Monday, 6th April, 2020 [Day 21]

It was a beautiful, bright and sunny morning this morning – but on our daily trip to the park, we did not happen to see any of our friends or acquaintances so we had to enjoy our mid-morning snack and coffee in total solitude. In fairness, there were very few people in the park so perhaps the message about self-isolation is really getting home. It is sad to report that after the delight of seeing a brood of ten young ducklings a couple of days ago, the pond is now totally bereft of ducklings. One can only assume that they have constituted a tasty meal for someone – possibly a fox that roams by night or seagulls that predate during the day. In any case, the sum total of ducklings now appears to be zero. When we arrived home, we were greeted with a minor domestic crisis. We have a communal mini-sewerage treatment servicing our six hours and although this has been serviced only 2-3 weeks ago it was starting to smell somewhat. A tanker driver had mistakenly turned up at our property and upon inspection, it turned out that our unit was over-full and in urgent need of emptying. Once the level of the effluent reaches a certain level, a pump should be activated which disperses the ‘grey’ water, theoretically biologically pure, through a herringbone series of pipes that lay underneath our communal grassed area (which we have jokingly called Meg’s Meadow) So phone calls had to be made, one to the company that services the electrical and mechanical elements and to another which is engaged in the six-monthly emptying. The ’emptying’ company at first said that our contract had been terminated despite a direct debit being in place – we suspect that an accountancy upgrade and move to ‘paperless’ billing meant that we had been thrown off their maintenance schedules. So we have to arrange for an emergency emptying followed by an inspection by the maintenance company that no vital component had failed or is malfunctioning. We think we have now got the two firms involved to resume their normal schedules and let us hope that equilibrium is soon to be restored.

In the afternoon, we resumed some house-cleaning duties. I am reminded of the American comedienne Joan Rivers who once remarked ‘The thing about housework is that there is so much hoovering, dusting, cleaning, polishing – and then nine months later you have to do it all over again!‘ In the late afternoon, we had a FaceTime chat with two of our closest Waitrose friends – we exchanged recipes and other tales of how we were coping the crisis (quite well actually) Without this modern bit of technology, we would feel the absence of social contacts with friends acutely, I am sure. I reflect upon the fact that when our son spent an academic year in Mexico just before email became prevalent (1986-87) a letter would take three weeks to get to him in Mexico and the reply another three weeks to get back. If his scholarship to Mexico had been a year or so later then an email would have made keeping in contact almost instantaneous.

During the course of the evening, we get the news flash about Boris Johnson being admitted into intensive care. As it happens, the news media have some footage which indicates just what being in intensive care in the COVID-19 era looks like (i.e. frightening). One is bound to wonder whether the Prime Minister will survive all of this and in any case, he will not be in a fit state to resume office for a period of time probably measured in weeks – if at all. One only hopes that the rest of the political system is sufficiently robust to take the correct decisions and judgment calls that will have to be made in the weeks ahead.

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Sunday, 5th April, 2020 [Day 20]

So we are in Day 20 of our self-isolation and it is interesting to see where the ‘peak’ of this will be. According to some optimistic predictions, the pandemic may peak in about 10 days time and it does appear that both Italy and Spain may be able to view the ‘summit’ of their infection in a few days’ time. However, we are about 2-3 weeks behind Italy so that the prediction of a peak in 10 days’ time looks optimistic. In view of the fact that the number of cases is still accelerating, I think a better guess might be the end of April rather than the middle of April i.e. at least three weeks from now. We shall see – I suppose when it happens, I will look back upon this blog and see how right or wrong I was. Today was a beautiful bright day (as forecast) and we enjoyed our trip to the park where we coincided with an old Waitrose friend (and her friend) with whom we exchanged some pleasant chat. And when we got home, I was delighted that my family had managed to obtain a copy of both the ‘Sunday Times‘ and the Observer (with some difficulty, as the supermarkets were assuming you were only going to shop once per week and that for food, not newspapers). I was musing to myself that when the Martians come to visit us again they will report back to their mission controllers that the people on earth all seem to have personal modes of transport in front of their houses (i.e. cars) that they never seem to use, that all of their gardens look incredibly neat and tidy as people have been working on them constantly but all of the men seem to be growing long straggly hair for some unexplained reason!

This afternoon, as the weather was fair the family engaged in a collective pruning of a large Eleagnos shrub which as at the corner of our communal plot and was proving to be a nuisance when we were rounding the corner. Whilst the daughter-in-law was doing the pruning, my son and I were chopping it all into smaller pieces for disposal. This may actually prove quite difficult as the local authority has suspended collections of the ‘Brown Bins’ in which we put our garden waste so we may have to activate the shredder that we keep in a corner of the garden (but do not actually use a great deal)

Meg and I were shamed into tidying up our bedroom shelves. The previous occupants of the house had thoughtfully installed large shelves which extends from the side of the bed to the opposite wall – this is very useful for radios, lamps, creams. pills, tissues, middle-of-the-night water and so on. But over time the clutter can really grow so we were glad to take the opportunity of  a good rationalisation and clear-up.

We are looking forward to a period of fine weather in the week ahead of us. It looks as though that if the public does not obey the ‘keep your distance’ rules assiduously, the government may be forced into banning all walks from the house even for exercise. In the case of Spain, one is only allowed 200 metres to exercise the dog. We must say that we are counting our blesssings as with a fairly large garden and some space along the private road that services our little block of houses then we could always ‘exercise’ by walking around the gardens front and rear and along the roadways without leaving our own property. I think the chances of this are about 40% at the moment but we shall see in the days to come!


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Saturday, 4th April, 2020 [Day 19]

Although the weather forecasters said it was going to turn out to be a sunny day (and so, indeed it was, in the afternoon) this morning was pretty cold and miserable. Probably on account of this, the park was practically deserted – Meg and I were keen to drink up our coffee and not tarry, particularly as we did not coincide with any of our friends and acquaintanceships. However, our day was lightened by the fact that our daughter-in-law had managed an ‘intermediate’ range shop up at Waitrose so we now feel comfortable for a week or so. Although I am used to paying cash for everything at the supermarket and not paying by card, I am in a very small minority and cash is very much frowned upon these days (potentially virus-laden) So I  am having to get used to a new system of purchases all paid for electronically and I transfer monies over to settle my bills with the rest of the family.

We were greeted with the news that Keir Starmer had won a convincing victory in the election for the Labour party leadership. Now although conventional politics has all but been suspended whilst the COVID-19 pandemic is upon us, it seems as we have a ‘proper’ opposition at last. I was musing to myself what two acts I would do within minutes of being elected and think I would settle on the following. The first thing I would is to offer new posts to Seamus Milne and Karie Murphy (these are the two extreme Left-wing, Stalinist aides who have hijacked the Labour Party since Corbyn was elected) Seamus Milne I would offer the post of a fraternal permanent delegate to the Peoples Republic of North Korea and suggest he could best fulfill his new role by living there. Karie Murphy has already been suggested for the House of Lords and I am struggling to find a suitable position for her. Perhaps a fraternal delegate to Kazakhstan might do the trick) The second thing I would do is to move the Labour Party HQ to Manchester – after all, it was the birthplace of the Trades Union Congress and has a blue plaque to prove it – of course, the proximity to the BBC and the whole media centre in Salford Quays would be important. I would leave a small branch office staffed by a couple of part-timers in London to make the point. Somehow, I don’t think that this is going to happen but we are living in very strange times politically.

This afternoon, as the weather was reasonably fine I managed to get our communal lawns cut (I maintain the communal grassland that serves our six houses and is some 500m²) and it is always a relief when the mower starts unproblematically. I am pleased to report that my efforts were supervised by Miggles, the good looking cat who has adopted us and she acts as a clerk-of-works whenever I am doing jobs in the garden, checking that everything is being done correctly. When I was having my mid-mowing break, she actually came and sat in my lap for a stroke but desiring something more, no doubt (foodwise!) As she prefers female laps to male laps, then this is quite something.


Meg in the Park
Meg in the Park


View from the park Bench
View from the park bench


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Friday, 3rd April, 2020 [Day 18]

It might sound a little strange to say that the highlight of our day is our walk down to the park and the people we meet there, with whom we can chat. Today was no exception for we met one of our Waitrose friends who was pushing her two baby girls out in their buggy. We chatted a lot about the NHS as we all have extensive links with it and our friend and her partner both work in the NHS. We had an interesting conversation concerning the way in which the modern NHS was taking people in some of the ancillary professions and training them up in more than one skill so that workers were, to some extent, multi-functional. Was this the way that the NHS was going to go in the future, we speculated.  After having given our friend this blog reference, I regaled her with one of the anecdotes in my ‘Virtually Challenged Anecdotes‘    ( all true stories) concerning our next-door neighbour when we lived in Wigston, Leicestershire. Our neighbour was a very doughty Belgian lady (Flemish to be exact) and when we had known for only a few days she recounted the story of how she had circumcised her husband with a carving knife on the kitchen table. This was all done under the friendly gaze of the local family doctor – whether they used any anaesthetic was not mentioned but I doubt it. As our neighbour proudly announced ‘Well, he was no use to me like that’ and subsequently her husband went on to sire both a son and a daughter.  We then went on our merry way and passed a distant neighbour who was out jogging – we both recognised each other vaguely by sight and we found out that she lived in a cottage about three hundred metres down the hill We both speculated that one of the unintended consequences of the present economic worries is that the developments which are threatening to engulf us will probably not now happen – or be delayed by a goodly number of years so that we will be past caring. Finally, we came across our new next door neighbour who was walking the family dog and we exchanged views (which we both happen to share) about the lack of talent in the present government who are trying to make the best of the pandemic for us.

As so many of our creative individuals have been subject to lockdown, their talents still continue to be manifest. On YouTube, there are a variety of COVID-19 parodies of popular song and film. Just entering ‘COVID parodies’ into Google will reveal many of them – for example, there is a rather nice COVID version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. But my particular favourite (and I think the funniest) is the Do-Re-Me song from The Sound of Music in which a new COVID soundtrack replaces the original – extremely funny!

I finally got round to clearing the tray I keep on top of my filing cabinet which houses the kinds of things you would normally keep in a desk-drawer such as paper clips, elastic bands, highlighters, tape, glue etc. etc. This has been threatened for several years but COVID has actually made it happen at last!


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Thursday, 2nd April, 2020 [Day 17]

The highlight of our day always seems to be our daily walk to the park where, with luck, we can bump into old friends and acquaintances. Today was no exception as we met one of our Waitrose friends who had been out exercising and was just completing what may have been an hour-long tour of the park and its environs. By a careful piece of foresight, I had brought my daily newspaper tokens with me – although the son and heir is always telling me that I ought to just read it electronically, I am still sufficiently old-fashioned ? stuck in my ways? to enjoy reading the authentic article. Anyway, our friend secured my newspapers for me ( a five minute walk away to our local Waitrose) and I had a book full of ‘schoolboy howlers’ (most of which I had already read before ) which I readily gave her in exchange for her efforts. I remember one of these schoolboy howlers as it was particularly apposite to our current times, assuming that we are experiencing at the moment has its parallels in the Black Death 1347-1353 (Thank you Google!) The question asked was ‘What did a big red cross signify when painted on the front door of a house?’ And the answer – ‘There is a fully trained member of the Red Cross inside ready to administer first aid’ We also struck up a conversation with an assistant from the local veterinary practice who was giving some walking therapy to an injured dog (a poodle and pointer cross since you ask) which had been badly injured in a road accident and had spent some six weeks as an ‘in-patient’ in their clinic. We exchanged some stories about the capacities of dogs to read human body language (researchers from an Italian university have recently investigated this and argue that dogs have the ability to read body language both in humans and other dogs- apparently we as mere humans lost this ability a very long time ago in our evolution)

This afternoon was meant to be a ‘tidying up’ afternoon but somehow, I never got round to it as I got diverted updating/refining some websites which I maintain more as a hobbyist/filing system rather than for any real computing intent. I have discovered a British website that offers ‘free’ unlimited webspace and the ability to create some subdomains which act rather as though they were completely independent websites. Normally, I am a little chary of such things but I am just putting trivial things on them (such as a minimalist HTML template, or a simple HTML lister) so that no real damage if the whole lot gets junked. They make money from advertising not on your website (which is a traditional model) but on the Control Panel which is used for maintenance purposes – which I then block in any case with an ad-blocker (although I do get messages requesting me to unblock my ad-blocker which is, I suppose, to be expected.)

My ex-colleague Eric has passed onto me a URL which gives an up-to-date picture of the latest published COVID-19  statistics so I will pass on it one for those readers who are compulsive followers of such things!

Just as an afterthought – today being Thursday, we all hung out of our windows and applauded all of the public sector workers (ourselves) is what is becoming a weekly tradition. However, the response was somewhat down on last week which was the first of these events – and as the hour had gone forward, it was still not quite dark so the dramatic effect was a little muted. Still, we did our bit! During the day, I took the opportunity to order 1000 single-use plastic-type gloves – I reckon this is going to go for months and they will always be useful. Delivery time is about 2-3 weeks but we can hang on with some that we already have in stock until then.


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Wednesday, 1st April, 2020 [Day 16]

Although as a child I used to say ‘White Rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits’ and then hold my fingers crossed behond my back until I saw a policman riding a white horse on the first day of the month, I began to think I was too old for such childish nonsense and decided not to go down this road again – finding any policman is rare enough, let alone on a white horse!

It was an interesting venture into the park today although the weather was a bit grey with a lot of overhanging cloud. A police car pulled up into the park (notwithstanding what I was saying just now) – Meg and I wondered if they were going to cast an eye over diverse dog walkers or even, as reputededly happened in Ipswich according to a recent letter in The Times, to admonish a couple for not exercising and who were therefore breaking the spirit of the newly created social universe which we now inhabit. Fortunately, our customary park bench was out of sight of the police car but it appeared that the couple of officers (male plus female) had just pulled in to have a snack of a chocolate bar and was not chasing miscreants such as myself. As we were drinking our coffee, an elderly lady who I know by sight came into view, walking her little Jack Russell terrior dog. As I was born only two days when World War II ended and I am nearly 75, I had worked out that the only people who had any first hand knowledge would have to be about ten years of age or older and thus be 85+ years of age. After explaining why I needed to know, I tentatively asked my acquaintance her age – it turned out that she was actually 85 (but looked younger). I had been thinking that people of that generation would have had to have shown some resourcefulness and resilience to have lived throughout the wartime years and that would probably stand them in good stead for the times that we living through at the moment. It turned out that neither of us had known our fathers – my friend’s father had been drowned (they thought) crossing from Sicily to Italy. Her house in rural Worcestershire had been subject to some bombing but the three bombs dropped nearby had actually missed her house. It turned out that the German bomber had been pursued by a British fighter plane and the bomber had released his bombs indiscrimately in order to lighten his load and make good his escape. I thought this was quite fascinating social hisory – I explained how my own mother was bombed out of her house in Hull before going to Liverpool (for what reason I have not managed to ascertain but my sister was born there) before being bombed out of her house in Liverpool. On our way home, a sight that gladdened the eye was to see a duck with a brood of 10 ducklings swimming towards us in the park pond. They only looked a day or so old and I had not noticed them before so I wonder when they were actually born. The other remarkable fact was the ducks had nested on an island which is sits astride a stone wall at least a metre high so I speculated that the mother duck must have encouraged one or two day old chicks to have plunged that distance to reach the pond  (a bit like us leaping at least from the top of a house)

Our daughter-in-law had very kindly offered to do the weekly shopping for us at a branch of Waitose in Droitwich. This was a surreal experience as the queue stretched right around the car park as individuals had to keep at least 2 metres apart and only about 10 were allowed in the store at any one time. However, we managed to get some basic supplies (at Waitrose prices!) to keep us going for the next week or so. I wonder what the COVID-19 death toll tomorrow will be as it was 560 today and can only get worse…


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Tuesday, 31st March, 2020 [Day 15]

A beautiful bright day today and consequently the park seemed somewhat fuller of dog-walkers than normal – I mean we could see about six people in total rather than two. I was thinking aloud whether if we were spotted sitting on a park bench, we would be moved on by an officious community police person or a park attendant. Mind you, this is an entirely artificial concept, as in twelve and a half years of living in Bromsgrove, I have never seen a uniformed police offer patrolling the streets of Bromsgrove. Occasionally ( once or twice a week), you might see a Police Community Support Officer and I suspect that park attendants were least seen in the pages of ‘The Beano‘ because I do not recall ever having seen once since. When they did disappear? Parking wardens first appeared in 1960 so perhaps one was transformed into the other. On the way home, we spent a pleasant 20 minutes or so chatting with one of our friends from church. We made her appear by the simple expedient of standing in front of her house and waving at a window until we were spotted – these chats help us all to stop having cabin fever.

In the afternoon, I carried on with the organisation of press-cuttings and articles which I had allowed to accumulate over the years. I now have them organised into folders comprising a variety of health conditions (which I won’t detail now), exercise, dietary issues, the ageing process and finally a category I call ‘newsworthy’. These are now housed in a couple of box-files and I am resolved both to keep them accessible and also to constantly file away new material as I find it. In this respect, The Times Health section often contains interesting material and is generally very reliable. In the late afternoon, we FaceTimed some of our Waitrose friends and exchanged news about current supermarket access and the state of the world in general. It’s great to be able to talk over a video-link like this and I wish I had started it sooner with many of my friends and acquaintances. I am resolved to also get to grips with Skype which is a bit of a closed book to me at the moment.

If I were a member of the NHS front-line staff, I think I would feel incredibly frustrated at the government’s response to the absence of sufficient testing for the COVID-19 virus. When faced with direct and sometimes penetrating questions, they resort to evasion, aspiration (‘We hope very much that soon we will…etc’)and occasionally, a direct misrepresentation, for example saying that the shortage of a suitable reagent in the testing process is the source of the problem. It is evident that there has been a massive lack of preparedness over the years and is now manifest by a deficit in the testing facilities, the staff to do the tests and the analysis, not to mention the kits themselves. I am finding that the daily briefing at 5.00 pm is particularly irksome as the journalists can pose quite pointed questions over their video- links but after an evasive reply not answering the question at all directly, the journalist is not given the opportunity to have any come-back and hence this plays straight into the politician’s hands. There will be a lot more of this in the next two weeks, I am sure.

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Monday, 30th March, 2020 [Day 14]

So the start of another week – and the end of our first fortnight of self-isolation. We were really looking forward this morning to taking delivery of our first Waitrose ‘Click and Collect‘ groceries which my son was picking up for us from a larger Waitrose store in Droitwich. However, we only received £13 worth of the £40 worth of goods ordered, many being unavailable alhough the website did not list them as being out of stock. These were mainly cleaning materials and anti-bacterial wipes which we could really have done with but evidently, just as if one were shopping in person, there were none to be had. At least the Amazon website is brutally honest when it says “We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock

My niece had sent me a link to her local church in Harrogate where they are offering a vew of the special mid-day prayers. As this was a YouTube reference, I put the reference on a website with a specially short and snappy name to help to access it – and then the problems started. On my Panasonic TV I found on the menu where, in theory, you could access the web – I ascertained that I did indeed have an internet connection. I was incredibly pleased to get my webpage up and loaded although it was very tedious typing to type in the name by picking out ony letter at a time on the keyboard so I accessed the link and waited. Then I got a message saying ‘YouTube cannot work with this browser‘ as it was out of date. So I attempted to download an update to FireFox which then informed me ‘Error – FireFox cannot display this page‘ At that stage, I gave up completely and went to view it on the computer in my study where it took only seconds to load. The ‘service’ was a little basic (the pastor sitting in a chair and reading out a few bits of scripture and a prayer/contemplation or so) but out of interest I wondered what the rest of YouTube was up to and discovered that if one wanted one could have complete Catholic Masses complete with video images of the church and congregation, full music and the like (mainly North American or Canadian) and evidently produced at a professional level. So if I need some spiritual consolation ( I am not at thet stage yet) we shall have to wait and see!

In the afternoon, I decided to tackle one of my well-known piles and made a fair degree of progress. I managed to throw away about half of the pile and the remainder was mainly newspaper articles and/or printouts from the internet which focussed on the following issues:

(i) bowel and prostate cancer

(ii) how to eat healthily

(iii) how to exercise healthily.

I then discovered to my delight that I had two empty box files (and an empty Apple iPad box which I can press into service) so the task for tomorrow is to do a proper sorting out into the relevant boxes and then finding a location in which to store the boxes (as my study is already rather full) I think it’s going to be a ‘top-of-the-bookcase’ jobby but at least it helps to fulfil the pledge both to my son and our home help that ‘There is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth‘ – but I will have to keep on repenting until the study (and the rest of the house) are in a completely ship-safe and orderly state. Another bout of tidying up/sorting out/throwing away/filing awaits tomorrow no doubt. Incidentally, our local park was incredibly quiet this morning – we were approached by several enthusiastic licking dogs (whose owners kept at a respectable distance)

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Sunday, 29th March, 2020 [Day 13]

I always think that the day after the clocks is the first actual day of spring, whatever the date of the Spring equinox – it is nice to get an hour of extra light at the end of the day. Although it seems a big job to get all of the clocks in the house done. my son and I share the tasks between us so it is soon done. I just have to remember the alter the time in the car the next time I take it for a drive. This afternoon, we decided to devote the time to a good clean of the house, now that our weekly help is not available to us. I did a certain amount of tidying up before hoovering and now fully appreciate what a difficult job it must be week by week when I leave little piles of things on the floor. Nonetheless, as a result of tidying up, I have now discovered a calculator which had been temporarily mislaid, two books that were in places that I did not expect them be (although I intend to give both of them away) and some coloured electicians tape littering my study floor (I used it for bookbinding purposes when I run several pages of e.g. a manual and make it into a little book, properly stapled and with tape covering the spine if you really wanted to know!)

My son managed to get me a Sunday Times and an Observer which were very gratefully received. From the Sunday Times, I discovered the following:

UK COVID-19 tests per week:35,000 Deaths : 1000+

Germany COVID-19 tests per week: 500.000 (available to all who ask for them) Deaths: 400

Our populations are similar so that is quite a telling statistic! When challenged over the evident delay exhibited by the government before their volte-face, the response by various government ministers is always either complete prevarication or the mantra ‘we have always been guided by the science’ One wonders when this is all over and we have an official enquiry, what it will actually reveal (although I feel that we could probably write the enquiry report now)


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Saturday, 28th March, 2020 [Day 12]

Well, I sort of struck lucky in the wee small hours of the morning. I had set up an account with Waitrose ‘Click and Collect‘ mainly for cleaning materials, wipes and the non-food items that we were likely to run out in a couple of weeks time (or at least, not find in the store) To my delight, a ‘slot’ came up on Monday next which I eagerly accepted although it entails a jouney (by son and/or daughter-in-law to nearby Droitwich, where the Waitrose store is so much bigger) It will be interesting to see how much of the original order is actually fulfilled – we shall see!

Today, I was also delighted to be the recipient of ‘The Times‘ and ‘The Guardian‘ which had kindly been collected for us by the family on their morning walk. Although we are prepared to forego newspapers during the week, those on a Saturday are particularly valuable as they contain the guides TV programmes in the week to come.

As I was watching TV tonight, I was particularly struck by how pointless many of the advertisements are on commercial TV. Of course, they would have been commissioned months ago and made weeks ago – but an advert advocating a particular brand of cosmetic seems singularly pointless when it is impossible to go to a shop that could sell it for me. I forget who it was who opined that at least half of all the money spent on advertising is absolutely wasted but the difficulty remains that no one can discern which half!

I thought I would attempt to be virtuous today – if the weather had been better, I would have spent some time in the garden doing a bit of a spring tidy up. Instead, I engaged in a stepper routine to which I have a link via YouTube – the presenter is quite a likeable young American lady who with her partner runs a series of programmes called on a website called It takes me about 15 minutes and gets me out of breath as well as exercising my lower body – in the meantime, to get me going for the day, in the morning and before breakfast I do a series of Pilates style stretches and incorporate a 4kg weight to make sure my arm muscles do not waste away. The way that I know whether these various exercises are doing their job is (a) how easy it is to put a loaded suitcase in an overhead luggage compartment when one is going on holiday (a distant hope?) and (b) whether my muscles ache or not after the first mowing of the season (which tends to be the heaviest one) Whilst on the fitness theme, I am in two minds whether to do the online yoga course which my local yoga studio is putting on to try and gain a bit of income for themselves whilst it is not possible to attend in person. I think I probably will if only I would like their small business to keep going after the ‘crisis’ and a combination of yoga and Pilates exercises ought to keep me in shape.

The news continues to be shocking, of course, and I keep wondering where the ‘inflection‘ point of the curve will come i.e. the point at which the rate of new cases starts to moderate, indicating one is nearing the tope of the curve. The following is copied from the MedScape website:

        Number of Patients With COVID-19 in ICU Doubles Every 2 to 3 Days

  • Manca has calculated from the Italian data that the number of patients in intensive care with COVID-19 initially doubles every 2 to 3 days.
  • This rate slows fractionally every day until, after 3 to 4 weeks, the doubling time is around 4 to 5 days. Around day 18, the rate of increase is maintained for 3 to 4 days without increasing further, known as the “inflection point”, after which the rate of increase in ICU cases begins to drop.
  • He found that the inflection point was reached in Lombardy 19 days after the outbreak started in the region.
  • For the rest of Italy, that point will not be reached until the start of next month, he therefore predicts. The consequence is that “every day counts,” he stressed.

On these calculations, we still have 2 more weeks of really bad news. Interesting that exhibition centres (ExCel in London, NEC in Birmingham, GMex in Manchester) are now being commissioned as instant hospitals-cum-morgues.

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