Tag Archives: Family

Yeats country

We’re buzzing around Sligo at the moment, passing a pleasant break in Sligo itself. Unpleasant name, very tidy university town in ‘Yeats Country’, even though W B Yeats was part educated at the Godolphin School, Slough, England.

Then I got an email. From a no-reply Health.gov.ie address.

Well now chaps, apparently I’m now one of the ‘privileged’ who is ‘allowed’ to travel or access certain services. Which bothers me.

Medical apartheid is here folks, in all it’s ugly glory. I got nagged into getting the jabs, but now I have to provide proof within the borders of the country I live in, for such simple things as visits to hostelries or theatres. Which makes me angry and prepping the excuse that “I left the bloody thing at home. Now do you want my feckin money or what?” I’ve got a ‘Covid passport’, but I’m disinclined to carry the freaking thing around for every Jaysus Joseph and Mary-Ann who asks “Papieren bitte.”. I will be giving anyone who asks a hard time. Expect withering (As in ‘withering fire’ ) sarcasm on a scale as yet unvisaged.

Mrs S by contrast is quite miffed, as she has not had hers yet. Ironic that. I got mine first and am going to resist using it, and she, who desperately wanted one so she can go to London to see Youngest, despite having both jabs before me.

What Yeats would have thought of this state of affairs I have no idea, but as he was by politics an Irish Nationalist, I have the feeling he might have penned some pointed anti-medical apartheid lines woven into a tapestry of magical symbolism.

While we’re in town I’ll raid a few bookshops and busy myself with a little study. Something for the bookcase and maybe the odd quotation.

Update: Mrs S just checked her spam filter and she how has her very own “papieren” for the enforcers of this offensive idiocy. We are now both ‘privileged’, whatever use that is going to be.

Has no one heard of…

Mowing the lawn today I was mulling over the extensions to lockdowns that have recently been announced and find myself wondering “Why FFS?” The most vulnerable parts of the population have been vaccinated and then, like a closet Nazi’s wet dream comes the ‘Delta’ variant of the not so dreaded SARS/COV-2 virus. Followed by a renewal of the restrictions for another four weeks, and then some. Sorry was that my cynicism? I knew I’d put it somewhere.

Now those who have been driven to the brink of bankruptcy by these unnecessary restrictions that do little to curb the spread of a disease, any disease, will be teetering on the edge of financial oblivion these Government restrictions have driven everyone to, and I can’t help but ask; “Has no-one ever heard of cross-immunity?”

Put simply, if you were exposed to a form of the SARS virus, even as far back as 2003, your immune system will probably already be programmed to resist the Johnny come lately SARS/COV-2, as it is a similar coronavirus with similar spike proteins. Even without vaccination, ‘Delta’ variant or no.

The problem being is that no-one in any position of authority seems to understand this simple immunological principle. Which means far more of us are immune than the PCR ‘cases’ would imply.

Incidentally, I find the ‘asymptomatic spread’ meme highly suspect. If you are infected your bodily secretions (Snot, saliva etc) are likely to carry virus during the infectious phase of the disease. The whole ‘asymptomatic’ thing is a misnomer as no disease is completely asymptomatic. A sufferer might have low level symptoms, like a runny nose or a mild tickle, but how many of us pay attention to that? Yet such things do count as symptoms.

Fortunately, in the real world, asymptomatic spread is rarer than we have been led to believe. The real life asymptomatic spreaders are like the notorious ‘Typhoid Mary‘, the exception rather than the rule. Indeed, ‘asymptomatic’, or more accurately, pre-symptomatic spread is thought to occur in a maximum of 20%, of which just under half actually develop symptoms. Don’t believe me? Read this article from the British Medical Journal.

As for the deleterious effects of lockdowns, conversation with ‘South’ this morning. She had a piece of bad news, news that most people (Including her) would brush off with an “Oh that’s awful.”. Instead she had such a bad anxiety episode, she basically imploded and had to take a day off.

Normally robust people are cracking up under the strain of the restrictions. Society has not only lost it’s sanity, it has lost the box it came in. This is a massive crisis in the making, and one whose effects are only just beginning to bear a particularly bitter and putrid fruit.

A watching brief

Mrs S, being more susceptible than I to the constant barrage of propaganda over vaccines, registered for her dose about six weeks ago. Yesterday lunchtime (Saturday) she went for her first AstraZeneca jab. On the other hand, I have neither registered, nor volunteered for what I view as a vast, uncontrolled clinical trial.

Today Mrs S has been running a mild fever with an elevated resting pulse of 88. She also felt sufficiently ill to go to bed at 11:30am where she slept until 3:30pm. No muscle aches or other symptoms have been reported. She appears mildly flushed, but there are no signs of cyanosis and her eyes are clear. She has not complained to me of losing her sense of smell. Just tiredness and a mild pyrexia.

Now I’ve had a whole slew of vaccinations in my life and never had even a mild adverse reaction. I’m also reminded that ‘North’, based in London, experienced more severe flu-like symptoms for a week after her first jab.

Given that people can still suffer symptoms generated by a SARS/COV-2 infection even after having both doses, Also that because the vaccines do not prevent anyone becoming infectious and passing on the dreaded lurgi, I fail to see any good reason to have the jab. Especially as I am not in an elevated risk category. Also the likelihood of me requiring hospital treatment is, at this point, very low.

Yes I know that the recent precipitous drop in ‘cases’ and hospitalisations is being attributed to the vaccine rollouts, but I have what I feel is a reasonable doubt. The drop in infections could as easily be attributed to a normal seasonal fluctuation in respiratory infections. Why? because correlation is not causation.

Now I attribute the low rate of infections / hospitalisations to places like Ireland and the UK having hit ‘herd immunity’ some time last year. The risk of SARS/COV-2 infection for most people is minimal.

Notwithstanding, I will be carefully and discretely monitoring my wife’s condition for the next few days. I have also taken to sitting out in the sunshine at every opportunity and drinking lots of fluids. Can’t hurt to keep the old immune system bolstered, just in case. Can’t have both of us sick at the same time.

Anyway; for the moment the sky at present is a cloudless blue, the farmyard is beset with swooping Swifts and the cooling Western Irish breezes are feather soft. Could be a hell of a lot worse.

Update Monday 26th April: Mild fever, elevated resting pulse. Regular 4-8 hourly doses of paracetamol to control fever. No other symptoms.

Family stuff.

We’ve finally got our Irish drivers licences and will be driving around the county looking at properties now the silly 5km restriction has disappeared. Not that anyone was really paying it any mind out here in the Wilder West of Ireland, we just used the back roads, knowing that the Gard were focussing on the big cities and motorways. They haven’t really the manpower for much else.

Not that the figures really justify lockdowns, it’s just that the politicians are too frightened to let it go. They’ve been got at by activists and lobbyists or in ignorance have succumbed to groupthink. So here we are, making the best of things.

We’ve bought a couple of garden chairs and have a nice sheltered spot in the garden that is also a bit of a sun trap. Which is good. A cup of coffee or tea is so much nicer outdoors on a sunny day. As is a large glass of wine, or large Martini, but we have a self imposed rule of not drinking alcohol before 4pm. I have a whiskey every other night, Mrs S and I like the odd glass of Pinot Noir.

One of the curiosities of Irish rural life is that we keep finding ourselves facing wayward livestock. First thing today it was a Shetland Pony in the yard, trotting around and making a tour of inspection on his own. Colum bought it as a stable mate for one of his breeding horses and it’s smart as they come, having worked out how to lift the latch on a gate, and knowing to stay off the road outside, preferring to visit the collection of ramshackle bans and pens to the rear of our house where its friends are.

Sunday’s escape was four steer calves in our front garden. I was upstairs in my office at the time, until Mrs S shouted “Bill, come and have a look at this!” Dutifully trundling downstairs I looked out of the front window to see four steer calves amiably bumbling around on the grass outside. so I phoned Colum and shooed then back up into the farm entrance where Colum caught them coming the other way. Between us we manoeuvred the errant livestock back into the right pen and safe from the predations of fast moving tin boxes on the road outside. This sort of thing happens at least twice a week. Fortunately mostly during daylight hours.

News from the UK; ‘North’ was crowing a bit about the pubs being open for outdoor drinking in jolly old Londinium. The prodnoses and puritans of course disapprove, and would like to make the pandemic that has passed into a permanent feature of everyone’s life. Over here of course, unless you move in some very select circles, the pubs remain firmly closed and bolted. This is what happens when governments have too much power, they f*ck everything up because all they know are political solutions which don’t translate into the real world.

As for ‘South’, in the fabled land of Oz, she’s bagged herself some reasonable contract work to keep the wolf from the door, and we’re advising from here on the pitfalls and benefits of being self-employed. As for the second Australian contingent; did you know they had snow in Darwin, Australia over the weekend? Hang on a minute! Darwin? Australia? Northern Territory? Officially that’s a Tropical Savanna climate. What the hell is it doing snowing in northern Australia there? Even if the snow didn’t settle. At least according to Australian Sister in law, who lives up there. A brief ‘polar blast’ from Antarctica was apparently to blame.

I mean, hold on a minute, if what all these much vaunted media ‘climate experts’ and people like Extinction Rebellion keep telling us about their ‘sceance’ it should be getting warmer. But no-one either understands nor wants to know is that we’re in the early stages of a Grand Solar Minimum, and it’s going to get colder over the next thirty years or so. Which will lead to local climate shifts, altered wind patterns and thus stormier conditions in some places, Areas which at present can produce arable crops may no longer be able to do so.

Then, providing we don’t trip over a threshold in the Northern hemisphere, it will begin to get warmer again after 2053. Depending upon the shifts in climate we’re seeing, which may be shifting around so that current desert areas that bloomed in prehistory will be crop producers once more. This isn’t a ‘conspiracy theory’, because if you bother to look, you can find the evidence that it’s already happening. Shifting growing zones, cold weather events in the tropics. And none of these climate shifts have anything to do with changes in atmospheric C02. At least there’s been zero correlation with the wild claims of climate doom.

So what did I do? Reader, I ignored all the silly prognostications of disaster, went out and bought my wife a bunch of roses. Because a thoughtful man should surprise his better half every so often. This is a far more worthy thing than protesting about something we have no control over, with far more beneficial results.

What upsets me most

Is the uncertainty of all these restrictions. Constantly moving goalposts make it hard to plan and execute those plans, be they business or family. None of this makes any sense from the travel restrictions through all the bureaucratic pettifoggery.

We’re told that government advisers are pushing for ‘Zero COVID’, thinking they can do to SARS/COV-2 what happened to Smallpox. Not going to happen. Smallpox is transmitted by physical contact and close proximity droplet transmission. That and there’s an effective vaccine. Also Smallpox was kept at bay by treatment in specialist isolation hospitals. Historical note; the last Smallpox hospital in the UK was demolished in 1974. I think.

The SARS/COV-2 coronavirus by contrast, is respiratory and airborne micro droplet, and the vaccines, we are told, only provide partial immunity. The only way to be sure you won’t catch it are to wear full Hazmat in a sterile, atmosphere controlled environment, all the time.

Surgical masks haven’t stopped it, the SARS/COV-2 virus, harmless to most under 60’s, passes around as though they weren’t in the way. Lockdowns won’t stop this virus simply because they keep people in their own homes, which is where most disease transmission occurs.

Another historical note; the black death probably killed more people than it should because of the common tactic of incarcerating whole households together when one person caught the disease, thus leading to an exponential increase in mortality where whole families could be wiped out.

As for our little lot, we’re hanging in there, but only just. If it were just me I could cope, but it’s not. ‘South’ is going to a therapist. ‘North’ is just throwing herself into her work and looking forward to the pubs opening, even if it rains. She tells us all the pubs in London are booked solid, so if you haven’t got a table by now, forget it.

Mrs S is struggling, and even though we’ve never exactly been very social people, these masks, the constant threat of sanction is taking its toll. Having to have a ready excuse for travel if stopped by the Gardai (Police) puts unnecessary stress on a simple drive to the shops. It’s the sense of having to look over your shoulder all the time that drags at the senses. Even out here in the wilder west of Ireland. Glad we don’t live where there are active curtain twitchers and snitches. Whoever dreamed up that poisonous idea has a case to answer for.

On the upside, no-one’s broken by any manner of means, but the timbers on this old ship are creaking a bit. I’m sure there are many who have already gone under on the quiet. Small lives breaking up and sinking to the bottom unnoticed and unremarked.

As an aside; doesn’t Boris Johnson look stressed out? He looks beaten down, apathetic. At least in the most recent interviews. There’s none of the old bounciness in him. BREXIT in itself must be stressful enough, but all these restrictions and the bad advice he’s been getting? Turn him over folks, that sides done.

Here in the Emerald Isle we’re told that restrictions may be ‘reviewed’ on April 5th, but I’m not holding my breath. Society has morphed into a ‘one rule for thee, but not for me’ dichotomy. The politicians have booked their Summer Holidays, but apparently the rest of the populace isn’t ‘responsible’ enough. The politicians and privileged are getting their beach breaks this year to frolic in the surf.

Hope there’s a tidal wave and the miserable feckers all drown.

Update: For all you folk in the UK, sod the Government, hug a friend.

A touch of Atlantic weather

Hail hammering on the windows first thing, followed by patches of squally rain, hail and now bright sunshine. Welcome to the wilder west of Ireland young Bill.

Had an interesting chat with ‘North’ over the phone yesterday. Apparently she had her first SARS/COV-2 vaccination last week. “How did it go? Which one did you have?” I asked.
“The AstraZeneca. The jab was fairly painless.” She replied. “Felt a bit sick afterwards though.”
“Really? What happened?” I probed.
“Started about four hours after I had my injection.” She said. “Began with a really bad headache so I went to bed.”
“Doesn’t sound very nice.” I replied.
“Then I felt nauseous and had muscle cramps and pains for the next two days and my arm ached for a week.”
“Highly unpleasant.” I commented guardedly. Somehow I’m glad I’m at the back of the queue for this particular vaccine.
“Yeah, they’re giving the AstraZeneca to younger people reserving the Pfizer for the over 70’s.”
“But you’re okay now?” I asked.
“A bit grumpy.”
“I can tell. Ready for the pubs re-opening?”
“Managed to book a table. Everywhere is booked solid.” I could hear her anticipatory smile.
“Take an umbrella. I know what London is like at that time of year.” I warned gently. “No sense in getting your drinks diluted by a seasonal shower.” She had the good grace to laugh at my pallid Dad humour, bless her little cotton socks.

Then we changed the subject to other things and rattled for another ten minutes about life in general before I passed her on to Mrs S. I didn’t ask ‘North’ about the Saturday vigil that got baton charged by the Met as she has more sense than to get involved in such things. Well, lot that she tells us about anyway. I’ll be happier when she finally gets out of the UK for an extended visit to us here in the wilder west. ‘South’ is sounding a bit desperate to get back to Europe and catch up with family. Which is understandable. We only get to see each other every other year as it is. So I keep sending them both little video’s of deserted Irish beaches and odd little corners of the Emerald Isle as we discover them. It seems to help. Us as much as them.

All the time the soft squalls rolled in from the Atlantic. The weather is a little restricting at present but finding that our two are doing moderately okay takes the edge off things. There’s a bout of fine weather coming in sometime next week, we hope. Ergo Mrs S and I will be taking visits out to the beaches as and when the sun is shining. Even if the wind is trying to blow our socks off.

Afterthought; Seems like the concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine are spreading. Ireland has just suspended its use after Norway, Iceland and Denmark did over post jab fatalities and concerns about increased blood clotting.

Important Update: France, Italy, Germany and Spain have also suspended AstraZeneca. The Pfizer vaccine is also flagging up similar symptoms to the AstraZeneca. Stats for all vaccine side effects here.

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”.