After yesterday’s exertions, I had a lie in. I’m finding it difficult to get off to sleep for a good hour nowadays. I should really stay away from the news and Twitter but I feel so gripped by the pace of change and the evolution of events. Never have world events, let alone local events affected my work so profoundly. I vaguely remember Mrs B2W leaving for work at 7 but returned to the land of nod until my new alarm woke me around 9. I don’t like it but Riders on the Storm doesn’t want to transfer from my old phone. So I’m using the old phone as an alarm clock until I have the time to download it.
Brekkie was followed by a dog walk on the Flitch along with what seemed like the rest of the neighbourhood. People walking dogs, jogging and young families out exploring gave it a weekend vibe as they applied their once a day “one form of exercise” keeping an adequate distance as a part of the current guidelines. As the forest is closed, I couldn’t escape to the field to let the dog off the lead. She is predictably unpredictable when it comes to other dogs, chases people on bikes and those jogging. I’m sure that she wants this whole stay at home-protect the NHS-save lives thing to blow over so that she can chase squirrels, rabbits and deer with gay abandon again. I did hop into the woods further along and let her off to run out some energy. The squirrels, used to the sudden lack of people in their wood were out in their scores and probably alarmed to see this tongue flapping brown predator bearing down on them, slobber streaming from its panting mouth. They all made it up the trees to safety and the dog happily exercised (for now).
Don’t get me wrong, I love it that people are out exercising in the fresh air and being active but just like some drivers on the road, some are pretty clueless about shared path etiquette and awareness. I nipped up to the shop to get some essentials for dinner (to support local shops, not the large chains) but couldn’t get up a decent speed having to navigate around groups or slow for people with ear buds who couldn’t hear my bell ringing. If you’re going out for a walk in the countryside, don’t listen to music or a pod, listen to the sounds, take in the sights that accompany those sounds! Including me and others. It’s a small price for me to pay given the circumstances and I did get to go out again as I had forgotten my wallet. Cool but beautifully sunny, I extended the ride to nail half a Strava distance trophy. BOOM! No way do I have enough time to get a full 1250km done each month so half of that will keep me away from the Cardiologist and Diabetologist.
I cooked dinner watching the latest statement from the Govt. Beforehand, I saw a live statement from New York. Andrew Cuomo struck me with his candour in saying how behind we were before the virus hit and how behind we are now. Enter acting chief $H¡T bag Michael Gove who gave reports of promised plans for more testing, more PPE to the people who need it, a new field hospital ready to take 500 people this week, thousands of new ventilators next week…it was a contrast in both style and content. Again, the health experts flanking him were more open but cautious. “We are short of reagents for testing and quality assurance of these tests”. That is, “We must ration the tests to people self-isolating with symptoms at home so that we can get them back to essential work (the NHS) but because we have to test patients as well, this will only account for 15% of the testing…until the end of April”. “We are getting the correct PPE to the people who need it”. That is, “We’ve got some more FFP3 masks and gowns but only enough for the ED and Critical Care peeps. You others will have to use surgical masks but that’s OK because the WHO agree with us”. I discovered today that each hospital does not get a choice of what brand of FFP3 mask is delivered. There are many brands and many different face shapes, one size does not fit all so we will be lucky if the same ones arrive that everyone has been fit-tested for. And if we are unlucky, those who need them will have to be re-tested again. If “thousands” of new ventilators are rolling off the production line and being delivered to the NHS in the weekend (complex machines requiring expertise to operate), how is it that something infinitely simpler like a mask is more difficult to source, standardise or, actually produce? You really couldn’t make this up.
And there is more bad news.
Total UK deaths: 1,789 (381 today)
This $H¡T storm is getting closer, fast….