As we begin Week 3 of London Lockdown it’s all a rather bleak and sobering. Boris Johnson is in intensive care – not yet on a ventilator yet we understand, but needing oxygen for breathing difficulties. He’s clearly struggling and we are all rooting for him. His poor partner Carrie, who is pregnant and in self isolation herself because she’s been ill with it, must be terrified. I’m sure he will be fine, but nevertheless it’s hit us all hard – he’s only 55.
Sending you virtual flowers from my garden Boris…get well soon!
It’s another glorious spring day in London – 18 degrees and mostly sunny and we are all stuck in our cages whilst nature enjoys the freedom and space to reclaim the streets. Oh the irony. The streets remain quiet, the supermarkets mostly have all that we need (apart from yeast and flour) and are manageable to navigate and of course the self distancing walks remain important. They are threatening to stop us exercising outside if people don’t stop congregating in the parks, which would be awful. I’ve noticed how some people have developed self distancing rage – no doubt formerly drivers or cyclists with a propensity to road rage and now they are having to direct it elsewhere. They can be found glaring at you as if the entire park belongs to them – either waving their arms furiously to ensure you are about a mile away or holding a stick they would clearly be prepared to poke you with, if you come too close. Next weekend is Easter and I’m worried families will try and get together, this is coupled with the expectation that we will be hitting our peak Coronavirus outbreak, in terms of people needing ventilation by then. Additionally, what about all the religious gatherings around the world wanting to congregate for the religious festival, raising the risk of infection by meeting for prayer.
If Boris can’t work (or worse) can Dominic Raab sort out all the additional tests we need? Get us the exit plan required before we have a horrendous economic crisis and a mutiny on our hands? We are all watching China carefully and they are reporting no new cases. How reliable is that information? The government in China is trying to restore normal life, but with the virus raging elsewhere, that seems virtually impossible. Factories have to be divided to keep social distancing going. There are still 14 day quarantines, so staff can’t really travel and travel between cities is at less than half its normal rate. Demand from the rest of the world is understandably non existant and orders aren’t coming in, with global growth crashing and public anxiety causing concerns. It’s only crawling back to life after nearly four months, with restaurants, bars and shops quiet and spending money depleted. For consumption to recover, people must feel confident and they do not. The fear factor remains a significant problem. Who wants to sit in a cinema or go to a theme park? People need to feel reassured that they are safe to step outside and that’s not the case as yet. It doesn’t bode well for the rest of the world’s exit strategy does it.
Interesting to see that whilst the UK service sector has collapsed, the sex toy industry is booming, especially I note (for curiosity purposes only of course) that the very quiet ones are selling out the fastest – understandable when you’re stuck in with your family, noise could well be an issue!, as are the condom makers, the gun makers and the alcohol industry (although they must be affected by the lack of drinks sold in restaurants and bars so have to find a new distribution route through supermarkets I guess).
As the Dalai Lama says “The Enemy is a very good teacher”
What a strange new world we live in. I wonder how things will change when we finally get out again. Maybe we should write down one thing a day that we want to see change for good. We are living through history and we must try and learn from it.