One day in January I found myself gasping for breath to breathe. Three months later I’m still finding myself puffing and blowing after more or less any effort to do anything physical. Things that took me one minute to do now take me five minutes. And that means that I can do five times less than I used to be able to do. I’m better than I was but still not recovered.
For example my Glaciation climate simulation model, which has been in development for two years, has pretty much entirely come to a halt. And blog posts on the current blog are getting shorter.
I’ve been writing this blog almost daily since 2009, but it now seems that I have a choice between writing about a fifth of what I used to every day, or writing once every five days. And I don’t know which it will be.
Since 2007 I’ve stopped going to pubs between the months of October and April, so now is the time in the year when excluded smokers like me usually get to enjoy a beer or two in English pub gardens. This year I can’t even do that, because all the pubs in England are closed during the current coronavirus lockdown. So while I’ve partly disabled by shortage of breath, the British government has now made sure that I’m completely disabled from visiting any pub at all. And I expect that many of the pubs which closed when the lockdown started may never open their doors again. I won’t be at all surprised if the 2020 coronavirus proves to be as damaging for British pubs as the smoking ban was in 2007.
Nor do I think that the British government cares any more now than it did then about British pubs. In fact I don’t think it cares much about any sort of peculiarly British culture at all, now that it’s all deemed to be “inessential”. What’s “essential” these days is what keeps people alive and healthy, under the heartless modern tyranny of Health. Everything else – companionship, pleasure, all the little delights of social life – is unimportant.
But I’ve begun to think that what the goverment thinks is inessential is actually everything that is essential for a full and truly human life, and that staying alive and healthy is the ;east important part of it. The government may think that it doesn’t matter if friends can no longer meet for a few months during the lockdown, but I think it’s a catastrophe. And practising “social distancing” just as bad. Should we ever be as proud as we are now are to encourage social division?
In the UK, the lockdown is anyway intended to help the struggling National Health Service, not the British people. Isn’t this the wrong way round? Aren’t the British People more important than the NHS? And isn’t the lockdown another demonstration of the modern tyranny of Health? And isn’t the new practice of publicly applauding nurses and doctors also part of that new tyranny, particularly when used to censure those who have failed to applaud loudly enough?
My personal inclination is to applaud the British people, who always seem to come last in consideration behind all other ethnic groups, and who always seem to come last in consideration behind all other social concerns. But they are just a few odd thoughts in a dwindling number of odd thoughts.