Lockdown thoughts.

My grandmother had a saying during those occasional emergencies we’ve all lived through – some things are sent to try us. Its meaning was have some patience, hunker down, keep your powder dry and this thing you’ve no way of fighting will eventually wash over us and then be gone. She had a lot of other ones too which were a lot more direct, such as a much more salty equivalent of the more modern saying that when the shit hits the fan, all the elbows and arses better go into overdrive working together, or we’re all buggered.

I do notice people working together in the face of the corona virus lockdown . A simple instance is that I’ve grocery shopped online for years. For a few bucks extra, I clicked on everything we needed, and could select a convenient delivery date and time one or two days hence. Nowadays, there are no delivery slots available for the next three weeks, which is as far as the online software was ever designed to cope with. But if you’re lucky, you can occasionally find a free slot momentarily appearing, so you load it up.

Having secured a delivery slot, the decent form these days is to ring around your neighbours also in self-isolation asking if there’s anything they need that you can add into your delivery. Whatever they want gets added into it and is always paid back to me scrupulously, right down to the last penny. With all of us hanging upside down like bored bats in the batcave, it’s become incredibly easy to hit the online 80 order items limit, which I never previously knew existed.

But, the reciprocal support thing kicks in, so I get a call from a neighbour who’s bagged a delivery slot, and what do I need? A few essential bits, but if anyone else needs some stuff more badly, I’ve got a few tins of Heinz beans in the garage and a loaf of brown bread in the freezer, so I can get by. It’s all a bit hit and miss, catch as catch can stuff as they say, but it’s working.

I know there are growing questions about the validity of this supposed emergency, especially as Professor Pandemic himself who sparked off the whole hysteria has resigned as a government advisor because he was caught sneaking out of the isolation he so strongly recommended to pork another man’s wife on a regular basis, but not withstanding that and the wholesale destruction of economies across the civilised world, there are more than a few positives to be found in the whole disaster.

Last Friday was the 75th anniversary of VE day. By all accounts, at the time it was one massive impromptu street party. After six years of bombings, rationing, losing or worrying about loved ones in the services, people were out literally dancing in the streets. Given the stresses of those times, such a cathartic outburst of joy is understandable. Things such as a young wife raising a family who hadn’t seen her young husband in nearly six years in some cases. If you happened to be serving in places like Burma in the forgotten 14th army against the Japanese in the hell of jungle warfare, there were no weekend passes home.

Quite simply, thousands spontaneously turned out on the Mall leading up to Buckingham palace and apparently it was the first time the then king and queen, complete with daughters Elizabeth and Margaret had appeared on that by now famous balcony. After doing their duty waving back to the crowds, the two daughters slipped away to join the thousands strong crowd. Not an iota of security – those were the days.

We, like everybody else in the row of houses in the lane, got a little note shoved through our door. In essence, it was drafted I suspect by the teenage offspring of a neighbour down the lane and as part of their home schooling, they’d discovered VE day and its revels. It was an invitation to have a street party, not together but everyone in their own front garden keeping social distancing rules.

Like everyone else who’s been in lockdown for what feels like months, we reacted like the gregarious creatures we are who’d missed just chatting to other people. The picnic table was moved out front, a bottle of white wine from the fridge opened on it, chilled glasses, a few nibbles arranged in bowls and a spray of our peonies arranged in the centre of the table. They blossom a deep blood red and only last a few days, but they remind me of my late father-in-law who gave me the tubers from his own garden which over the years I’ve spread around the place.

It was a beautiful warm day, almost summer like. Neighbours chatted over hedges, walked up and down the lane saying hello or introducing themselves and generally enjoying being out of what feels like solitary confinement at times. It was a fine, relaxed, easy day that everyone needed, though I suspect a few hadn’t realised it until that afternoon.

All of it was sparked by someone essentially saying let’s do something all together, even if it’s a bit stilted and strange in this social distancing day.

New York city had a two day blackout in 1977, no electricity at all, no TV, no phones, no petrol because the pumps needed electricity too, down to bed at sunset and up at the crack of dawn. What’ll we do tonight darling? The end result was the maternity wards in the city nearly exploding 9 months later, so I kinda think maternity wards around the world should definitely be bracing themselves for a boost in business around Christmas time.

Early on, I heard about this gesture of expressing appreciation to the front line medical support teams who’re running the greatest risks by caring for those who have this damned virus, and therefore running a bigger risk of getting killed by it themselves by just going into work every day and keeping on doing their jobs. At 8pm Zulu time every Thursday evening, just stand outside your house and clap for a minute to recognise them.

I’m a complete sucker for unsung heroes, so I did it the first night and was alone on the footpath before our house, feeling a bit foolish and clapping away into the sunset, but over the weeks it’s become a thing. The past Thursday, there was everyone the length of the lane out there clapping and every passing car hit their horn and flashed their lights in solidarity. Delivery vans with the driver’s fist out of a rolled down window punching the air.

I’m reminded of a story, possibly from Aesop’s fables or somewhere else in the classics, about someone teaching a young man wisdom rather than just bare facts, which any indifferent teacher can do. He’d been on the receiving end of a ranty speech that used phrases like life was for the strong, the weak shall go to the wall, the strong will rule the world blagh de bloody blagh. It was possibly Socrates. He picked up a twig of kindling and handed it to the angry young man, and asked if he could snap it in two.

The twig was duly snapped in two and both halves tossed either way, and then the wiser head handed him the bunch of twigs that had all been delivered as a bound up bundle. Let me see you snap this in two. Of course, it couldn’t be done. What became known as the Socratic method of education eschewed in the main the notion of telling those who wanted to learn what to think. It basically works by asking a student questions to make them think for a change. Asking too many awkward questions eventually got Socrates judicially murdered by the supposed enlightened elders of ancient Athens, so as they say in these days, no good deed goes unpunished.

The takeaway impression I’ve got from several people is they’re starting to ask themselves some awkward questions. It’s not that they’re bad people or ever were, it’s just in the busy day to dayness of life, it’s easy to lose sight of the point of it all and you start to miss that grandchild who always burrows inside your fleece while he’s sitting on your knee and you’re reading a book to him. Why he does that is anybody’s guess, but within 10 minutes, he’s fast asleep and his mum doesn’t have any problems extracting him and getting him to bed upstairs. That one has just turned two and the phrase the terrible twos was probably invented solely for him.

He’s a high energy toddler who walked very early, but he rarely walks – it’s always a jog or a full on raging rhinoceros charge at you. The other toddlers at his creche call him Boss Baby, which tells you a lot about their viewing habits and his elemental nature. If you want the unvarnished truth, ask a kid and brace yourself for the response. At sleepy time, I have the impression that if his mum happened to drop him, there’d just be this kinda dull thud from the floor and he’d sleep on undisturbed. He puts that amount of energy into his day.

They always stay over Easter with us, but given the current situation, that was never going to happen, but I missed them terribly. Tearing around the house, watching their favourite movies together, disheveling my study, the goodnight hug and kiss, making them dragon’s teeth toast and laying out as the last task of my day two little squares of chocolate on their desk in the study for them to find in the morning, as always.

©Pointman

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Comments
17 Responses to “Lockdown thoughts.”
  1. Behind Enemy Lines says:

    Another fine essay, Pointy.

    I am quietly hopeful that along with the obvious downside, much good will come of the kung flu timeout.

    Like

  2. babygrandparents says:

    I enjoyed another fine essay. However – having had my wife die at 60, I have made the conscious decision that I will not forgo the pleasure of having my 2 grand children over and joining them for the occasional dinner. If I were to come down with this virus tomorrow and things turned dire, I would not have to say on my deathbed that I was not able to enjoy my grand children as I could. I saw that with my wife. And I would say the same if things turned bad. Life is way too damn short. And I intend to live longer. But not without enjoying the grand children when I can. I could be hit by a bus or other occurrence during the night.

    Like

  3. gallopingcamel says:

    Somehow the grit drained out of my countrymen. Seventy five years ago they would climb up on to the top of a building to man anti-aircraft guns while tons of bombs rained down. Now they “Cower in Place” in fear of a virus that will kill 0.03% of them.

    Never before in human history have healthy people been quarantined yet the USA and many countries in Europe panicked. Sweden did not panic and treated COVID-19 as just another ‘flu that eventually will infect everyone.

    In the USA the “Lockdown” did achieve something but not what was intended:

    While the weekly US death toll from all causes hit a 20 year high in the week ending April 11, it hit a 20 year low only two weeks later. So what caused the weekly death toll to drop by over 22,000? Most people would answer “The Lockdown” and most people would be right for the wrong reason.

    ……………………………………DEATHS PER WEEK
    ………………………………..COVID-19 OTHER TOTAL
    Week ending April 11 11,302 58,578 69,880
    Week ending April 18 18,400 44,598 62,998
    Week ending April 25 14,691 32,835 47,526

    These figures suggest that the lockdown had little effect on deaths due to the COVID-19 but had a huge, unprecedented effect on “Other” deaths. FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) created by the coronavirus panic caused a dramatic drop in hospitalizations. All around the country hospitals are half empty while surgical staff are being furloughed. Deaths will remain abnormally low until “Operating Rooms” resume operating.

    Hospitals are amazingly dangerous places so when 50% of their beds are empty the death rate is going to fall.

    Like

    • Blackswan says:

      gallopingcamel – Your opening statement reflected my own thoughts. What indeed has become of True Grit? Oh. I forgot. That’s just another old John Wayne movie.

      The evidence is mounting from whistleblower doctors and scientists, and clearly available to anyone online, that this Plandemic hysteria is a fraud, a psy-op to control the masses, destroy the global economy, small business and supply chains, and to strip all free nations’ citizenry of their human rights and independence.

      The West’s ” …lockdown is based on the computer modelling of a scientist with a track record of failed predictions and whose widely-criticised methodology is subject to such secrecy, he still has not released the source code underpinning his model.

      https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/04/23/delingpole-why-must-covid-19-decision-makers-be-clouded-in-secrecy/

      Google it … the evidence of fraud is everywhere.

      From Tanzania, usually dismissed as a Third World ‘basket-case’, comes a glimmer of light;

      “ … the imported test kits were faulty as they had returned positive results on a goat and a pawpaw”.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-tanzania/tanzania-suspends-laboratory-head-after-president-questions-coronavirus-tests-idUSKBN22G295

      Meanwhile, as the insignificant worker ants on the valley floor scurry about in ill-founded panic, they continue to fall under the heels of the global jackboots methodically stripping them of every freedom their forebears ever fought and died for.

      Take this example as the epitome of Fascist destruction of our freedom.

      A quietly spoken and articulate young woman in Sydney Australia, wearing a sandwich-board style handwritten sign and holding the hand of her 4 year old son, is set upon by a pack of belligerent, beer-gutted and fully armed police officers.

      They invaded her space yelling into her face that she was breaking “social distancing” rules, tore her screaming child from her arms, man-handled her into a paddy wagon slamming the door on her leg as she fought to escape them … and why?

      She wore a sign that said; “If you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any. Magna Carta”. That’s it.

      Please watch the video in this piece – though it’s truly sickening.

      https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/coronavirus-australia-dramatic-arrest-of-a-mother-protesting-in-sydney-shocks-bystanders/news-story/b628c2ba966d54a4170cc5288bddc088

      We hear so much about “herd immunity” … all I see is a Herd Mentality.

      Liked by 4 people

      • gallopingcamel says:

        Similar things are happening in some states in the USA. COVID-19 may prove to be “Something Wonderful” given that it has laid bare problems that need to be addressed without delay. For instance:

        1. China cannot be trusted. They lie, cheat and steal so we need to reverse the “Off-Shoring” process that transferred 6 million jobs to China.

        2. We need to secure our border as tight as a fish’s ar****le. When the second wave of COVID-19 starts in the fall we need the ability to shut down international travel within 24 hours.

        3. We will never again shut down the economy by quarantining healthy people. We will keep the economy going no matter what while quarantining only sick and vulnerable people.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. JayS says:

    I always look forward to your articles for their directness, but why do I get the feeling that you’re holding back with this one?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pointman says:

      You’re perceptive. I’ve growing doubts about the accuracy of the computer models lashed together by the so-called experts in a couple of weeks before the lockdown started. Computer models can’t cope with the granularity of real life. There are simply too many assumptions and prejudices built into them.

      See – https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/the-seductiveness-of-models/

      The hoary old line “the computer models predict …” lends a spurious authority to what’s just guessing. The Spanish flu killed upwards of 50M people in 6 months, we’re nowhere near that number.

      Pointy

      Like

      • JayS says:

        I have to ask. Google, duckduckgo etc come up with zilch on dragon’s teeth toast. What is it?

        Like

      • Pointman says:

        I made the name up on the spot. Ask a toddler if they want some toast, you’ll get a meh or refusal. Ask if they want dragon’s teeth toast and you’ll get a big yes. Basically, toast a slice of bread, slab on real butter as soon as it pops out of the toaster. Then a scrape of brown sauce, Marmite, Vegimite, chocolate spread or whatever savoury spread they like across it and then make dragon’s teeth. You basically walk a big chef’s knife down the slice of toast cutting out diagonal pizza slices.

        Et voila! Dragon’s teeth toast to nibble on as you settle down to watch your favourite cartoons.

        Pointy

        Like

      • Blackswan says:

        Pointman,

        If you’re having “growing doubts”, be assured that the whole world is now waking up to the corrupt Ferguson’s fraud upon which the whole world’s economy has been crashed.

        ///”Non-deterministic outputs. Due to bugs, the code can produce very different results given identical inputs. They routinely act as if this is unimportant.

        This problem makes the code unusable for scientific purposes, given that a key part of the scientific method is the ability to replicate results.”///

        https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/computer-model-locked-down-world-turns-out-be-shtcode?

        And James Delingpole’s excellent and comprehensive article from almost a month ago …..

        ///”As things stand, this kind of software is known in the programming community as a ‘black box programme’ — you put numbers in, and other numbers come out, but nobody can see what’s going on inside and how or why it works. This is an advantage in some applications where you want to protect your code from plagiarism, but when it comes to making policy decisions for nations, it means no accountability.”///

        https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/04/23/delingpole-why-must-covid-19-decision-makers-be-clouded-in-secrecy/

        The world is finally being stirred from its slumbers. At least, I hope so.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. JayS says:

    Happy birthday Pointy. Is it a big one?

    Like

  6. Graeme No.3 says:

    O/T but re your side bits…Blackpool has coconut palms?

    Like

  7. Prophet says:

    I can’t always read your blogs as I suffer from a purported mental illness known a scitzophrenia. I understand you and every direction you come from with your blogs. I’m Just a phenomena redused to acrobatics. God blesss you and this oasis I sometimes visit on the world wide web.

    Like

    • Pointman says:

      You’re always be welcome here Prophet. Pointman’s bar & grill. In winter, there’ll be an armchair and a roaring fire you can warm the soles of your feet, and in Summer, a front patio with a constant north eastern breeze to cool you and your glass of beer.

      Pointy

      Like

  8. Russ Wood says:

    Pointy – just an aside on computer models… At one time in my early career as an aircraft design engineer, I was having consistent run-ins with the marketing department over the furnishings of an executive jet we were building. I would do calculations on the lay-out which would show that if implemented, might cause the aircraft not to take-off. And the marketing department would not believe me and sell that layout anyway. So, I wrote a computer program which performed exactly the same calculation, but produced a nice multi-page report. Then I could say “The COMPUTER says you can’t do that!” and be believed! Since then, I’ve never trusted models unless I could see the maths and data behind them. Same thing with ‘globull worming’ – the reports say what the author wants.

    Like

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