Living in extraordinary times

I was about to write about the reaction to the Covid-19 situation, and then I read this:

The weirdest part of living through the #COVID19 pandemic is this strange mixture of normalcy and emergency that we’re all experiencing. I constantly feel like I’m either over- or underreacting, or really both at the exact same time. It’s surreal. The level of uncertainty is such that, depending on what happens tonight, tomorrow, next week, all of our actions, both individually and collectively, might soon look foolish. This makes the whole situation extremely hard to process, intellectually and emotionally.

Which I think sums it up quite nicely. As individuals, communities and as a society, we literally don’t know what is coming next, be it this time next month, next week or even tomorrow. You suddenly realise that all your subconscious decision-making processes rely on a mixture of prior knowledge and predicting the likely situation in the near future. We don’t have either of those things right now and suddenly, the rug has been pulled from beneath our collective feet.

I was chatting to the kids about the situation this morning, and I pointed out that while my wife and I are doing our best to make the correct choices and do the right thing, we have also never experienced this before. It’s unprecedented, unsettling and downright weird. It’s omnipresent – the constant elephant in the room – and while you want or need) to know the latest news so that you can make informed choices, equally, you’d really rather not hear anything more on it, at all.

As I’m sure I have said before, a measured, sensible approach seems to be the safest course to take at the moment. (I’m talking about us as individuals in South Africa, not commenting here on guided government policies – although of course I have my feelings on those as well.) There are those who are so blasé about the whole thing that they will actually present a genuine risk to others when they are infected (and at some point in the future, all of us will be infected by this virus). And then at the opposite end of the scale, we have those who are unnecessarily limiting what little scrap of normality we have left before everything changes.

Attempting to delay the inevitable might not be seen as a bad idea, but ignoring the inevitable really is. Much as Canute failed to stop the tide on the beach at [citation required], their actions are equally futile. Key here is the need to behave responsibly once you think or are sure that you have the infection. You’ll live (although it might not feel that way for a few days), but not passing it on to vulnerable groups is hugely important. This is where Blasé Brad’s approach becomes so hazardous: Brad will continue to klapp gym boet and go about his normal business, not letting the illness get the better of him, and shedding virus everywhere he goes.

There is a ray of hope. The first steps towards a viable vaccine have been taken, and there’s a real opportunity for companies to work together to produce decent numbers of vaccines to protect those who are most at risk of complications from infection. I’m surprised that this hasn’t got more press, but then good news never sells papers.

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Be sensible.

Drink, don’t think

It’s been a bit of a crappy day. Sick son, various work stresses, lots of running around, covid panic, loadshedding. Loadshedding times three, in fact. Seven and a half hours without electricity. Let’s not pretend this is anywhere near the First World.

It all seems horribly out of my control right now.

World’s fucked

commented someone. And he wasn’t far wrong. That’s also (almost) the opening line to Therapy?’s Stop It You’re Killing Me, which given the ever-rising death toll from the virus, seems spookily appropriate.

There are some evenings when you want to drink a bottle of red and think about how things are going and work out how you can improve the situation. But this isn’t one of those evenings. This is just a drink a bottle of red and try not to think about anything kind of evening.

I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling rather hopeless at the moment. But knowing that really doesn’t make things any better.

The dream continues…

Something here while I look through a disappointing lot of photos from yesterday and clean sand out of everything and everywhere – everywhere – after sundowners on Llandudno beach yesterday evening.

We appear to have brought back quite a lot of the beach with us. It’s amazing to consider that there is any beach left given the number of people down there yesterday that must have brought an equal amount of beach back with them.

We’re struggling a little today. Mrs 6000 slipped on the dodgy stairs down to the beach yesterday and twisted her knee, so she’s sore and limping around this morning.
The beagle is suffering slightly after it decided to steal and wolf down 2 slices of pizza, each generously topped with piquante peppers. This was yesterday evening, it was thoroughly scolded and it still hasn’t been able to look me in the eye since.
And 6000 Jr is unwell. If he’d been to Italy or China, I’d be very concerned, but he hasn’t, and so I’m just quite concerned. Fresh air, drugs, rest and relaxation is the best we can do for him. And possibly a brandy later (for me).

So let’s have some good news: Sheffield United…  I mean… What. A. Season.

Another hard-fought win yesterday, another 3 points and the dream continues.

Bullet header. Great saves. Fantastic effort. Amazing team spirit. Unbelievable belief. You make your own luck*.

And yes, I know that some of my readers are left cold by football. That’s fine. I’m not, and I’m having a great time at the moment.

I’ll get back to my photos now. Might share some a bit later. Maybe tomorrow.
Watch this space.



* This one is BS. 

Tonight’s experiment

Tonight’s experiment: doing a pub quiz on 4½ hours sleep.

Last month’s control experiment (normal amount of sleep) went really well, so it’ll be interesting to see if there’s any change this time around.

But last night was Round 5 of the FA Cup and we needed extra time to overcome a plucky Reading side. That extra half hour (plus a bit for changeovers and post-match comments etc) plus the 2 hour time difference are what’s done the damage. I’m struggling to stay awake now and it’s only lunchtime.

Tonight might be a bit of a mess. Oh dear.

Weird one

It was a disturbed night, the burglar alarm, confused by loadshedding, seeing things that weren’t there.

And a morning filled with jobs, errands and not enough time.

The afternoon: some more loathsome loadshedding, some history homework (I love what he wrote) and a passionate but eventually disappointing display from The Mighty Blades.

I’ve punctuated events since lunchtime with Castle Milk Stout.

Tomorrow promises to be every bit as busy. I’m setting my alarm clock early to drive the kids away to a Scouts hike down south. And we’ll go from there.