20200330 – Lockdown, Journal Of a Plague Week

Sorry no time for daily blog, pictures, rant and jokes, so just a rambling weekly missive.

As soon as we got home we were into 14 days lockdown. Mind you everyones supposedly locked down any way.

Started exploring all the footpaths around Belthorn. We’re appalled at the amount of litter on the roadsides. It’s just disgusting, too many scroats around. What is wrong with these people who just think it’s ok to toss their rubbish out of their car. Thankfully I’m not allowed a gun over here, I don’t think I could be responsible if I encountered a litter lout.

Daily walks (averaging 3 miles a day now), exercise and yoga regime has been quite successful. Getting into it and feeling some benefit. Sadly Lexi (an 8 year old cocker spaniel that we have half shares in with our son, for some perverse reason we seem to have the rear half) seems to be suffering from arthritis. An hour into Saturdays walk and I thought I was going to have to carry her home. Turns out the vet has said a maximum of 40 minutes walk. No one told us.

Day 5, armed with OS app and iPhone, still exploring the ancient footpaths around Belthorn. Today’s was somewhat obscure and difficult. I think the last person to walk this was Heathcliffe back in the 19th century. Wendy got bit by a horse. At least she’s stopped worrying about Covid as she’s now worried she’ll get rabies. It’ll be the first case of rabies from a horse that didn’t even draw blood.

Amazed at the weather so far. Hardly any rain, very rare for Belthorn, but everyday there’s been a howling wind. How we yearn for the sun and calm of PC.
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Yeah, the bees are back. Hardly saw any all last year but they keep popping up so far this year.

Thankfully we never watch the news but I do read the Time and WSJ each morning. Waste too much time on this. Really must spend less time reading the panic, gloom and doom from the news papers – they’ve a lot to answer for as the cause of panic in the current crisis. New rule – ignore any article that seems to be an opinion.

There seems to be a growing realism that this lockdown can’t go on forever, the cost in lives and the economy could exceed the lives lost through the Chinese virus. If we don’t have a vaccine then perhaps herd immunity is the only way forward – need to get R0 less than 1. Sweden’s lack of lockdown is interesting. Perhaps the answer is gradually reduce lockdown on the less at risk, but keep the elderly and people with serious medical risk conditions locked down. An interesting, perhaps realistic, but seemingly heartless comment is that most of the deaths would have occurred in the near future anyway as in the main they seem to be the elderly (that’s us) and people with chronic medical conditions. Is this natures grand cull.

Another interesting WSJ article (https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-the-coronavirus-as-deadly-as-they-say-11585088464?mod=article_inline) on the percentage death rate. Points out that we have no reliable data on how many people have the infection therefore coming to a percentage death rate is impossible. Based on what scant evidence we have it could even be as low as 0.1%, well below flu levels, and whilst that is no comfort for those who have lost loved ones, nor does it make Covid a non-issue, it would question our reaction to it. Just goes to show how little we really know about it but I’m sure when it’s all over the political inquisitions and hindsight blame mobs will be baying for politicians blood.

Great this having all our food delivered by Kurt. I knew he’d come in useful one day. Wine and brandy seems to be evaporating – it must be the Angels share. It seems that wine is the latest fad panic buy, everyone needs it to keep sane, fortunately Kurt got four bottles for me today, so just 47 left – should keep me going a couple of weeks.

And wow it looks Fiona now has strong flour – gold dust – and of course a packet for us. Yeah, homemade pizzas for tea!

Local butchers, fishmongers and fruit n veg merchants have all shown enterprise and arranged deliveries to our local village. And no they’re not ripping people off. Let’s hope after all this is over, people remember, and they still prosper.

Wow this week has flown by, still not found time to read a book or improve my French. On top of this I’ve accumulated decades worth of projects that I’ve never got started, but they’re all on my Covid list. You can’t rush these things, takes years of careful planning – more haste less speed. Got quite a few photos digitised. That project seems to be going well. It’s awesome being reminded of all the things we did with the kids. Ross seems to be in every photo so far, hardly any of Brett, and Kurt’s not even been dreamt of.

Victors been a pain this week – Victor is our pet robovac who meanders around the house, in a drunken stupor, supposedly vacuuming. He’s got stuck at least twice and sent out distress signals. Then he attacked the nick nacks on the hearth.

Meanwhile Wendy keeps clicking away with the damn needles. In between that she’s trying to groom Lexi who looks like a giant teddy bear with all her fur. Now she’s got a mohican down her back and just needs her sides and legs shaving.

I’m still sticking with the first three laws of retirement – no alcohol, naps or TV before 17:00. The alcohol one can be a bit of a bitch and during this plague I think it’s time we avoided TV before 19:00.


The Queen is doing a televised address to the nation on Sunday night, in response to the coronavirus crisis, is only the fifth time the monarch has given such a speech in her 68-year reign. Not exactly rushed off her feet then.

While her Christmas Day message is an annual event, only rarely has she made rallying speeches at key moments in the life of the nation – predominantly at times of crisis and grief.

Now at a time when the UK faces what the prime minister has described as the “worst public health crisis for a generation”, the Queen is addressing the nation again.

Overall a good rousing speech.

Personally, whilst I’m all in favour of the monarchy and think our Queen has done a brilliant job, I am disgusted thats she’s not come forward before now to rally the nation. It’s the least she could do. Mind you I also think that when she’s in residence at Buckingham Palace she could at least pop out onto the balcony every few hours and give a regal wave to all the tourists.

Well a sumptuous bottle of 2016 Claret to look forward to tonight. That should help me reset my body clock and get a good nights sleep.

Missing PC and all our friends already. Hopefully just 57 days before we’re back in paradise. Always the optimist.

If you’re not comatose by now, well done, at least you’ve survived my rants.

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When all this is over I’m sure we’ll have learnt so many new ways that will make the World a better place.

But remember my guiding principle when I worked:

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries … and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it.

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