Tag Archives: Covid 19

Study Number 1 - The Idiot

Masks! Rules! Hypocrisy!

I spent half an hour chatting to WP technical support last night. I forced something, I clicked links, I cleared my cache. As a result I seem to have lost my saved passwords and had trouble getting back into WordPress. I’m not sure why I bother, as the issue with missing pictures is, I’m told, down to me and my outdated browser (which I can’t update because the operating system is too old). Strange thing is that it’s been old and outdated for years, but I only started having problems when I was forced onto the new editor.

With household bills of several thousand pounds looming, I’m not going to be updating in the near future. I’m hoping the missing photos may come back. They weren’t there last night but came back about 20 minutes ago as I was typing, so I’m hopeful that something has been altered.

While I was in TESCO earlier in the week I noticed that three of the five people on checkout weren’t wearing masks. One had a mask, one had a visor (though some shops insist customers wear a mask with a visor) and three had no face covering at all. This is the shop that sent me an email recently, in which they said –

“We’ve provided all of our store colleagues with face coverings, and added protective screens at our checkouts, to help protect them and you.”

Presumably, having provided face coverings, the company thinks it’s OK for staff not to use them.

I nipped into ALDI today to buy flowers for Julia and a couple of bits and pieces. Yes, I know I shouldn’t be shopping so much. Three staff on the tills, no face coverings. More importantly, three customers out of the eight queuing had no face coverings. Difficult to enforce a rule you don’t keep yourself.

I’m not really sure how good the masks are – there is so much conflicting evidence. Common sense tells you they should be doing some good. However, common sense also tells me that if people aren’t wearing them they are prepared to break other lockdown rules too. Of course, if the politicians don’t follow the rules

And that is only a short list of high-profiler politicians and public figures who have been caught breaking the rules. Footballers and cricketers, including those on international duty, local politicians and other MPs not listed in that article have all flouted the rules.

However, ordinary people, like a metal detectorist I know, are having to stick to the rules. Metal detecting clubs can only have six people at an event. They aren’t even allowed to have six on one field and six on another – to do that risks a fine.

The saddest thing about Covid, for me, hasn’t been the death or the disruption, we can work round this and death, after all, will happen to us all at some point. The saddest thing has been the way the rich and powerful have ignored rules, then acted as if it didn’t matter. And possibly the most shameful thing to come out of it is the way that ordinary people have been fined while high-profile figures have been allowed to get away with it.

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.