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Clap for the NHS, my ass

Let me tell you a story about the NHS.

I get my blood pressure meds from the pharmacy attached to my local clinic. Since the onset of covid, you don’t go in the building to access the drugs, they serve you from one of the 3 windows facing the parking lot.

On the window is a sign: please knock.

Today, as I walked up to this window, I made eye contact with one of the pharmacists inside. So I think to myself, “she saw me, no need to knock, I’ll let her finish what she’s doing.”

And I wait. And I wait. It is the middle of January and it’s lightly drizzling. I am not a young woman. I am gray of hair and wrinkled of visage.

And still I wait. I have now made brief eye contact with two of the three pharmacists working inside, all of whom can easily see there’s a person standing there. In the rain.

If I knock now, I think, it’ll look like I’m trying to rush them, since it’s obvious I’m here. I still don’t quite believe what I suspect is happening.

After a while, an elderly man joins me in the queue, six foot behind, naturally. A while after that, an elderly woman joins behind him. We are three old people standing in the Winter’s rain.

Now I’m kinda mad, but I’m also socially awkward. A better woman would have made a fuss, I know that, but I am a coward. I turn to the man behind me and say, “you try.”

He goes up, knocks on the window, gets served instantly. After which they serve me and the other old woman.

The sign said knock, comrade.

There are people who are loving this new world of rules and procedures. I hope some form of polite society survives them.

January 14, 2021 — 6:17 pm
Comments: 18

Cognitive reserve. Yeah, running a little low on that.

Dammit, I knew alcohol would be on the list! From a study in the Lancet (link goes to a pdf file, so don’t click unless you really want to read it). I think the study appeared in New Scientist, as well, but that’s behind a paywall.

I’m probably out of luck on the education thing, too.

By the way, this season of American Politics is wild. I’m glued to the edge of my seat. Better than that shit on Netflix (link goes to a Spectator article on Netflix, apparently the wokiest of the woke companies).

December 14, 2020 — 8:49 pm
Comments: 18

Shhhh…don’t tell anybody

…I got a P95 for my birthday last year. At least, I think it’s a P95. Googling is a bit uncertain.

Never mind. It’s got the filter for particulates, which I don’t think is fine enough for viruses anyway. I don’t think the authorities will be kicking down my door for it.

They finally decided to close my workplace today. Sort of. There are still some holdouts, but we certainly won’t open where I work.

I have to go in tomorrow and write up a bunch of statements and social media posts. Be just like me to catch it on my last day in town.

Still, my case of gin came. I think I’m as prepped as a prepper can prep.

March 19, 2020 — 9:20 pm
Comments: 12


The chart above is from Watts Up with That crunching some surprising data from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The ship was a perfect lab experiment: 696 people sealed up together in a confined space with a highly contagious bug. And, as we all know, all seven fatalities were oldies.

But the article points to other surprising data: 83% didn’t get the virus at all. Old people were no more likely to get it than any other age group. Almost half those who got it showed no symptoms and, again, old people were well represented in this group (oddly, ages 20 to 49 were least likely to have symptomless corona).

And from another article:

…approximately 95% of the Wuhan population remained uninfected by the virus at the end of January…

I don’t suppose I’d call the above good news, exactly, but it’s better that the “80% of us will get it” stuff I’ve been hearing today.

Oh, and happy St Patrick’s Day!

March 17, 2020 — 8:44 pm
Comments: 17

Silent but Deadly

For ‘diarrheic gases’ read ‘farts’ throughout. We’re DOOOOOOOOMED!

I gather China is having a shitfit about people calling it the Wuhan flu. That’s racist, apparently. US media being what it is, they’d taken up the cry. A reminder of other geographic illnesses:

Spanish flu
German measles
West Nile virus
Guinea worm
Zika virus
Rock Mountain Spotted Fever
Lyme Disease

Spanish flu is particularly unfair. They were about the last country in Europe to get it but, not being part of WWI, they were the free to report about it so that’s the first most people heard of it.

Britain’s reaction to the flu is seriously not good (and is unique in the world, I believe). The plan is: old and vulnerable people go home and stay there for the foreseeable, and everybody else carries on, gets a dose of the flu and the country swiftly develops herd immunity. Even if there were not persistent reports of re-infection (so, no immunity), the likelihood is this will overwhelm the NHS in no time.

I have a feeling they will change that plan shortly.

Have a good weekend, everyone, and keep washing those hands.

March 13, 2020 — 9:18 pm
Comments: 22

We got there in the end…

WHO has declared it a pandemic because “eight countries have more than a thousand cases”. Like that’s been the definition all along. You’d think they’d’ve said so.

Not much more to note. I’m refreshing the numbers every few, still puzzled by the variability country by country. I suspect it will all even out in the end.

Wellington is home and fine. A little strung out on the general anesthesia and pain meds, but wrestling on the floor with Boo (much to the consternation of Boo, who was just getting used to having the comfy chair again). I’ve spoken to his last owner, who called to make sure he came out of it okay.

And yes, it’s probably going to end up as Wellie, Boots or Bootsie.

March 11, 2020 — 8:32 pm
Comments: 4

Not funny “ha ha”

This was what the numbers looked like over breakfast. I’ve had “In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” stuck in my head all day. Not funny.

That’s 1,492 cases overnight. It’s hard to know what’s going on in Italy, it’s hit so fast and so hard there. I’m tempted to put all the variability down to differences in testing and reporting, but the swing is very wide.

Except for the age thing. Everywhere that give out good data is saying this is a boomer plague.

And now we’re starting to see articles like this:

Don’t take this the wrong way but if you were a young, hardline environmentalist looking for the ultimate weapon against climate change, you could hardly design anything better than coronavirus.

Unlike most other such diseases, it kills mostly the old who, let’s face it, are more likely to be climate sceptics.

Note the url for this is “coronavirus-has-a-silver-lining”. Charming.

The political classes have been churning up resentment of old people for a number of years now. Boomers are apparently the reason the environment is fucked up, young people can’t afford houses, can’t get decent jobs, etc. Much ugliness.

The UK is still under reacting, in my opinion. A few big events have been cancelled, but not enough. I suggested that we cancel an event at work next week and was told, “but Italy is miles away.” Not enough, not enough.

Well, except the nationwide run on toilet paper. I hope we laid in enough.

March 9, 2020 — 8:45 pm
Comments: 9

I’ll tell you everything I know…

That dark line, dear reader, is a splinter. It came off one of our interior doors, which are quite rough and rustic. It is too fragile to be pulled out with my most delicate tweezers (pictured). It just breaks off nearer and nearer the quick.

Uncle B spoke to my doctor’s office, who advised we either hit the local walk-in clinic (NO), the emergency room (NONONONO) or call first thing in the morning for an emergency appointment (eh, maybe).

My mother lived with a hackberry thorn in her heel for thirty years (one day in the bath it just popped out). I can live with this. I mean, it hurts, but it’s not awful. On the other hand, if it got infected, would anybody pay attention in the middle of a pandemic? It would be just like me to die of sepsis during a plague.

Please tell me stories: stories of foreign objects stuck in your body for decades to no ill effect. Or, alternatively, horror stories of grisly nail removals and fingers gone septic.

Update: I got it. I took Pups’ advice and soaked it in warm salt water until it pruned, used the clippers to cut a V in the nail so I could get a good grip, used my best tweezers and alley oop! There’s a teeny fragment way in the bottom of the wound. I hope my body can deal with that. It hurts ever so much more now that it’s out 🙁

March 2, 2020 — 5:40 pm
Comments: 12

Silly Nordics…

This was promoted in my Twitter tonight (for those non-Twittererers, a promoted tweet is a paid advertisement). Yes, Nordic Cuddle is real (and worth a visit for gawking purposes). The CEO even has a TEDx talk on the virtues of cuddling.

And she looks Nordic.

Now, I’m not saying this is prostitution. I’m saying 100% of the men who book a cuddle at home will do so believing it’s prostitution. How they safeguard these poor women I can’t imagine.

Unless it is just prostitution.

Flu update: hey, remember I told you I knew someone local in quarantine? She came to see me at work today. She’d done her 14 days. Fourteen days is ten days too little.

February 25, 2020 — 8:29 pm
Comments: 9

Let the prepping begin!

Behold, a small portion of our canned goods horde. The bit that won’t fit in the cabinets any more. We’ve always kept a generous amount of non-perishables on hand, being people of constitutional paranoia, but shit does seem quite considerably closer to the fan today and we’ve just received a large order of stuff.

Ordered 20 kilos of cat food a moment ago and I believe Uncle B is eyeing a bulk booze purchase.

No specific news in the UK, just a general louder ringing of alarm bells on news and social media.

Actually, no, strike that — social media has gone nucking futz about coronavirus. My little pea brain is so full of argumentation and rumor I don’t even know how to pass any of it along. As if passing any of that howling junk along was a good idea.

Temperature going up where you are?

February 24, 2020 — 8:51 pm
Comments: 20