2020 Jul 26 - Coronavirus Update

Ok, let's do the coronavirus update, the main news is that fair few people are starting to go back to work, and not just the people that work at the crematorium. Restaurants and cafes are opening up and visiting a beer garden no longer means waking up in your back yard surrounded by empty cans. There's even talk about playing sporting events again, albeit with a rule about stadiums only being half full, though having been to a couple football games in the Scottish second division, that means business as usual for a lot of teams. Certainly the severity of the economic contraction hasn't been helped by the country's almost complete switch to a service based economy rather than one more focussed on heavy industry where ironically a lot of the jobs like welding and mining used to involve wearing masks.

Nonetheless, times have changed and that way of life has gone, very much like Prince Andrew in Beatrice's wedding photos. Tell you what, when I heard that he'd been airbrushed out of the wedding photos I though at least it makes a nice change from Prince Andrew doing the touching up.

The real battle of course will be over schools where 4 factions are lining up for battle: The parents who want their kids to be in school, the parents who are terrified of their children being around lots of other children, the teachers who want to remain on paid time off until there's a vaccine or they can retire and the government who know whatever solution they pick will be polarising and therefore are hoping that some kind of consensus can be reached by the newspapers and internet. This is the same panel of experts that couldn't decide what colour that dress was a few years ago, or whether that audio clip going around was saying "Laurel" or "Yannee" If you've ever read an opinion piece by a columnist who can't decide whether to bring back hanging, or whether hanging's too good for those people, that is where policy will come from as to how schools will operate during the next year. For what it's worth the science very much seems to say there's no risk: I'm looking at a study of Chicago where only 2 people under the age of 19 have died from Covid, as compared to 12 from accidents, 4 from suicide, 36 from other or pending investigation and and 46 from gun violence. The latter is due to the fact that large swathes of that city are open war zones run by gangs: criminals in Chicago tend to be a lot more violent and a lot less funny than the movie Home Alone would suggest.

To give the government some credit, Boris can hardly be said to be disinterested in the disease. He had it and nearly died. He's presumably very aware that whatever he chooses is going to result in immense damage being wrought, either to peoples' health, the country's economy or the Scottish question. Nonetheless, it is his job, and the cabinet's, to make that decision. I'm hoping that perhaps one lesson to be learnt from the Coronavirus is that next time politicians want to give themselves a pay rise for the valuable work they do, maybe the public should stand up and instead offer to give them a round of applause on a Thursday evening.
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