Turns out that the three-tiered system that the UK government introduced a while back is the old five-tiered system with the two top tiers removed because they thought that the worst of the pandemic was over.
Locally, we are a tiny blob on the map of the UK that is now in Tier 4. Petersfield is not. Southampton is not. Neither is Chichester. As far as I know, that is.
Turns out that the UK has a second strain of the virus going around that does not appear to be more deadly and does not appear to make people more ill but that is much more contagious. So the hospitals are being flooded again.
For those who don’t realize that… when many people fall ill, that too shuts down businesses! The mere fact that too many people are ill to keep companies and services running. This is why the idea of “protecting the NHS” actually makes sense. It works both ways.
So we have that second strain circulating locally. (Sorry that I previously thought that local people were just being more stupid than people in, say, Southampton, but the rise in cases here is likely due to that second strain.)
Turns out that there is at least one person in my native country who now has that second, more infectious strain too. They’ve closed the country to air travel from the UK. (I don’t know what they’re doing about other types of travel from the UK. They’ve gone into their tightest lockdown yet, anyway, over there.)
While I stopped following Covid news, webinars, what have you some time ago because there was no longer a lot of news in this area that interested me – and my hackers may have been keeping a number of interesting webinars from me; they’ve done this kind of stuff several times before, after all – I have been left with the really surprising impression that I was one of the few people in the UK who knew very early on what was happening – the main lines, not the details such as how to target the virus through a vaccine, of course – and had at least some idea of what was coming. Do you know what a bizarre feeling that is?!
Because I sit here talking to the walls bored to death on most days because:
- A bunch of sadistic idiots continues to target me. Just because they can.
- The UK government says that people like me are low-skilled liars.
- The English believe that most women are defective males and are nowhere near as capable as males.
- The English believe that people over 35/45 are as good as brain-dead.
- The English believe that people blessed with very well-working brains are stupid.
- Other ridiculous nonsense to do with otherisation including that stupid English class system.
Hilarious! (Yes, I do have to laugh about it.)
Meanwhile, local idiots without face cover go around hassling female customers and female security guards at supermarkets. Probably because we’re approaching Christmas. That always produces a peak in domestic violence in the UK. <sarcasm>I wonder why.</sarcasm>
I have also noticed, though, that not everyone around me is being an idiot. Not at all. And I remember that people were really really good during the first lock-down, the one that started in March.
I am not saying I am perfect either. I too am fed up with the stupid masks and I too keep having to remind myself to keep that distance, but I am going to do that thing again where I step off the sidewalk when needed and when safe because it serves as a reminder for others as well.
It is hard for me too. (It’s not true that all scientists have immensely rigid minds. That does go for some. Sure. Those types can annoy the crap out of me too at times, because they often have immense tunnel vision, of which I understand how it comes about. Sometimes you just have to learn to communicate with these types or use an intermediary.)
Yes, it is hard for me too. But I have the advantage of having had scientific lab routines in the past and that probably helps me to develop such habits and remind me to stick with them without being anally retentive about it.
When the pandemic started, and we did not have many facts yet, I used to disinfect almost all of my shopping until it became clear that that was probably overkill. It didn’t do any harm, in any case. I was not worried about getting Covid for myself – because among other things, me dying would finally end my crappy situation here; let’s face it – but carrying the virus with me might cause me to infect others and I don’t want to do that. So I did things for no other reason than that it was simply the right thing to do. Period. And because it was something that I happened to be able to do.
Now can all the assholes who are sabotaging my life – and undoubtedly the lives of many others as well – stop doing that shit so that some of us can make a living during what are economically very challenging times for everyone except the ultra-rich? That might enable some of us to support some others.
For crying out loud!
Because it is clear that while the lockdowns are making shop after shop after shop and chain after chain after chain collapse, THIS IS the situation we are in and we must adjust. We can’t pretend it is not happening. We certainly can’t just do that typically English obstinacy thing any longer. We need to find new ways of working and supporting each other.
(Alternatively, can one of the many people in this town who probably know exactly what is going on inform me and help me resolve this situation that I am in? I need my goddamn life back. I want my life back. I may have some idea as to what is going on but a large amount of manipulative game-playing and smoke-and-mirrors stuff goes on in Portsmouth and even me being right about some of what is going on does not help me resolve it and get me my life back so that I can function in a professional capacity.)
Yes, I’ve decided to go back to being who I was, largely. A LOUD intelligent and confident woman whose communication style was Dutch-American and who set her own course and who often does lots of stuff because it is FUN and who many of the English hated. A boss. Deal with it.
And me being LOUD may even include me acting like one of those crazy softies. Again, deal with it.
(Because me sitting here powerless is not doing anyone any good. And many English people are always annoyed or offended no matter what you do or don’t do or wear or don’t wear etc.)
For the record, it looks like some of the Dutch are also being really stupid about the pandemic. I just read that some of them go to Belgium for their Christmas shopping even though Belgium has asked them not to do that and then for example start arguing in shops about the rules there. But I am not in the Netherlands.
Ultimately, what does this pandemic mean?
That we’re alive! It’s part of life. It’s part of what it means to be alive. That’s all. So, deal with it. Just like you water your plants when they need water and mow your lawn when the grass gets higher than you like. On the other hand, you don’t continue to mow a lawn on which the grass has died just because you are used to mowing the lawn.
So stop whinging about the things you can’t do at the moment and embrace the things you can do. ZOOM with relatives and friends at Christmas, for example. Many of you can still have dinner together and raise the glass to each other’s health. You wouldn’t have been able to do that a decade or so ago, would you? So be happy that you CAN now!
The pandemic also means that there are wonderful and important lessons to be learned and it’s up to us all whether we see them and apply them or ignore them. I think that we would do the latter at our peril.