Admitting Defeat

I am going to admit defeat. I have been struggling for things to say for a week or more and am now going to admit that I am defeated. There is no point in dressing it up – I have lost my ability to be light, frothy and cheerful.

I have no confidence in the government, who are lurching from one knee-jerk reaction to the next.

I have no confidence in my fellow citizens, who appear to be in the grip of panic-buying hysteria.

I have no confidence in many of the professionals who appear on TV. There have been a few who were worth listening to, but by definition, if they know what they are doing they are generally too busy for TV.

Does this sound bitter and negative? Sorry if that is the case. However, I assure you that it is upbeat and mild compared to the earlier versions that I wrote and discarded in the last few days.

I also think we are in the middle of a grandmother’s railings scenario – they want us to concentrate on washing hands rather than examine their policies.

I have been looking at various information on hand hygiene and flu transmission with a view to making sure I am doing the right things. It seems that hand-washing reduces respiratory infections by 16%. Yes, one sixth. It’s worth doing, but it’s clearly not the entire answer and it’s been diverting attention from other matters.

Now that I’m in the groove I can feel a rant coming on. I’m amazed by some of the things I’ve been reading, and very interested in the way that things are phrased to avoid giving information to casual readers like me.

I did find some concrete information – as a result of a hand hygiene campaign in the NHS a few years ago the use of soap and sanitiser went up and the incidence of infections went down. From that I infer that people weren’t washing their hands properly and patients were becoming ill as a result.

Try this, for more information. It’s illuminating, and frightening. The basic information is that the WHO calculates handwashing rates at 40% and in an American hospital study only 22% washed their hands after seeing a patient (rising to 57% when they knew they were being watched).

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

I used the owl as the header picture because we all need wisdom. And because I don’t have a picture of a Boris Johnson doll with pins in it.






31 thoughts on “Admitting Defeat

  1. tootlepedal

    It is the unblinking switches in policy that unnerve me. One day one policy, the next day the opposite. At least they’ve stopped saying that people like me will have to take one for the herd. Of course that doesn’t mean that they have changed that particular plan.

    Keep ranting Quercus, it cheers us up even if it doesn’t do you any good.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Exactly! The constant switches of policy male them look like they don’t know what they are doing. Well, it’s one of the things that make them look like they don’t know what they are doing. Electing Boris Johnson as leader was another clue…

      I’m sure they have a number in mind for acceptable mortality, and have already calculated the savings they will make in pension payments.

      Hopefully we will all be here in six months to have a good laugh about it..

      1. quercuscommunity

        We don’t have much cheese in (I’ve been trying not to panic buy) and we had to buy packeted porridge because we couldn’t get proper oats. I’m hoping to do some shopping soon but the panic seems to be making this impossible.

      2. tootlepedal

        Our corner shop is well stocked and very calm. I am not telling anyone about it though so please eat this comment when you have read it.

      3. quercuscommunity

        I promise to keep your secret. Give it another week and your comment will be the most tasty thing in my larder. However, I’d rather be hungry than resort to panic-buying.

  2. charliecountryboy

    Youโ€™ve got to keep going. You say the things Iโ€™d love to say but so much more eloquently ( not sure if thatโ€™s the right word but corrective text says it is) Letโ€™s put it this way, Iโ€™m reading you and Last Tango in Halifax is on ๐Ÿ˜‚ By the way Iโ€™ve figured out why theyโ€™re stock piling toilet rolls; the worldโ€™s full of arseholes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Helen

    It is a surreal time!! Iโ€™m trying to look at the positives, such as getting to know my neighbours better. For example, I dropped a note into one of my neighbours, a 92 year old man and he phoned me this afternoon to ask if I could collect his newspaper as the newsagentโ€™s is changing hands and not doing deliveries at the moment. It will also be great to have a break from commuting for however many weeks…. Still, reading and hearing about the suffering of others as well as the hysteria makes me feel almost guilty for any small pleasures.

  4. Lavinia Ross

    It’s a bit crazy over here in the Pacific Northwest, too. Lots of panic buying going on, and it is fascinating to see what people deem important and strip from the shelves.

    Hang in there Quercus and Julia! Stay well. I want to see Julia string lights up in your beard again for Christmas. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. quercuscommunity

      Julia bought a few vegetables and some bread this morning – reports that the mood in the shop was less good-natured than three days ago. One London Borough has had police called nine times to break up fights in shops.

      One thing we will never run out of is idiots…

  5. Laurie Graves

    I hear you, Quercus. Quite natural to feel the way you do. Too many countries are run by idiots with a large following of fools. And they seem to hold everyone else in thrall. Over here we have Captain Grotesque whose song changes from day to day. First the pandemic was a “Democrat Hoax,” but now he assures us all that he knew all along it was coming. Really, you can’t make this stuff up. Except Shakespeare did. Didn’t Richard III employ similar methods? Let’s just hope that when this is over and too many people have died, we will have better leaders. Where is Henry Tudor?

    1. quercuscommunity

      I think it was Henry VII who killed his nephews and then blamed Richard III. 535 years later we are still discussing it! I don’t see Trump and Johnson lasting as long.

      1. quercuscommunity

        Actually, that should read “I think it was Henry VII who killed Richard’s nephews” as he had something to gain from the deaths and the Tudors are known for their habit of pruning the family tree.

  6. derrickjknight

    I once got bursitis when my elbow was clipped by a passing van – so I’m not engaging in elbow bumping, but I will up my hand washing if we run out of toilet paper.

  7. Sharon

    The lack of consistent and concrete information has been my problem too, sometimes we seem to be getting one message from health experts and another entirely different one from politicians who seem more concerned with the economic impact than the health one.
    Some of the black humor floating around keeps me going.
    The panic buying, I think people feel better if they feel they can do something to control the situation, pity they can’t direct that need to do something into helping others, instead of stockpiling mountains of loo paper.
    Your blog posts brighten my day.

  8. arlingwoman

    Yup, hang in there. I had to up my hand washing game, but recently read that, yes, hand washing helps, but a lot of transmission is from being within six feet of someone who coughs or sneezes. Ugh. It doesn’t transmit the way measles does, but it’s not good. Craziness is ruling it seems. Here, I do like Anthony Fauci for good info–careful, clear, and parses if he has to in order to avoid misunderstanding. But frankly, he’s about it. Wash your hands and stay 6 feet from everyone but your family.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I’ve struggled with some of the advice, including sneezing on my arm. I have plenty of hankies and can change them regularly, but I don’t have many jumpers and don’t want infectious sleeves.


  9. cmc19

    Hey there,
    Hang in there. I am sending hugs from Canada.
    Take a break for a bit, watch Mr. Bean on YouTube insead. ๐Ÿ™‚


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