need to be reassured about though, is that lockdowns are never, ever used again. For any reason whatsoever.

Nothing new

News from ‘North’ in London. She’s a bit gloomy, even though she’s still in a job. London, she tells us, is a bit like a ghost town.

It’s the same all over. Quebec for example is under curfew. No doubt the Quebecois political class is ‘exempt’, but hear what Viva Frei has to say about the nonsensical restrictions. As if the virus looks at it’s watch and goes; “After hours huh? Time to get moving.”

Fortunately, out here in the wilder west of Ireland, we don’t have such panic stricken nonsense. Similarly ‘South’ in the fabled land of Oz, reports she’s doing long walks to keep the lockdown blues at bay. Personally I think we’re more at risk from the fear and over-reaction than the actual virus itself.

Here we go again…

Well, it’s 2021 chums! Aaaand here we go again. More useless, futile lockdowns following all the other futile and useless lockdowns which didn’t work throughout 2020. Frankly I’m amazed, not at the obvious lack of intelligence on display, but at the sheer lack of imagination. Hey! Let’s do the same thing which didn’t work last time around, just change the name. Genius, eh? No.

I’ve noticed there’s a lot of pressure from public sector unions, which I know from experience form the least productive part of the economy. Frankly, if you shut all the daycare centres masquerading as the state sector education system, and maybe all those pressuring for the additional lockdowns should have their salaries cut by 50%+ during the next ‘wave’ or ‘spike’ or whatever excuse the powers that be are using, like the few private sector workers currently being ‘furloughed’ into penury. But maybe the UK public sector is indulging in a little sabotage, having been told their wages will be frozen for the next three years they’ve decided to watch it all burn to the ground.

Personally, if a union is one of those pressuring the government to shut down schools, then maybe the union’s members should be sent home on the quarter pay pittance offered to those not on the public dime. Like the teachers unions. What are they going to do when the schools are shut anyway? Go on strike? Who would notice? In the meantime, just like in the early 1970’s, UK education, politically correct mish mash that it appears to be, of the next generation suffers.

Yep. It’s a crazy old world out there and no mistake. My current major issue is the banking system, and shifting funds from Canada back into Europe and the UK keeps my head slamming into the nearest wall. Mrs S and I had a bit of a row over it. She had a go at me for no good reason twice in the same day. Which almost made me lose my temper, which for me is an event akin to finding the manure pile in a rocking horse stable. I was rather annoyed though. I’m not a bloody doormat and get really pissed off when my good nature is mistaken for me being anyone’s bitch.

However, sanity has prevailed, we’ve talked things through, and we’re back to our more usual selves, although after a particularly stressful session with a not so helpful help desk today, my rabid Donald Duck impression as I walked downstairs made her jump, then she burst out laughing. So we’re all good again. Life is too short not to see the ridiculous side. Even if the continual repetition of stupidity gets right on my tits.

Now I need a drink.

Update. By the way; for those of you thinking I may be full of it. Have a look at the analysis below. No ‘denial of science’, no propaganda, just the numbers and nothing but the numbers. In context. Like being compared to like. Peer reviewed studies and information derived from proper, reputable scientific publications.

Now would anyone carefully explain to me, using proper science and without resorting to the pejorative, why the hell we’re still doing lockdowns?

Bored with tiers

So Cromwell Johnson has cancelled Christmas, as we suspected he would. The git. Well imagine my shock. As UK PM he’s turned out to be one big disappointment after another.

Over here in slightly more sensible Ireland, we’re being allowed (Allowed! Hah!) to cross county borders and go pootle around the neighbouring countryside, and (Gasp!) be allowed to celebrate Christmas. How very fucking generous of our political class. Bunch of Cnuts. Unlike you poor buggers in the UK, for whom tier 3 was not enough. Now there’s an ultra scary new bug which means everyone is back under house arrest (Actually one of just under 13,000 new strains of SARS/COV-2). Said bug is supposed to be highly virulent, but the stats show no uptick in deaths outside of the seasonal norms. Although, according to one specialist;

Dr Maria van Kerkhove, the technical lead of COVID-19 response and the Head of Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis Unit at WHO, has also confirmed that the strain involved has been circulating for many months, though she referred to it as N501Y.

So this ‘new, virulent strain’ we’re all supposed to be hiding under the blankets about has been around for ages. It’s not new. The death count hasn’t deviated outside seasonal norms. So that kind of shoots the whole need for ‘tier 4′ restrictions down in flames doesn’t it? The only conclusion any sensible person can draw from this is that the politicians don’t have the first feckin’ clue what they’re on about.

Not to mention the ‘advisory groups’ like SAGE and NPHET claiming to be ‘experts’ when it turns out there are few real scientists amongst them, mainly mathematical modellers and ‘social psychologists’ from all accounts. We need proper epidemiologists and virologists on these advisory boards. One decent economist who understands how small businesses power an economy would be good too, rather than the current bunch of affectioned time-pleasers.

Mrs S and I increasingly find ourselves wondering openly and in public why this is. Politicians are faking having had the vaccine in order to persuade the rest of it that a vaccine is warranted. Which under the current circumstances is not the case. The ‘cases’ being no more than detections of (live or dead – doesn’t matter to the test) viral fragments because the PCR test is not fit for this specific use.

For my part, I try (as always) to find a little light in the darkness, a silver lining to the storm clouds. And I find it in family. ‘North’ is closeted in London with serious boyfriend, both of them, unlike so many, are finding ways to keep the metaphorical wolf from the door while building a possible future together. I look at it this way; if their relationship can blossom and flourish despite the lockdowns and stresses of the UK’s crapital, the Sticker clan may start a new expansionary phase some time in 2021. Providing the lockdowns end in 2021. Which at this rate doesn’t seem likely. We can always offer them safe haven and a fast Broadband connection over here if the UK goes into TITSUP mode.

One lives in hope that London based stepdaughter can find a little happiness amongst the shitshow currently being pushed on us by panicky and clueless politicians. ‘South’ based in Sydney Australia has been struggling a bit, but with a little judicious subbing out, is still up, running and socialising enough to keep her sanity, which is important.

Of course, Mrs S and I are being careful not to spoil either of our two girls, and bless the pair of them, they’ve always demurred when financial help has been offered. However, there is a pot of money marked “For dire emergencies only” just in case. It’s at times like these you earn your corn as a parent of grown-ups.

On that topic, today I have a Lamb and Vegetable soup fragranced with a little Rosemary brewing on the stove. To be served with cucumber sandwiches and a few other oddments. Cucumber Sandwiches Bill? How quaint! How, oh never mind. Don’t worry, I’m not becoming decadent, we’re not cutting the crusts off. Chill. Relax and enjoy the Christmas that never was.

I’ll try and be a bit more cheerful in the next post or two.

Another plan ruined

…does anyone personally know anyone currently affected by SARS/COV-2? I ask because I’m really sick and tired of these pointless lockdowns and masks, neither of which have any real science behind them. That’s the second hotel booking on the trot I’ve had to cancel and my patience is wearing thinner by the day. No-one can plan any more. We’re all just watching stupid politicians led by the nose, in turn leading us all deeper into a pit of economic and social disaster because they can’t admit they got it very badly wrong. Like the 1962 Milgrim experiment documented in the video below. The parallels are glaringly obvious.

These punishments, because that’s what lockdowns are, will continue until the virus is gone or a ‘miracle vaccine’ arrives. Neither of which is likely. Not for a coronavirus. Researchers have been looking for a cure for the common cold since the 1960’s, and that is often a coronavirus.   The thing is that SARS/COV-2 is now endemic, that is, everywhere, as the number of tests shows. Yet how many people are sick enough to be hospitalised or even become more than slightly off colour?  Those are the numbers we need to pay attention to.

Our planned Christmas trip, a two day treat which would have helped us both stay sane has fallen to the blunt axes of ‘level three’. I want to know who I sue for wrongful imprisonment and the imprisonment of my family, not to mention the losses to my business interests? I certainly don’t qualify for any ‘furlough’ money and my pensions are still several years away. Therefore any demand for extra taxes to pay for these lockdowns will be met by a negative value on my tax return, so the tax man will end up owing me. As for funding the health service, we’ve fed our respective health services extra billions and got nothing back for it.

We’re told that all these lockdowns were to ‘save’ the health services. Hoo-effing-ray. Unfortunately, a great many people who should have been ‘saved’ by the hospitals that were closed for nothing but COVID-19 cases haven’t been. Cancer diagnoses have been missed. Heart attacks and strokes that got worse and even fatal because they went untreated. Suicides because psychiatric care was neglected. To name but three. We know the body count of people who have been tested positive for COVID-19 post mortem, but what of those whose deaths were due to the political decisions surrounding this pandemic?

By way of anecdote. My own father died at home in extreme pain because of a missed cancer diagnosis, going from a fit and healthy fifty seven year old man to a bag of bones in less than three weeks. The doctors and technicians of the NHS missed his diagnosis, by which time it was too late. Ma Sticker and I nursed him at home until close to one awful midnight she came into the room where I was waiting to do my turn to announce; “Bill, your father’s dead.” Not only that but the GP had prescribed the wrong painkillers, so a brave man died in agony. My own later experiences of the UK’s national health service also left me less than impressed. I’m sure my occasional readers will have similar stories to tell. I’m not a fan of socialised medicine. You can tell, can’t you?

Now all our lives are on hold and despite repeated promises to the contrary, subject to arbitrary disruptions which are only adding to the body count attributed to SARS/COV-2. We were promised Christmas off, but the politicians and corporates have chosen to screw us all over, trying to bore us with tiers and other such half-arsed idiocy.

Right now I hope all the politicians, media and corporate lobbyists who pushed us into this mess, including all the members of SAGE and NPHET all die like my father did. In extreme agony from a missed diagnosis. See you in hell you bastards. You’ll know me. I’ll be the grinning demon with the really nasty barbed pitchfork at reception. Maybe I’ll even give you a friendly little wave before I ram it right where your sun doesn’t shine.

Talk about depressing

Looks like being a lonely festive season here at Maison Sticker. We were looking forward to having family over from the UK and Canada. Possibly even from the fabled land of Oz. Now we’re told; “Sorry- tiers and levels.” from the bullshit merchants currently occupying seats of authority. “No vaccine – no travel.” We’re told. WTF? Did I move to communist freaking China last week and completely miss the memo?

All the talk of getting Christmas off from these godawful f*ckwitted lockdowns turns out to have been a lie. Our civil liberties have been trashed. For what? Do we have a real problem at this point in time? While the WHO’s own web site contains huge amounts of scary details, as Ivor Cummins points out below, the science and base numbers do not support lockdowns. Nor do the previous WHO 2019 health guidelines. As Mr Cummins rightly points out, how come the Japanese, Norwegians and Finns got off so lightly? Healthy vitamin D serum levels perhaps?

Which is why I take 2000UI of D3 (50mcg) daily. No side effects. I’ve been on this dose for the last year and intend to keep it up as I’m quite enjoying all the usual sniffles giving me the go-by. The much vaunted potential kidney problems don’t kick in until much higher doses. Besides, if your diet lacks vitamin D and you live above the 50th parallel, a little extra will do you no harm whatsoever. As an aside; I can still recall children in the UK being born with Rickets, a classic vitamin D deficiency disease. Even in adults. However, Rickets has made a comeback in recent years, partly due to a change in the ethnic mix of the UK, and partly because of dietary and behavioural changes. Not enough time out in the fresh air for example. Something my old school GP used to be quite enthusiastic about.

What I find truly depressing is that the precedent has been set. Everyone’s basic human rights can now be set aside for a disease that mostly damages those only with serious pre-existing chronic illnesses. The rest of us get a sniffle or mild flu-like illness.

Then there’s mandatory vaccinations without consent? Tell me, when was that last legal? Yeah, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan where POW’s and civilians alike were treated as human guinea pigs. Hands up who wants to go back there? Seriously?

What is even worse is that there is no liability for any damage caused by these measures. No one who can be held to account because governments have given themselves and the pharmaceutical companies a massive ‘get out of jail free’ card. No legal redress for the victims of what is proposed being a large scale, uncontrolled clinical trial. If the jab does make people sick, say from an autoimmune reaction, there’s no compensation, no legal redress.

However, those responsible for the blatant misinformation and any resulting damage shouldn’t think the Nuremberg defence will work when the chips are down. “Only obeying orders.” eh? There’s a price for that. A very high price indeed. A six and a half feet drop attached to a safety rope around the neck used to be quite highly favoured.

How to end lockdowns

Busy making decorations for the festering season at the direction of Mrs S. I’d be happy with a sprig of holly, some mistletoe and a bit of tinsel around our aspidistra. However, with the possibility that lockdowns will be eased over Christmas, we may find our self hosting ‘North’ and suitor. Which would be nice. She likes him a lot, so I will strive not to embarrass her if they do make it this side of the Irish Sea this year. We have the bed and living space. That and it would be good to see her in person again. I also wish ‘South’ would have a bout of good luck and end up being able to visit us from the fabled land of Oz this year. Sadly, this may not be the case.

Notwithstanding, while my hands have been busy I found myself wondering how we get out of this endless cycle of liberty and economy destroying lockdowns? You know, the ones that no-one seems to be paying much mind to out here in the wilder west of the Emerald Isle.

What is obvious is that the evidence is clear. Lockdowns do little or nothing to halt the spread of a disease, any disease. Quarantine works only so long as no-one breaches it. What does work is shielding the vulnerable, the people in care homes with serious health problems until SARS/COV-2 has finished passing through the main population. Locking down everybody means that process is delayed and the damage done, both economically and epidemiologically speaking is far greater, with ironically a higher death count than if we had done nothing.

At this stage of the game, masks aren’t much use by the general public either. The science and the basic numbers are also clear. Peer reviewed and validated study after study confirm that this is the case. By contrast, the panicmongers statistics are simply numbers tortured out of context, doing nothing but to create unwarranted fear. Yes, SARS/COV-2 is a nasty flu bug, nastier than usual, about as nasty as the 1957 Asian and a few other influenza’s since. You know, flu outbreaks we never locked down for?

For a disease like COVID-19 there is no need for a vaccine because it has already burned itself out. Coronaviruses do this. If we managed to shield the vulnerable for six months, there’s no one left to pass on the disease because the rest of the population have been exposed and either brushed it off or become immune. Because the wider population would have already become immune there would be no residual sink of infection, as would be required for re-infection at some later date. Once the disease is done, it’s done. And like a seasonal flu it is done.

All we have to do is as follows; make the lockdown voluntary. With the sole exceptions of hospital and care home residents and workers. In short, shield the people most likely to be harmed by infection. Those who want to be frightened and hide at home can do so. No one should force anyone to wear a mask, ‘social distance’, or hide in their home. Those who choose can work from home, abstain from travel and exclude themselves as much as they like. No employer should discriminate against such people for isolating themselves. The rest should carry on as before February 2020.

As for being on the ‘wrong side of history’. The erudite Mr Cummins & co have a few choice words about that.

The alternative is the growing groundswell of public discontent and dissent, which will not be quelled by threats of censorship. All censorship has ever done is drive a topic underground and make it grow much bigger than it ever could under any other circumstances. The truth always leaks out, one way or another. History teaches us that this is true. Repeatedly.

On another topic

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.

So be it..

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”.

Bad news and good news

The forces of darkness known as big government has just tried to swat us (Amongst others) with another lockdown, but only succeeded in making my life easier and saving us money. The new lockdown restrictions mean that our next holiday booking meant to start on Saturday has been cancelled (Boo!) But we’re getting a full fifteen hundred dollar refund (Hooray!) Means we won’t be heading up to visit Galway (Boo!) But we’ve got a good permanent home in County Clare (Hooray!) and so on.

Tomorrow we’re going to run the gauntlet of Gardai checkpoints with a one word answer to the question “Where are you going sir?”
That answer will be a 100% honest “Home.” and I will tell them where that is and show them relevant documents if asked.

When we arrive there will be food, there will be drink. There will be zoom meetings with kids over Gigabyte Internet. Unfortunately there will be no hugs, little laughter and a hollow sense of part isolation. There is not enough furniture at present, as our worldly goods have another three weeks at least before they arrive. But we are fortunate, there is fresh bedding and beds to sleep in. Food in the larder. Money to pay the rent and bills. There are others feeling this lockdown crap much worse than us but I can offer them nothing that will do them any good. Save my encouragement that this too will pass. It has to, or we are all screwed.

God alone knows when this insanity will be over, and I wish to him he’d do something. But he’s been so busy thrashing the Chinese for their crimes against humanity with floods, locusts and typhoons that he’s probably still got his ethereal hands full. Maybe direct hits with a series of five metre meteorites upon certain seats of government might do the trick, but I doubt it. Our current crop of politicians just wouldn’t take the hint. If Jesus himself rode into the debating chambers on beams of heavenly light to show them the error of their ways they’d still argue that black was white and get run over on the nearest pedestrian crossing.

As for myself, I’m just an old fart with an obscure blog and a chequered past, what do I know? Anyway, we’ll survive this latest setback, but just because the powers that be think they’re virtuous, there will still be cakes and ale in the new Sticker household. I will see to that. That is my priority and I will take vigorous steps to ensure it remains so. In the meantime I will be following the real science, not the fake stuff peddled by the mainstream media, techniques handily explained below by the indefatigable Mr Cummins.

Blow the horn, increase the lockdowns. It won’t matter because, like the Tigers, the SARS/COV-2 virus is no longer a serious threat. The numbers do not lie. Unlike the media and politicians who quote numbers out of context to bamboozle and mislead. No idea why. Maybe they like the power they think it gives them. Maybe too many of them are banking on making a killing on the stock market over some putative vaccine. Who knows? All I know is that these lockdowns and masks are of little real effectiveness and even get in the way of developing immunity in the wider population.

Boris the spider

Remember this old number written by Who bassist John Entwistle? Boris the Spider?

I had such high hopes of Boris Johnson…

Glad the UK Army and Police told him to get lost when he talked of putting the Army onto British Streets to contain the pathetic shreds of this pandemic. Boris has definitely lost the plot when it comes to SARS/COV-2. The mortality rate is less than a quarter of a percent per infection and the numbers simply don’t justify the draconian measures.

This has already cost the Tories the next election, BREXIT or not. They will either end up in a minority Government or kicked into touch completely. Not that I think any of the other mainstream parties would have done any better. They’re all cheeks of the same arse. All studied politics at the same universities with the same professors.

Johnson’s no Churchill, that’s for sure. His handling of this crisis exposes him as just another creepy crawly career politician tangled in his own web of lies. No real vision and anything to hang onto power. I am bitterly disappointed. He’s also being roundly mocked in, of all places, the dear old Torygraph. Which he richly deserves over his handling of the pandemic. There is no ‘second spike’ and the restrictions harm more than they help.

The full cost of these restrictions has yet to be counted but I calculate that the ‘cure’ has been definitely worse than the disease. The economy trashed, massive increases in mental illness, unnecessary deaths from untreated conditions, bankruptcies and a massive drain on capital that will take decades to recover from. And it’s all the fault of Government. And those slapheads they’re taking advice from.

News from ‘North’ in London is loaded with resignation at having to cope with the insanity of restrictions that are doing nothing to halt the spread of a disease that has already passed through the majority of the population. She’s fine, but annoyed at having her social life curtailed for no good reason.

We’re okay over here in Ireland, apart from Dublin being locked down and for the most part inaccessible. We have our permanent address now and all else will follow. Sisters in Law up in Cairns, Australia and on Vancouver island BC Canada are doing okay. ‘South’ in Australia is feeling the pinch and I have no idea what elder sibling and cousins are up to. Radio silence on their part. Just hunkering down like the rest of us. We’ll survive, but that’s what we’re good at.

What the hell, some of the pubs have survived.

A little light in the darkness

Elderly Friend is in hospital yet again, this time with a broken femur after a fall. We’ve okayed the surgery, as is our responsibility as powers of attorney. We’re fairly sure she’ll pull through but these things always cast a long shadow. At her age the risk of complications is sky high, but still has to be balanced against quality of life. The only alternative was palliative care which is a definite one way street confined to bed in intermittent pain. So, we’ve rolled the dice with crossed fingers. We’ll know more later on today.

The darker part of me wishes her a quick and painless death under anaesthetic, even though we will be very unhappy to lose her. She has of late said that she is wondering why she keeps on going, so perhaps the long night might be the best outcome for her. Does that sound heartless? It’s not meant to be. For all my faults, I believe that mercy is not the prolongation of suffering.

On a more positive note; for those Scots interested in a little good news for once. From the Free Speech Society’s Newsletter, a letter;

“signed by 20 people, including Rowan Atkinson, Peter Tatchell, Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, AC Grayling and Prof Timothy Garton Ash, as well as Index on Censorship, Scottish PEN and Cartoonists Rights Network International. It looks as though the message has finally got through to Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s Justice Secretary who has been tasked with getting the Bill through. On Wednesday, he announced he was preparing to make changes following the chorus of objections. “This letter from various artists will be given serious consideration,” he said. “Their key concern seems to be that ‘stirring up’ offences should be restricted to intent only. It is an area of the Bill I will reflect further on.”

The aspect of the Bill Yousaf is referring to is the proposal to enlarge the offence of “stirring up hatred” without the need to prove intent to secure a conviction. It is already an offence under Scottish law to stir up racial hatred, but the proposed legislation will extend this so it applies to “stirring up hatred” against people on the basis of their religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, transgender identity or variations in sexual characteristics, where “stirring up hatred” is defined as behaving in “a threatening, abusive or insulting manner” to a member of one of these groups, either with the intent to stir up hatred or where that is the likely outcome. It is that last clause that Yousef has said he’ll look at again. If that’s removed, it will certainly make the law less draconian, but he would do better to scrap the Bill altogether.”

I know it’s not much, but it’s a sliver of light in the darkness of censorship and oppression.

As for ‘stirring up hatred’, this heinous bill will do nothing to abate that, even if passed unmodified. The Scottish Nazi Party think they can fix things just by passing ever more restrictive laws. Yes well, all I have to say about that is; murder is against the law, but people still do it. Besides, hate speech laws will just drive the ‘problem’ underground where like flowing water, it will eventually cut the ground from under the oppressors feet.

Who was that masked man?

To the dump, to the dump to the dump dump dump… as the loan arranger sang while riding into the sunset with a dustbin on the back of his horse.

On the home front, Mrs S has picked up an unpleasant 48 hour tummy bug. No idea where from. We haven’t been going out much over the last seven weeks except for essential purposes and have been doing the whole physical distancing / wearing gloves and masks. I had the same thing on Wednesday / Thursday and I’m pretty good about washing my hands and personal hygiene. So it must be something we ate. This led me to flush out things like the butter dish, clean the fridge and eliminate any food borne vectors as much as possible. Which is all you can do under the circumstances. She’s on the mend, poor lamb and will be fine by Tuesday.

This post is about masks (again)

Having actually worked in the front line in a hospital, we were used to wearing masks, and I even got a severe wigging on one occasion for picking up a filter, rather than a surgical mask while doing my OT (Operating theatre) placement several decades ago. The guy below reinforces what I was always taught, that the standard surgical mask is just as effective, if not slightly more so, than the much-vaunted N95 respirator.

Of course those selling N95’s will tell you different, but they are wrong because all face masks leak around the edges. The only way to get containment is with a full, air sealed Level A Hazmat suit with an independent air supply and / or filtration. The all over type with big hoods and clear panels. Or an aqualung respirator with positive pressure.

Besides, if you’re working in OT, the standard surgical mask is way more comfortable and doesn’t chafe or leave nasty red marks on your face after only half an hour. All any mask will do because, as I have said before, a masks primary purpose is reduce the radius of infection. Which is why surgeons and operating theatre staff wear surgical masks plus disposable clear face shields. Masks to contain the droplets that we all emit when breathing, and face shields to prevent backspatter from possibly infected patients. Prior to HIV and MRSA, highly infectious patients were rare, so wearing a face shield was not as common as nowadays.

Welcome to my nightmare

Well bless my raddled soul. Elder sibling has started his own blog, a chronicle, a mash up of personal experiences and events in the UK. In it he tells of the gripes and tribulations of living in his part of the UK, from supermarket beefs to the media stoked paranoia of certain people he encounters.

Here’s the type of thing he writes;

“I had to attend an outpatient clinic at our local hospital today. To my surprise, it was functioning as normal. No-one was wearing a mask and there were no signs of panic or hysteria.”

This seems to be a common thread. NHS Healthcare staff do not appear to be overstretched and can indulge in behaviours like doing dance routines on Tik tok, or conga lines to ‘celebrate’ an extubation. Look, if it were an all-hands-to-the-pumps situation, would primary healthcare staff have time to indulge themselves thus? Damn straight they wouldn’t.

Then he reports on the fake news items such as;

“Sarah Montague said that all pubs and leisure facilities in cities were closed “for good”.”

No doubt with a good deal of malicious relish on her part.

I have been requested to act as a consultant in this matter to let another frustrated voice into the wild and will be acting as his right hand man on how to handle all the wonders and witlessness of online life. Which could get interesting. At least we have ensured he has a confidential email and a few layers between him and the worst of the Internet. We shall see what we shall see.

No, I’m not going to link to his output, as elder sibling has not asked me to do so. If he does I’ll think about it. Better that he develops his own community.

Yes, he too detests what the BBC has become as I too loathe the fawning arse-licking the Canadian bought and paid for mass media goes in for when it comes to Canada’s glorious leader, that neo fascist Trudeau. Yes Trudeau is a neo-fascist, his government ticks all the boxes but the military one. He cloaks his disdain for all working class northern European descended males in talk of racism and sexism, but those two sins are something Trudeau indulges in all the time. Not sure why. Perhaps he feels threatened and like so many of the middle class, suffers from a deep self-loathing and sense of inadequacy.

Good news from the UK comes via political vlogger Mahyar Tousi. With added steak. Although I think Flat-Iron steaks are much nicer than Rib-Eye. Lovely buttery texture and more flavour.

So, all the accusations leveled against the Brexiteers have come to naught. For now.

Anyway. I’ve done the shopping, fed the hummingbirds and now it’s time to get back to the day job. Sometimes the fun never starts.

Bak two skool

Okay, a couple of weeks of lockdown wasn’t that bad, but over a month with no real respite? Waiting for a vaccine that may be over a year in the making? That’s not a lockdown, that’s house arrest.

Time to start relaxing the restrictions. People need to work so they can pay the bills properly. The worst is over. So we have to wear masks and gloves in public places? So what? Let’s get things moving again.

I’m finally taking my own advice and am doing online courses to formalise the skill sets I otherwise use every day. At least enough to fill the unforgiving minute. That and the weather recently has been nice. So the lockdown isn’t currently that onerous, although Mrs S has vouchsafed on occasion that she is getting ‘twitchy’. A statement which immediately had me looking for my helmet and flak jacket. It got to the point where I even had to deploy Klondike Bars (Double sized choc ices for you poor deprived buggers) and extra chocolate. It’s hell in here I tell you. I found the men sir, gawd I wish I hadn’t.

Even though we mostly work from home Mrs S and I are both in sore need of a timeout. I really pity the poor sods who live on their own. Solitary confinement is really, really bad for the mind. Ordinarily sane people tend to go postal. Maybe that’s what pushed the Nova Scotia Shooter over the edge. And he’s just the first. The longer this lockdown, the more domestic disputes will begin to cross that bloody line. The damage may already be done with the fuse fizzing toward the dynamite.

For me, this weeks learning / displacement activity is taken up with numbers. Specifically accounting techniques, most of which I use every day in my day jobs. Nothing that complicated, but enough to get me a study credit or two with the Open University and a recognised certificate at the end. Given time, all these things mount up. At some stage or other I must have a tot up. I believe 300 study credits will get you a degree but I’m not absolutely sure.

I’ve got transcripts with a number of online Universities, Duke, Simon Fraser, The OU and I think there is one course from Vancouver Island or UBC which I never finished, even though I’ve never had the time and money to go to a University and get a formal, full time degree. This is not to say I haven’t physically been to a University. In various work roles over the years I have been to several UK University campuses. Even attended lectures. I’ve also sat down in the canteen of several campuses for a number of lunch times and do you know what? Not one of the snotty buggers ever bothered to talk to me. Or perhaps they didn’t want to soil their precious ickle minds by talking to one of the real workers, not the fantasy version as believed in by certain student activists and their professors. Judging from the current output from the Non-STEM courses, I think I may have dodged a bit of a bullet there. Although to be fair I do tend to try and generate a “Don’t bother me I’m busy” stasis field while I’m reading, which I so often do.

The main thing that puts me off doing a full time degree course is all the PC bullshit you have to go through to study at University nowadays. Could anyone tell me what use is a compulsory course in ‘diversity’ or pronouns for recently invented genders within the more practical disciplines of technical writing, accounting, computing, biology, medicine or engineering? Apart from worse than useless.

Universities do theory and do it well, but the problems start when bad theories collide with real life. At the beginning of my working life, when I was an apprentice engineer (My my, I have had a chequered past haven’t I?), we knew whenever we got a graduate engineer in that they were being groomed for management and had to train alongside us yokels, whose career path would be more about the actual design of things and day to day problem solving. Theirs was to be planning the projects and handling the politics. Now we seem to have progressed into some twisted Huxleyesque future where there are far too many University trained Alphas with impractical ideas.

Academia may be the place where all the wild ideas go to play, but the rest of us mere mortals could do without the crazy shit (Man made climate change, gender studies, socialism) spilling out into the real world.

We mere mortals have all got things to do and Academia and the politicians who listen to them are getting in the way.

Hi ho. Back to my study.