Passing Observations 18
1. Why did it take so long to show that a simple, cheap steroid might help treat patients with severe Covid-19? Steroids have been the drug of choice for severe breathing problems for decades. Could the answer lie in the word `cheap’?
2. When a shop assistant insisted that I had to pay for my purchases with plastic, I had great joy in pointing out that the British `paper’ currency is now made out of plastic.
3. I wonder how many people will be eager to climb into aeroplanes when they realise that the same air commonly constantly circulates within aeroplanes – with the result that if one traveller on a plane has a bug (whatever it is) then everyone will catch it. The risk is not, of course, unique to the coronavirus. Tuberculosis, anyone?
4. We had a car serviced the other day. The garage added an extra fee for sanitising equipment. I think this could be commonplace now. I hear that dentists are adding an extra sum to their fees for their sanitising costs.
5. I now understand why millennials never have any money. While lighting a bonfire the other day I noticed an article in the newspaper I was using which extolled the virtues of `gardening clothes’. It appears that when millennials buy their first home with a garden they rush out and buy special gardening clothes – special jacket, special trousers, special hat, special shoes and for all I know special underwear too. I suspect I am not alone in always retiring old, frayed clothes for gardening work. The idea of buying a special pair of trousers for digging, mowing and pruning never occurred to me.
6. A dear friend of mine owns some shops. I am trying to persuade him to put up a sign saying: `No more than 700 people in the shop at one time, please’.
7. People who are living in care homes but who are able to look after themselves and just need support with food and laundry and so on might consider moving into a hotel (when hotels are allowed to open). I fear that if/when there is another lockdown hospitals will once again use care homes as dumping grounds. And the number of deaths will again be terrifying. Alternatively, folk should say they are Syrian and ask Lily Allen to put them up in a spare room.
8. For years now there has been a massive, global water shortage. Water use has gone up six-fold in the last century and is rising by 1% a year. But the amount of drinkable water is limited – and much of that which is available has been polluted. The United Nations estimates that global demand could outstrip supply by 40% by the year 2030. And that, you will note, is just a decade away. Water shortages and water wars are coming. Meanwhile, encouraging people to wash their hands in running water for twenty seconds, every twenty minutes seem rather unnecessarily wasteful.
9. The widespread depression caused by lockdowns and social distancing is having powerful effects everywhere. A friend of ours who has breast cancer has talked of stopping her daily drugs because she cannot see any point in trying to stay alive.
10. There are two sorts of mental illness rife today. First, there is the fear of the coronavirus. Second there is the rage at the way `they’ have exaggerated the fears and destroyed the world and killed untold numbers of people for absolutely no good reason at all. I suspect this rage is doing even more harm than the fear of the virus. Antoinette and I are so devastated by what is going on that we are both depressed and neither of us can sleep properly.
11. I heard the other day that Obama, the beloved hero of the liberal left, bombed five more countries than George W. Bush. Indeed, he did so much bombing that at one point America ran out of bombs. Still, his fans will no doubt point out that Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize.
12. The fall in investment in energy will drop by 20% this year – that’s a $400 billion fall. The result is going to be a greater reliance on fossil fuels and, since the big oil companies are not doing any exploration, the price of oil is likely to rise considerably.
13. I was delighted to see reports boasting that 80% of commuters in London had worn masks on buses and tube trains. The other side of that is that 20% had not worn masks. Good for them. Let’s hope it’s 30% by next week.
14. The Treasury in the UK is considering suspending the State pension triple lock. This will dramatically reduce pension payments. The UK already has the worst State pension in the Western world. A large army of civil servants will, of course, be able to look forward to huge pensions – largely paid for by British taxpayers. None of this will come as a shock to those who have read my website and my book Coming Apocalypse. Many are rightly worried about the future for young people but I am afraid that the future for pensioners is bleak, indeed.
15. I tend to get most of whatever credit is going for the articles on this site and for the videos on my YouTube channel. But that’s not fair. Antoinette has ideas and does a great deal of the research. She is the only one who knows how to put stuff on the website and all I do for the videos is sit in a chair and read my script. She does all this with equipment that most web people would laugh at.
Copyright Vernon Coleman June 17th 2020
Tickety Tonk, Vernon Coleman’s seventh diary, is available as a paperback and an eBook on Amazon.