Coronavirus Diary 5 – You look like a man!

I hope everyone is well and not been driven totally bonkers yet.  I’ve been pretty much on lockdown for almost 2 months now although only the last week or so has been due to the Coronavirus.

I am both well-settled into a routine and a little bored.  I’m not too bothered by the virus today and more about the jobs and financial worries I mentioned earlier in the week. I’m enjoying the peace and quiet though.

One of the things I regret doing during my earlier lockdown period was not getting my hair cut.  I’m fortunate at the age of 46 to have an absolutely full and quite wild head of hair and still the same colour it was when I was 20.  Kind of mid-brown in the winter and lighter in the summer.

As I like being a bit distinct and not following the crowd (especially during a Coronavirus epidemic!) I’ve never really gone in for the modern trend of having really short hair whether for fashion, laziness or hiding the fact one is bald.  I have plenty of hair so why would I get rid of what others get sad about losing?

Of course being out walking in London through the winter I deliberately don’t get a hair cut much after Halloween to try and keep warm.  Also I can put on a wool hat that covers things if it all gets a bit shaggy looking.

Really I should have got my hair cut in early February but it was a very stormy and unpleasant month and then I and my tube accident happened so I couldn’t go out.  Even in early February I was taking precautions about this wretched virus as I didn’t want to risk my chest and so I decided to hold on.   A month or more later I am still holding on and I imagine if this continues until May or June then I will emerge looking a cross between Jesus and a Rolling Stone.

Because of the whole not touching your face thing and my house being a mess  and combined with not going out, I realised that I now have a beard for the first time in my life.  I’ve never had one before.  A friend remarked that I looked like a man which was re-assuring I guess.

I thought long and hard over the beard for at least 10 minutes.  It was tempting to become a total sloth and regress into some bizarre Shoreditch-hipster type of appearance but that wasn’t me.  I always wondered why the trendy folk wanted to look like Islamic terrorists and it would just make my life so much harder the next time I go into Parliament or Buckingham Palace or drive around London.  One of the things I have always done is exclaim “Allahu Akbar!” whenever I get through a set of traffic lights with the lights staying green.  One of  my quirky ways I get through life and London with its maddening crowds. You know you are truly blessed if you can get through the traffic lights in one cycle!   But I get that big beards, shouting thanks to God and driving around iconic government buildings isn’t a good look in the current climate.

I was surprised and gladdened that my beard too is totally brown; you see so many sport stars or actors with grey bristles in their 30’s.  I guess they may be blessed with money and good lucks but as Prince William found out when he was a teenager, nothing can buy you good hair.

God might have not have blessed me with a good chest, immune system or even the ability to eat food but  much to the chagrin of lots of females I know, I have got an abundance of good and natural hair.  Not sure it will protect me from the virus though, going to get it cut might have the same effect as Samson of biblical fame only for me it with be Corvid-19.

I did think of dyeing my hair grey so when I finally emerge everyone will be all wondering just how long have I been self-isolated.

So the beard has been shaved off and my hair is ever so slightly longer than it was when the shutdown started, quite a lot longer than when I could have got it cut but decided it was safer not to and considerably longer than it was 2 months ago when I had thought to myself…. it is 3 months since you got your hair cut Stephen… sort it out!

Stay well everyone!

 

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The Queen homes in on being the longest serving monarch in history

Last week Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II  became the fourth longest-serving monarch today, surpassing legendary Mayan ruler Pakal the Great.

The Queen has surpassed  K’inich Janaab Pakal who ruled the Mayan city state of Palenque for 68 years and 33 days before his death in 683AD.

The Queen obviously holds several records including her title as the longest-living reigning monarch.  She also officially became the longest-reigning British monarch in September 2015, surpassing her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria.

Pakal the Great is thought to have ascended to the throne at the age of 12- years-old and during his rule managed to expand Palenque’s power in the western Maya states.  During the peak of Mayan power their civilisations ruled much of what is now southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen is now breathing down the neck of monarch Johann II of Liechtenstein, who ruled from 1858 and 1929 and the second longest reigning monarch is KingBhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand who reigned from 1946 until his death in October 2016 and was the world’s longest living reigning monarch before the Queen.

Holding on to the top spot is Louis XIV of France, with an impressive 72-year and 110-day reign.  Known as Louis the Great, the French monarch became King at the age of four following the death of his father Louis XIII, and ruled from 14 May 1643 to 1 September 1715.

It’s important to remember with the exception of the Thai King, all of the other long reigning monarchs lived in a time with more rudimentary medical knowledge.  On the other hand, all the other monarchs came to the throne as children whilst the Queen was a married young woman when she ascended to the throne. It’s incredible to think that for now several decades, she remains the only head of state who served during WW2.

The Queen will hopefully celebrate her 94th birthday in April this year; who would be against her surpassing the legendary reign of the Sun King and reaching her 98th birthday?

Who the Queen is gunning for!

1. Louis XIV of France (reigned from 14 May 1643 to 1 September 1715)

2. Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand (reigned from 9 June 1946 to 13 October 2016)

3. Johann II of Liechtenstein (reigned from 12 November 1858 to 11 February 1929)

4. Queen Elizabeth II (reigned from 6 February 1952)  

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Coronavirus Diary 4 – From Boris with love.

I’m a bit cold today as I write this. Despite it almost being April, it’s only about 6 degrees C outside (42F) and I am a bit nippy especially as the windows have been ajar since 7am to let some fresh air in and I generally only have the house heated to about 17 degrees or 54F.

It’s a bit colder than usual today as part of the works my new house is undergoing is to have the old fireplace restored and work is paused at its most inconvenient stage allowing cold to flood in.  I kind of like it in the evening though as when there is a gentle breeze a sound comes down the chimney that sounds like a sleeping dragon.

My church currently performing its Sunday service on Facebook!

My church currently performing its Sunday service on Facebook! and they just read out my mothers name too as it is her anniversary soon.

One of the things people are meant to be doing during Social Distancing and Self-Isolation is communicating in other ways.  I’m sure it was meant to be emails and videos, WordPress blogs!! etc but the one that piqued my interest today was that of little 7 year old Josephine from a small place called Stubbington in Hampshire.  She wrote to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson understandably a bit sad and distressed as she has twice had to cancel her 7th birthday party and wondering what could be done to stop people from dying and to look after the hospitals.

Mr Johnson sent her back a hand written note, telling her she was “setting a great example.”   It’s quite cute really even if it was mostly done for PR purposes, the principle of being able to directly lobby and meet your politicians is incredibly important in the U.K. and cherished.  Even American politicians I have taken on tours have admitted there isn’t the same direct and easy access where they live.

I’m pretty ok with Boris, a little mad as he might be despite his government currently on a course to bankrupt me. I know it can’t be easy unexpectedly having to try and save millions of lives and many more livelihoods.   A lot of people who didn’t vote for him at the last election or for other big issues often cast him to be authoritarian but whatever else, it seems clear he is trying his best to not to rush in to draconian measures like other places and to offer unprecedented financial support to much of society.   I myself would have actually acted like China did in Wuhan at the first outbreak and immediately stop all flights and travel… but then thats my Taliban tendencies coming to the fore plus if I get the virus I might die.  However there is more to think about than just myself!

The letter seems very Boris, high energy with exclamation marks and a bit of education showing through with a colon!   In the far distant past I wrote about Calligraphy: The Art of writing or why I bought a Fountain Pen , it’s nice to see the Prime Minister is also into writing by hand.  Never mind its the closest thing we’ve seen to the end of the world. at least our leader follows the  When two (spaces) are better than one rule!

From Boris with love

From Boris with love

Keep in touch with comments or letters 🙂

 

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Coronavirus Diary 3 – My best friend is infected

I was going to write something a bit more cheerful today given that yesterdays was a bit heavy.  Actually I wasn’t very well yesterday and I did check the NHS symptoms page several times.  As I’ve mentioned before the symptoms of Asthma and asthma related complications are similar to the Coronavirus.  As it happened I woke up totally ok today.

Unfortunately we found out today my best friend likely has Coronavirus.  It’s been suspected for a few days but not certain.  Indeed it’s still not certain given in the UK only those in hospital are currently tested.

However my friend has all the symptoms and this morning took a turn for the worse and was forced to call 999 for emergency services.  Paramedics came to their house but she declined the option to go to hospital given that people are waiting in corridors there and with only 4 intensive care beds for a hospital serving 150-200,000 people it is probably a place best avoided if at all possible.

We are both each others local in case of emergency people and I was all ready to mask up as best as I can and do what I could but fortunately she decided it was too urgent.   Happily my friend is as well as possible so hopefully we just have to wait and see an improvement tomorrow or Sunday.

This does mean that I too theoretically at risk as she being a pharmacist, the last thing I did before self-isolating and indeed the same day she went home sick was to go and order my emergency asthma inhalers.  We didn’t see each other and I didn’t touch anything and I washed when I got back but obviously the virus was very close by.

That was 4 days and 2 hours ago.  The average incubation period before you know you have the virus is 5 days.  I’m perfectly well today, if I still am tomorrow then hopefully all will be well on this occasion.

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Coronavirus Diary 2 – Goodbyes but no good grub

Yesterday I went out to see a friend.  My new house is a total dump.  An absolute pig-sty as we say in the U.K.  No cleaning/bathing facilities, no toilet, damp in the floors electric wires everywhere and a near 200 year collection of pipes that seem to do nothing but are there nevertheless.

I decided to go out and see a dear friend who owns a shop 4 or 5 miles away. It was a bit of a strange experience to say the least. People are still going to school, to work and even doing all the regular things like eating out, going to pubs and parties.

I know all of this is coming to an end though and there seemed to be an ominous feeling of living on borrowed time hanging in the air.

For all that it was one of the few days of the month I woke up feeling totally well.  Having asthma and a predisposition to chest conditions then every little cough, sore throat wheeze  has always been the onset of what could be a hospitalisation.  99% of the time it is just one of those things that disappears in a few minutes.  But it is a fear I always have at the back of my mind even in mid-summer.

I must have had Coronavirus about 60 times since Christmas at least for a few minutes but then it faded to nothing and so I obviously never had it at all or I’ve had it for about 38 years and just can’t shake it off.  Chest infections are so horrible, I can be ill from September to May very easily with just a handful of healthy days if I am lucky before the next infection sets in.  If I’m not lucky then it is just one long constant horrible illness.

Yesterday though I was well and even my friend said I looked happy which was partly down to feeling well and partly down to seeing my friend.  Other acquaintances and customers who to differing degrees are now friends also came and went through the morning.

We always joked that the shop would be like our den if there were to be some sort of apocalypse and I remember thinking on my bus that I would pop down to see Tash at the Winchester until all this blows over.  It made me laugh and not much does these days.  The Winchester was the pub in the film Shaun of the Dead where the heroes all went to after picking up their friends to wait for the zombie apocalypse to blow over.

We all had an interesting chat.  No-one there was at all scared of the virus; more of the panic of society.  I’d read that people who have suffered serious hurdles or trauma aren’t worrying about the virus because it is just another imposition.  If you spend you whole life worried, panicked or in some sort of danger then I guess it is natural to become a bit hard-nosed.  Whereas as regular people with regular lives are only now feeling how others spend their whole lives.

It was really sad to say goodbye and one last time we totally broke the social distancing rule and did what was a killer hug, hopefully not in more ways than one.  The shop is closing down for a month or two; just because the owner and regulars aren’t overly concerned, it doesn’t mean we’re stupid or not concerned about its spread to others and no-one wants to get ill when it is avoidable.

Like myself, the main worries of  my friend the shop owner are money ones.   If we live or die is to a degree out of our hands but economic hardship is close at hand and total ruin is a possibility for us both.

But I was sad incase it was the last time I saw her (I’d worry for her and everyone I know whether they do or not!); I know I will be lucky not to get this virus and if I get it then I may well get it badly and I don’t have any family to really help out. I’d quite easily be one of those of poor people who gets discovered 6 months after they’ve died.  Even my blog posts are pre-written…. I even have a “Goodbye” post in my drafts that I can schedule to come after what ever posts are lined up.  I’ve had it for years; not because of this virus in particular but just because of life.

My friend was a bit worried that I had next to no supplies at home.  I don’t just mean no food or toilet paper come to that but anything.  Having been holed up in a hotel for 2 weeks, then in my own quarantine for 5 weeks due to being pushed under a train  and the weeks of packing and unpacking after a house move and naturally running down food supplies if there was one person who needed some basics it was me.

We went to a supermarket which I something I never do.  I don’t like supermarkets, I don’t get them either.  One of the things I hope will change is that people will become much less consumerist when this is all over and be more self-sufficient and humane to each other.

The supermarket looked like it was from an end of the world type film, every shop we went in did. With my gluten and dairy illnesses, it isn’t like I have much of a choice at the best of times.  I am now in an official 12 week (to begin with) forced isolation period and to get me through this given the choice I settled on a basket of root vegetables, smoked Romanian sausages and 8 gluten and dairy free chocolate chip cornetto style ice-creams.

I don’t each much, though I would have liked to have found some chicken as I haven’t been able to eat home cooked chicken since December.  I also wanted Sweet Potato, I still have 3 or 4 from my shop on the 1st February.   All 4 are somewhat rotten but 2 of which are salvageable by cutting out the bad bits.  There is a reason I don’t shop much or have any food waste lol.  Still not the most promising start; I had the cutting out rotten bits of sweet potato down for the end of April not Mid-March.

Such is life!  Stay well everyone.

 

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Top 10 worst London (and global) pandemics in history

The current Coronavirus is just the latest in a really long line of pandemic outbreaks with London getting more than its fair share of them as it always does for good and for bad.  It isn’t much consolation as we all wait this thing out and the lucky ones get through it but it’s worth remembering how this is nothing new at all, even within our living history.

These don’t even include minor local health related disasters that could easily kill tens of thousands on a localised level.

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  1. THE ANTONINE PLAGUE

It was a case of pass the plague in 165 A.D. when an early case of smallpox broke out.  Known as the Antonine plague, it began with the Huns who then infected the Germans, who passed it onto the Romans whose troops spread it throughout the Roman Empire.

Galen, a Greek physician, witnessed the outbreak and recorded the symptoms: blackish diarrhoea, which suggested gastrointestinal bleeding, intensive coughing, foul-smelling breath and red and black skin eruptions all over their body.

The total deaths have been estimated at five million, and the disease killed as much as one-third of the population in some areas and devastated the Roman army.  This plague continued until about 180 A.D, claiming Emperor Marcus Aurelius as one of its victims.

 

2. THE PLAGUE OF JUSTINIAN

Nearly 800 years before the more notorious Black Death arrived in the UK/Europe, there was the Plague of Justinian. The World’s first pandemic in recorded history. Named after the ruler of the Byzantine Empire, who almost died from the disease too. This plague was also caused by the Yersinia Pestis (the bacterium which causes bubonic plague) and is recorded as beginning in 541 AD and killed many millions of people across the empire.

It is commonly believed that the virus was transported to Constantinople by rats on board cargo ships arriving from North Africa. This plague reduced a great city into a morbid citadel of dead. The bodies of the dead lay in the street unable to be buried.

Surviving accounts of the plague are dominated by the writings of the historian Procopius, a Byzantine scholar who lived in Constantinople when the pandemic broke out. His narrative tells a story where the plague was catastrophic in the sheer number of people succumbing to the virus. In one record he wrote:

“Now the disease in Byzantium ran a course of four months, and its greatest virulence lasted about three. And at first the deaths were a little more than the normal, then the mortality rose still higher, and afterwards the tale of dead reached five thousand each day, and again it even came to ten thousand and still more than that. Now in the beginning each man attended to the burial of the dead of his own house, and these they threw even into the tombs of others, either escaping detection or using violence; but afterwards confusion and disorder everywhere became complete. For slaves remained destitute of masters, and men who in former times were very prosperous were deprived of the service of their domestics who were either sick or dead, and many houses became completely destitute of human inhabitants. For this reason it came about that some of the notable men of the city because of the universal destitution remained unburied for many days…… the whole human race came near to being annihilated.”

This gives us an insight into the level of fear the pandemic created across the empire. However it was a very bad pandemic with similar symptoms of the strain that will decimate Europe in 1347.

 

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3. THE BLACK DEATH

In 1347 that Europe was at the mercy of what is one of the World’s most infamous pandemic of all time: The Black Death. Archaeologists, historians and scientists still debate the exact origins of this outbreak of the plague, with China being a favoured candidate by many experts. Some theories have even suggested that it was one of the earliest forms of biological warfare, posing that the spread the plague to Europe, was caused after Mongol soldiers besieged the port city of Kaffa in Crimea, and fell ill during the stand-off. It is alleged that these Mongol soldiers began catapulting the plague-ridden bodies of their dead comrades over the walls of Kaffa, to spread the contagion within the city.

A contemporary chronicler records that when people in Kaffa later travelled to Venice and other nearby cities in Europe, “it was as if they had brought evil spirits with them”.

It is possible that the inhabitants of Kaffa went on to play a key role in disseminating the plague throughout Europe. Back then people still had very limited understanding as to what exactly caused the spread of viruses and diseases, and would never have known they were now carriers/spreaders of a deadly pathogen. The Black Death eventually had an apocalyptic impact, with historian Ole Benedictow suggesting around 60% of Europe’s population was wiped out.

A particularly gory account left by a chronicler in Florence details how communities tried to cope with the disaster; burying bodies on top of one another in multiple mass graves, with bodies and soil layered “just as one makes lasagne with layers of pasta and cheese”.

It is said that the Black Death was the final time when humanity as a species risked either extinction or losing a viable population.

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4. THE 2ND GREAT PLAGUE (OF LONDON)

From 1665 to 1666 almost a quarter of London’s population would die in the Great Plague. This was an epidemic rather than a pandemic, as it did not spread across continents, but for Londoners living in the squalid, cramped conditions of the city at that time. The symptoms were beyond horrific for those unfortunate enough to be struck down with it.

It spread at an astronomical rate and spread to other parts of England. A sad record denotes “there is no longer enough people left alive to bury the dead”.

This was the worst outbreak of plague in England since the black death of 1348. London lost roughly 25% of its population. Although 68,596 deaths were recorded in the city, experts believe the true number was probably exceeded well over 100,000 people. As well as the the thousands who died from the Bubonic Plague in other parts of the country too.

The earliest cases of disease occurred in the spring of 1665 in a parish outside the city walls called St Giles-in-the-Fields. The death rate began to rise during the hot summer months and peaked in September when 7,165 Londoners died in one week.

Those who could, including most doctors, lawyers and merchants, fled the city. Charles II and his courtiers left in July for Hampton Court and then Oxford. Parliament was postponed and had to sit in October at Oxford, the increase of the plague being so dreadful. Court cases were also moved from Westminster to Oxford.

The Lord Mayor and aldermen (town councillors) remained to enforce the King’s orders to try and stop the spread of the disease. The poorest people remained in London with the rats and those people who had the plague. Watchmen locked and kept guard over infected houses. Parish officials provided food. Searchers looked for dead bodies and took them at night to plague pits for burial.

All trade with London and other plague afflicted towns was stopped. The Council of Scotland declared that the border with England would be closed. There were to be no fairs or trade with other countries. This meant many people lost their jobs; from servants, smiths and traders to those who worked on the River.
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Diarist Samuel Pepys also records the grim atmosphere pervading London, saying “nobody but poor wretches in the streets” and how there was “little noise heard day or night but tolling of bells”.

 

5. THIRD CHOLERA PANDEMIC

From 1853 to 1854, the epidemic the third cholera epidemic hit London very hard, claiming over 10,000 lives, across the UK there were 23,000 deaths. This pandemic was considered to have one of the highest fatalities globally.

This was caused by a bacterial infection, cholera is a devastating illness, causing severe, deadly dehydration; and has killed millions of people across the globe through successive outbreaks over the centuries. The third pandemic originated in India during the middle of the 19th Century before it spread across the globe. Interestingly this epidemic became a notable turning point in our knowledge and understanding of how diseases are spread and contracted. Indeed during this time, the ‘miasma theory’ was still widely believed and held that cholera was the result of bad, foetid air given off by rotting matter. Something that people also believed spread the Bubonic Plague, (The Black Death/Plague). The great Victorian social reformer Edwin Chadwick even believed that ‘all smell is disease’.

However, one man, a physician named Dr John Snow, believed differently. He was a skeptic of the then-dominant miasma theory that stated that diseases such as cholera and bubonic plague were caused by pollution or a noxious form of “bad air”. The germ theory of disease had not yet been developed, so Snow did not understand the mechanism by which the disease was transmitted. His observation of the evidence led him to discount the theory of foul air. He first published his theory in an 1849 essay, On the Mode of Communication of Cholera, followed by a more detailed treatise in 1855 incorporating the results of his investigation of the role of the water supply in the Soho epidemic of 1854. Where he had undertaken a systematic analysis of people stricken by cholera in Soho, London.Through this he realised they had one thing in common: a communal water pump. The removal of the pump’s handle helped usher in the end of the local outbreak.

Through his efforts Snow is now celebrated as the founder of the science of epidemiology. Indeed his studies on the water pumps is hailed as a defining moment in the evolution of the germ theory of disease.

 

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6. THE SPANISH FLU

This epidemic had a particularly catastrophic impact across Europe. It was highly virulent and very powerful, death could occur within 48 hours of symptoms presenting themselves. Curiously this pandemic fell into relative obscurity throughout the 20th Century. This is likely to be because it emerged in 1918, whilst the World was still engulfed by the Great War. However in recent years outbreaks like the swine flu and bird flu pandemics in the early 2000’s have helped to bring Spanish Flu back into the public consciousness as a kind of “worst case scenario” warning from the past.

With a body count thought to be as high as 100 million people, the Spanish Flu did not actually start in Spain. The name simply arose because wartime censorship stifled coverage of the pandemic in Allied nations, while neutral Spain was free to print stories of the terrifying outbreak. There is still much debate about where the deadly H1N1 flu virus took hold, with suspicion falling on army bases in the US and France. In any case, massive troop movements helped spread the disease, with hideous consequences for patients who would often drown on their own haemorrhaging blood.

It was at this time a British doctor in Asia came up with an early version of a modern medical mask which had been until then unknown of in the area and which would have done much to reduce contamination there.  Since then surgical masks have been somewhat adopted in east-Asia even though elsewhere the practice is almost unknown and scientifically all but useless in a crisis such as today.

 

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7. ASIAN FLU

Asian Flu was a pandemic outbreak of Influenza A of the H2N2 subtype that originated in China in 1956 and lasted until 1958.

In the first few months, it spread throughout China and its regions but by the midsummer it had reached the United States, where it initially infected relatively few people.

Several months later, however, numerous cases of infection were reported, especially in young children, the elderly, and pregnant women.

The pandemic also reached the UK and by December a total of 3,550 deaths had been reported in England and Wales.

Estimates for the death toll vary depending on the source, but the World Health Organization places the final tally at approximately 2million, 69,800 of those in the US alone

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8. HONG KONG FLU

From the first reported case on July 13, 1968 in Hong Kong, it took only 17 days before outbreaks of this virus — referred to as the Hong Kong Flu — were reported in Singapore and Vietnam, and within three months had spread to The Philippines, India, Australia, Europe, and the United States.

While the 1968 pandemic had a comparatively low mortality rate, it still resulted in the deaths of more than a million people, including 500,000 residents of Hong Kong itself, approximately 15 per cent of its population at the time.

 

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9. ZIKA VIRUS

Finally a virus that gave London a wide berth. The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus transmitted primarily by the aggressive blood-sucking Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and symptoms included fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes.

In May 2015, the first local transmission of Zika virus was reported in Brazil and researchers believed the virus was introduced during the August 2014 World Sprint Championship canoe race, held in Rio de Janeiro, which attracted participants from four Pacific Island nations, including French Polynesia, with active Zika transmission.

The virus soon spread and affected more than 1.5million people in 68 countries, thanks to the mosquito’s ability to thrive in city life, flourishing in litter, open ditches, clogged drains, old tyre dumps and crowded flimsy dwellings.

The virus was also linked to thousands of babies in Brazil being born with microcephaly, a neurological disorder where the baby had an underdeveloped brain and an abnormally small head.

There were also a rising number of stillbirths and miscarriages in mothers infected with the virus.  The children that did survive faced intellectual disability and developmental delays.

10.  The Coronavirus

First coming to light in early December 2019 in Wuhan, China.   For a while it seemed contained there despite incompetent government action which was somewhat made-up for by a belated but severe lock-down.    However global it was too late and the virus was soon to spread around the world. As of 15 March, over 167,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in around 140 countries and territories; more than 6,400 people have died from the disease and around 76,000 have recovered with the peak in London still estimated to be 8-10 weeks away.

 

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Corona Diary 1 – Crazies on a bus

Given that I am now almost housebound medically and theoretically from Monday possibly legally’ I thought I would supplement my usual posts with a series of almost diary like posts.  Some people have their entire blog composed of such things and I thought given my rather unique situation then I may as well while a couple of hours over the coming weeks or months as we all, or myself at least go slowly mad.

Today I still had appointments to make which involved going on one of those famous red London Double-Decker buses.  It was still quite busy onboard with some people forced to stand.  It was all rather surreal.

The man next to me seemed somewhat spaced out which probably made things easier for him.  He was also wearing a pair surgical gloves and he kept, playing and stretching them.  It made me feel like I was about to undergo some sort of bizarre rectal examination.

The lady in front of him was quite a character too and possessed the most incredible laugh.  It reminded me of the American Wrestler Ted Dibiase – The Million Dollar Man.  I have no idea what was making her laugh, perhaps she was out of medication having had it swiped by the secret rectum examiner next to me.     She certainly made me giggle to myself.

I’ve always liked weird characters, maybe it makes me feel like I fit in more.  Not just in real life.  I remember in Star Wars everyone else who was little liked Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia or Chewie but for me it was Darth Vader and if I had to conform then Han Solo.

I think I must have the same outlook for Brexit.  I liked it before it was popular, once it was happening but everyone was outraged about it, when it surely must be cancelled and when the green-light was finally lit.  I still like it now when it really doesn’t matter at all as we probably aren’t going to make it anyway.

I noticed quite a few people trying to avoid touching handles and polls and bells.  I think they are all late-comers to this particular party as I’ve been using my elbows, knuckles and anything other than my hands and fingers for as long as I can remember.   I’m so experienced in fact during the winter when I wear gloves, I can unlock and operate my iPad using my nose.

These are the sorts of skills which I think give me the best chance of getting through this nightmare.

I’m sure this is a new experience for almost everyone so if you want to leave a comment about your day, the situation in general or heaven help us some much needed hilarity then be my guest!

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