Pangolin threat

Apologies in advance for the language, but with pangolins sharing the dubious pleasures of being the world’s most illegally trafficked animal, and a strong contender for host of the COVID-19, this headline just made me laugh:


From here.

It does seem likely that potentially unsavoury human behaviour may have (at least in part) led to the Coronavirus outbreak which is still slightly worryingly out of control. I suppose that if this leads to a decrease in pangolin smugglery (it won’t), then at least something good will have come out of this whole thing.

In the meantime, we’d better watch out for whatever novel diseases are carried by rhinos, tigers, elephants and hornbills (who knew?), and might be just around the corner as the next potential pandemic.

Big fall

A great weekend with friends in Agulhas. Braais, games, laughs, drinks, beaches, walks… all of the good stuff. The only thing that marred it slightly was me taking a heavy tumble on Struisbaai beach during a last-batsman rush to save the game of beach cricket.

You wouldn’t think that sand could be so hard.

I now have a large knee, a bruised shin and my dysesthesia is back with a vengeance. Walking is fine, running is a non-starter and I’m feeling rather foolish and more than a bit pissed off about the whole thing. And so we concentrate on the positives, which are plentiful and include:

1. The fact that I made the run, before retiring hurt and successfully avoiding vomiting in the Indian Ocean. Much like the contents of my stomach, I was not out.
2. The fact that otherwise, the weekend was a proper jol, and
3. The fact that we got back to Cape Town just in time to see this guy…

… brilliantly slot home the winner against Bournemouth.

I’ve always been a fan of his.

The Blades up to fifth, looking properly good, and the press now talking of Champions League footy at Bramall Lane next season. And for once, they don’t mean just on the big TV sets in the Blades’ Social Club.

I’m hoping that we’ve just about done enough to avoid relegation at this point and while the actual Premier League title seems just out of reach, I’d be very happy with any finish in the top half of the table. I’m not sure we have the depth of squad to take on the rest of Europe right now.

Still, that league position is fantastic (and actually, totally justified) and the attention is flattering (and actually, totally justified).

Respiratory illness

Your daily reminder that as it stands, Influenza is far more likely to infect and kill you than 2019-nCoV: the all-singing, all-dancing new virus coming straight out of Wuhan.

Fortunately, there’s something you can do about influenza – vaccinate yourself and your kids. If you do it in SA, you’ll pay about R50 and if you have medical insurance, you’ll pay nothing and they’ll give you a million points for doing it.

I lived with, cared for and slept next to a very sick wife with influenza for 10 days last year and remained wholly unscarthed (by the virus, at least). Guess who’d had the vaccine and who hadn’t?
We’re both going to get it this year, and so should you. And your family.

And if anyone tells you not to – they’re no friend of yours. Why on earth would you wish a serious and wholly preventable disease upon anyone, let alone a friend?

So yes, avoid these sort of people and this sort of shit:

Full story here. Sample paragraph here:

One recent post came from the mother of a 4-year-old Colorado boy who died from the flu this week. In it, she consulted group members while noting that she had declined to fill a prescription written by a doctor.
The mother also wrote that the “natural cures” she was treating all four of her children with — including peppermint oil, Vitamin C and lavender — were not working and asked the group for more advice. The advice that came in the comments included breastmilk, thyme and elderberry, none of which are medically recommended treatments for the flu.

We’re all (rightly) concerned about the influence of social media and fake news in elections around the world, but there are other (literally life and death) situations where less effort seems to be being made to halt the tide of disinformation reaching (clearly) vulnerable parents.

This needs to be addressed, and quickly.

UPDATE: We have a problem.