SO WHAT’S HAPPENING?

at risk

So, Munguin wants everyone to take care, but very specifically, if you are in any of the above categories, he absolutely DEMANDS that you take care. He can’t afford to lose readers. 

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So, why not Scotland?

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And this MAY explain his reluctance to order the closing of pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas. If he ORDERS it, the people who own these businesses may be able to claim on their INSURANCE. If he recommends people stay at home, the businesses have no insurance claim.

Anyway, who pays £25, 540 for an after-dinner speech? If they’ve got that kind of cash to throw away on a third rate music hall act, they should lower premiums.

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Ye Gads. Why is this man on tv?  He’s already wished his idiot son on us.

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Boris Johnson has slammed the brakes on the Brexit talks because of the coronavirus crisis – hours after his foreign secretary insisted they could go ahead as planned. Oh for an even semi-competent government at this time.

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I read that all French citizens have been told that electricity and gas bills will be suspended for now so that people don’t scrimp on keeping themselves warm while they are forced to be at home. Oh, the advantages of having utilities where the state has a majority shareholding.

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71 thoughts on “SO WHAT’S HAPPENING?”

  1. I can inform interested Munguinites that all schools in Morocco have been closed too, as have the schools in Kenya.

    Stanley Johnson – what is it with the BBC? They had Nigel Farage on pontiflicating about the virus a few days back. Are they trying to kill us all?

    The schools in Scotland should be closed too. I can’t remember whether I’ve made my views known on here before or not, but they are that the Scottish Government should impose the strictest measures possible and do whatever is necessary to contain the pandemic here in Scotland. The first duty of the Scottish Government is to the Scottish people, in Scotland the Scottish people are sovereign, and if that means the SG seizing some of Westminster’s reserved powers, then so be it. If Boris doesn’t like it, then he can take the SG to court – if he can find one that’s sitting.

    I myself am going into self-isolation with the exception of a friend to do my cleaning and laundry once a week and a care assistant once a week (down from six days a week) to do care assistanting. I’m wondering if that’s going to be enough. I’m pretty sure the coronavirus would kill me, because I have risk factors up the wazoo.

    Mind you, it has to be said that there are only so many doorknobs one can sanitise without becoming overcome with ennui.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Aye, agreed.

      Look, you need to take incredibly good care of yourself. You have quite a lot of the risks as you say, so stay warm, stay fed and stay in the house.

      (Order from the boss!)

      Liked by 6 people

  2. The German statistics are quite extraordinary in that the fatality rate is much, much lower than almost anywhere else. There could be a thousand reasons for that but may be it is correlated to hospital capacity being much greater than almost anywhere else. Dunno.

    Fascinating article here on the UK’s miscalculations so far

    https://unherd.com/2020/03/the-scientific-case-against-herd-immunity/

    The message seems to be that the system of infection is so highly non-linear and the instruments of control so blunt that the best outcome (which is already not great) can only come from a policy of complete deterrence. Instead, they fed a belief that they could ride the tiger, turning the infection tap on and off to ensure that the rate of infection sat just below the capacity of the health service. Any engineer could tell you that a non-linear system with high latency cannot be controlled with strategies that are at best linear but in this case completely unknown and variable. The best case is wild oscillations, while the worst is complete loss of control until the system depletes all available energy. I don’t know what is happening with the UK government but they need to either get better advice or stop cherry picking stuff that sounds ideologically and technocratically attractive. As with Brexit, none of their thinking survives the thinnest scrutiny and they’ll probably be forced to do the right thing in the end but in this case policy delays cost lives.

    Stay safe, everyone.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Ahhhh at last a STEM mind looks at him. You should be careful. Mr Gove might think you’re an expert and god knows what he’d do to you.

      Off to read your link.

      Thanks.

      Oh, and you stay safe too. I know you’re in a well-run country, but still…

      Munguin says he needs you for your stemmyness! (He makes up words.)

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Yes. Interesting article.

      If you accept her findings, you’d have to conclude that the idiot and his terrible cabinet have made a complete arse of the whole thing.

      In fairness, I see that the first two comments disagree profoundly with her conclusions.

      I’m not is a position to argue for either side given my utter lack of knowledge of epidemiology, but I’m pretty open to the view that that government has got it all wrong.

      It seems that other countries are doing far more than the UK (including to my disgust, Scotland). We need to look at best practice abroad… particularly Germany, as you point out.

      The notion that “it’s just like the flu” seems to have been disproved completely. Given that fatality rates for 19 in young to middle-aged cases are “over a hundred times greater” than for flu.

      Oh, for a Macron or a Merkle or really just anyone with a brain.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. At the risk of repeating myself, I wish, wish, wish the Scottish Government would do what is right by the people of Scotland, and to hell with Westminster, its rank stupidity and its fecking reserved powers. And if that means quarantining people coming over Carter Bar, so be it. As Dr. Anthony Fauci says, and I paraphrase, better be blamed for doing too much rather than for doing too little, and having people’s avoidable deaths on your conscience.

        Liked by 7 people

  3. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ETVFjVFUYAQ_sZz?format=jpg&name=900×900

    What an utterly pathetic wee shit the sacked Mundell is.

    If he didn’t know that Nicola had already made the statement in parliament, then he bloody well should have.

    I suspect that he did, and that he couldn’t resist an SNP BAAAAAAD bleat.

    Never mind that people are losing jobs and going hungry, that they are getting sick and that some of them will die… here’s a chance to tweet something horrible about the SNP.

    Sod off, Mundell.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This from a man who can run business’s into bankruptcy through sheer incompetence in normal times.
      Just +=%$&*!)^ off you irrelevant odious little *^$?@>+.

      oops, sorry

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The cat is out the bag.
    Their response of finding billions of currency shows that austerity was a political experiment.
    We had 10 years of universal credit and ‘There’s no Money’, we now see they can create as much as they like.
    Money for pubs, restaurants, airlines seems to be no problem.
    Even reports of trump giving adults $1000 to spend to keep things running.
    Your article just rubbishes the uk government argument that they were using science, just the bits they wanted to use. Cherry picking to suit their spin.
    Remember the maybot saying we can’t mortgage today to have our children pay it back.
    Do we really need these comedians with huge misplaced confidence and ego?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. They are protecting the insurance industry. Not just the companies that sell the policies but the Lloyds Names that underwrite the risk ultimately with unlimited personal liability. They are buying them time to get their personal wealth, which is at risk, offshore or otherwise hidden.

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    1. The government does actually need to protect the insurance and banking industry. It’s fine to say that things should be different and we shouldn’t be so reliant on private capital but that is how things are right now and current circumstances are not ideal for re-engineering the fundamental institutions that make society tick.

      Nobody wants a run on the banks or unrest on the streets. We kind of need society to be as stable as possible right now, even if that means unpalatable choices. It will be hard enough to get back to normal when this is over but if we destroy key parts of our economic system it will be much, much harder.

      The difference between today’s spend and yesterday’s austerity will be public and government attitude to tax rises. We are going to have to pay for this with tax rises in the future and I’m pretty certain that we’ll accept that after seeing how we reliant we are on public institutions that have been starved of funds.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope that people will do that, although even if the do, I suspect it will be short lived. I agree that we need banks and insurance companies to survive. I’m not sure that they need to make such gigantic profits though.

        Despite our insistence a few weeks ago that it was no worse than the flu, this will change our lives for a long time to come. We will have to spend hundreds of billions to keep the place running.

        The question is, how will we be able to pay it back? One of the reasons we are so ill prepared for this is the ten years of austerity we just went through. We must never cut like that again, you might say… But I bet we do.

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        1. I expect the government to argue that they could only afford it because of the years of austerity. The numbers don’t support that argument because debt levels continually rose during the years of austerity but the great British public don’t seem to care about facts any more.

          I’ve often wondered if the UK would be less willing to go to war if it still had a conscript army – we’d all be more connected to it and better understand what it means if we felt that war could touch us all in some way. This virus is indiscriminate so maybe we’ll collectively feel different after this than we would after a catastrophe that only affects the poor or refugees. Maybe this is all a pipe dream and it will be business as usual in no time. You’re probably right.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You can bet that they wouldn’t spend nearly as much money on wars if they were sending unwilling conscripts, with angry voting parents.

            Or another scenario, if the Taliban or Isis or a Sadam-type person, brought the war to dear old Blighty, and it was British homes, schools and hospitals that were being bombed…

            Trump just said the country was at war (what a turnabout in a week) and he was like a war president. Jesus what a jerk.

            But yep, it’s something that we all are involved in… or will be a fortnight from now. Maybe even now we don’t quite realise just how bad it will be.

            A young relative of mine in Italy has to print off a permit to be allowed to go to the shops. If he is found outside without one, he can be fined or imprisoned. He’s a young guy living on his own. It’s been like this for over a week. He’s going stir crazy. In a few weeks his life has changed out of all recognition.

            Those of us who survive this may never be quite the same again.

            Like

  6. Now that we are in lockdown for several months,blogs like this are going to be of great importance for some of us.
    I have been astonished and humbled by the offers of assistance from younger neighbours,some of whom I considered to be of the Thatcher grandchildren mentality.
    Just goes to show that there is such a thing as society and that you should never judge a book by it’s cover.
    Good luck to everyone and let’s hope we are all around for a celebration once the crisis passes.
    I have no comment to make regarding HM government,they are beyond contempt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad that you’re experiencing offers of help. I hope all of us who can, will help those we can. Let’s not forget the food banks. There are going to be rather a lot of people needing them!

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  7. I may have missed something, which wouldn’t be at all unusual but what supports being offered for the folk who don’t have businesses and can’t afford to stoically stay home on full pay to stem the inexorable march of the disease? Nowt I suspect is the answer to that and therein lies a major cause of COVID-19s continuing exponential spread through the populace. Minimum wage care workers in homes for the elderly and those working in the community with families to feed and bills to pay being but one example. So much for looking out for the most vulnerable then.

    The Care Inspectorate I hear is no longer hands on monitoring the standards of care in care homes, some of which already fall below that which is required. This is because inspectors are now working from home and care homes are now closed to visitors to ‘protect’ their residents. There are horrors greater than Coronavirus I’ll wager if your unfortunate enough to live in one of the less scrupulous, run for profit places. Inspections will not happen for a while, nor will any of the resulting complaints by concerned relatives be properly investigated.

    All that aside and apart from the prospect of being ill, self isolation isn’t a problem for me cos I’m a grumpy antisocial old git who routinely and systematically avoids interactions with the public because they mostly get on my tits anyway. Mrs greig12 doesn’t share my point of view however and she’s not so happy with the socially isolating, national emergency, worrying, dire, we’re all fecking doomed situation. I think I’ll cheer her up by taking her out for an Indian meal then to the cinema. Maybe I could book us a surprise holiday in Plakias where we met those nice French people the last time?
    Erm… Maybe not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point.

      A universal minimum payment to everyone is a possibility. I read somewhere that the USA government will give $1000 dollars to every adult. I don’t know if that’s true.

      My mother was due to go into a care home the day that it all fell apart. They would have taken her but they were insistant that we could not visit. So we said no.

      The result is we are all taking turns to be with her.

      I think that like it or not, we are going to have to learn to stay away from other people.

      Every interaction is a risk.

      It seems that life has changed.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Tris – I had to get a care home place for my old mum about three years ago so I know from experience what a miserable time it can be. You have my sympathy. Luckily I found a good one staffed with some really wonderful folk so they do exist.

        Going in to visit became a guilt ridden but necessary part of my daily routine and as my mother’s dementia progressed she became more unlikely to remember people who didn’t visit regularly. Even grandchildren who she doted on. This I think will be an issue for many relatives of people with dementia the longer these restrictions continue. Their loved one will simply forget who they are and will no longer, in an every day sense recognise their own families.

        Taking turns doing the caring at home is, as you will know already, very stressful and tends to stretch family unity after a wee while. I kind of got left with most of it and this caused a lot of resentment and friction between us which we’ve thankfully now worked through. ( Well Mostly🤨) My family had excuses that would put Oor Wullie to shame so I hope your luckier than I was in that respect.

        Good luck, it’s a hard enough time to be going through at any time never mind during a pandemic.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for that Greig..

          Yes I think it will strain things in the family. It’s an absolute nightmare. Still, somehow we have to get through it, so we will!

          Like

      2. I am very sorry to hear about your Mum.

        My Dad has been in a care home for a few months now. It was a huge family decision so I can imagine that making a decision like that in today’s circumstances must have been awful and difficult.

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        1. Terry. Thanks. It isn’t easy but last week I got a call from the police at 1 am saying that she had been wandering outside in her PJs. A care home was the very obvious solution for her safety. However it seems that we were always an hour or so behind Covid’s curve. So ATM it’s a 24/7 operation to look after her in her home. It’s just been a week and we are all exhausted.

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      3. sorry didn’t see this earlier. You, your family and Munguin must take great care of yourselves too. It will be challenging so best wishes for the days ahead.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Morning all. I’ve to socially isolate too though I’m not sure I’ll notice the difference! Sainsburys have made it clear their controlled hours are also for the vulnerable not just the elderly but I don’t know if that’s true of all supermarkets.

    While the advice allows I’ll go for a walk in fresh air, you don’t get many folk walking in my area so easy to avoid them. Many folk are worse off than me and reliant on carers so I’ll count my blessings. Wish me luck – going out later for milk!

    I might even write an article for MNR. FFS PP are we not suffering enough…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I might be prepared to suffer a bit for your art, PP!

      Now, a public service announcement: if you’re thinking about putting in an online supermarket order for delivery, do it right away because they’re stowed out and booked up quite a long while ahead right now.

      Ask me how I know…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Ed

        luckily when out for milk (blimey it’s like the apocalypse out there!) I noticed a place taking names of folk who need to self isolate to pass onto groups willing to help. I’m worried about perishables really as I saw this coming and have replenished the Brexit non perishable stocks – not in a greedy way just a few extra tins, scotch broth mix, stock cubes!

        Apparently there is an emergency bill due in the Commons on Thursday. I think they might make it illegal for over 70s and flu jag folk (like me) to be outside – but we’ll see.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ed- Sainsburys have announced its prioritising over 70s and vulnerable for its home deliveries if you’ve a Sainsburys within delivery distance. Make sure they know you are in (at least) one of the categories.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I wouldn’t have a problem self isolating. I’m seriously not that bothered about human contact as long as I have Munguin.

      He, of course, is far too important to get any virus!

      Take care of yourself, PP. An article would me most welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Best wishes to all your readers tris. Try to stay safe. Since my wife and I are in several of the categories you listed, we are staying at home as much as possible. Fortunately we have family around us. They could not be more needed at this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Out with Moose today on old golf course & met up with Katerina (polish woman) and her dog.

    She’s utterly horrified at the “English” (her words not mine) and has come to the conclusion they’re just very very VERY stupid. She works for Starbucks in a major shopping centre & it’s just pretty much business as usual. Less people bu still tens of thousands in the centre per day.

    In Poland (like France) you need a pass to leave the house. You can leave to go to the pharmacy (one person in shop at a time), supermarket (one person per 10m2), bank (one person at a time) or to excercise provided you maintain 2m clearance between you and anyone else. Exceptions are made for healthcare workers, food workers and farmers.

    Meanwhile in this shithole LBJ (and Sturgeon) are still protecting the insurers/banks/hedge funds – ie still protecting the money – rather than protecting the people.

    Shameless scum….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been banging on in The National about how the Scottish Government MUST do more by reacting to the situation on medical and epidemiological grounds, and ignore Westminster – regardless of the legalities of the devolution settlement. Westminster has reserved certain powers to itself that it has proved itself incapable of using as they should be used to protect public health and avoid premature deaths among the people whose first duty it is to protect.

      My these is that if it does not take the requisite action, the Scottish Government will be complicit in criminal negligence, and it is therefore its right and its duty to step in to perform the first duty of any government: to protect the people it supposedly serves. So reserved powers be damned: this is an emergency. I note that there is a useful and surprising degree of unanimity among the parties in Holyrood.

      Another thing: if a global pandemic isn’t a case of force majeure, what is?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Yes, in Denmark, too, everything is shut down, except for pharmacies, hospitals and essential workers – really essential. No gatherings more than 10 (yes, 10) people, even for private parties at home, including bairns birthday parties. We won’t visit even our daughter and family till this is over. The borders are closed, too

      Just a little personal aside. I was wheeched into a newly converted Corona ward early yesterday morning. 14 hours later I got the all clear and now I’m in a conventional ward.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. We can all rest assured that the entire financial services industry will be well looked after both during and after the current crisis by the liberal application of public money. Does your heart good.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Listened to a business expert on sky news.
    His take on the falling oil price was priceless.
    The falling oil price was causing the pound to plummet against the USdollar and a whole host of other currencies.
    This was also the cause of the Australian dollar plummeting against the US dollar.
    Nothing to do with the stock markets around the world falling and the demand for oil falling but also being over produced by Russia and Saudi.
    I think we all remember that the forecast was for the oil to run out around now.
    The oil producers want to collapse the fracking industry in the USA.
    In the uk, our next problem, one of many to come, is likely to be the lack of forage for farm animals, restaurants shutting their doors mean that butchers won’t buy at the marts, leaving the farmers to feed their animals at the end of the winter, hopefully a mild spring will start the grass growing.
    Supply chains are hard to stop or modify, people seem to be panic buying store foods like pasta and rice.
    Already Curry’s are taking orders for freezers for delivery in April, all sold out

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Copied this link from a comment made on one of Jake’s links. It’s about Vit D and it’s effect on tbe immune system. Considering the readers of MNR this is likely to be something of “an egg sucking demo for granny”.
    I’m already taking Vit D daily. I took an interest in vitD 40 years ago, ever since I had problems with my lambs on a particulary hungry soiled farm. This involved selenium, vitD, vitE and a good outcome. The whole story would demonstrate to Conan that my, purely pastoral, affections extend beyond bovine, (re another story about a cow, four legs, four titties and a tail variety)
    The link;

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Have a box of them lying at the back of the medicine cabinet. Will be taking one every day from now on. Let you know in a month or so whether it worked for me! Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

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