on time

houses for workers
became homes of unemployed
miles from anywhere

~

n.b. Not much going on in the old pit villages, unless you can afford a car. As you can see, not many cars, although one has an L-plate. Too many places in England have been built over the years out on a limb, so when the work goes the people become isolated.

Will the Internet and working from home technology bring decent wages back to the hills?

~

CLP 22/01/2022

on Switzerland

fog patches the lake
fills mountain hollows
crows welcome autumn
and so many sparrows
at café tables
hopping through hedges
on window ledges
living off crumbs

last night
in the marble foyer of La Poste
a street-dirty sleeping bag
heavy with sleeper

this courteous
stable, secure
discreet nation
has many sparrows

~

CLP 24/09/2021

Lockdown 3 (Day 14): Morrison’s

A security tag is supposed to be automatically approved and cancelled when scanned at the till.

If it goes off at the exit, don’t worry. The security guard has gone home already and I know your face anyway.”

Great to know that the art of careless talk survives and no she doesn’t know my face as I always wear a face covering from neck to the bridge of my nose every time I am in the shop.

Coronavirus fatigue is kicking in. The vaccines are being distributed and the people are slackening their guards…and security guards.

Three of the points I raised yesterday are in the national news today:

  1. How much is a life worth?
  2. Who should be vaccinated first?
  3. What are the world’s wealthiest nations doing to ensure humankind all gets a fair share of the vaccines?

Meanwhile the UK had the highest recorded death rate in the world per hundred thousand Covid-19 infections.

Don’t even mention Brexit to me, please.

Alexander Johnson suddenly wants us all to be kind and civil when discussing political matters, so we are not like those ‘ghastly colonials’ (he implies).

Perhaps he might help by actually answering some very straight questions with some relevant answers?

I will stop there.

~

CLP 18/01/2021

Lockdown 3 (Day 13) Wensum Park

It didn’t take long for the snow to go. Just pockets of compacted ice in shaded corners and the decomposing remains of snowmen on the lawns of the parks. The low Sun was wonderful. I walked with my face covering in place for most of the time, so am dubious as to whether I topped up my vitamin D levels. Just being out in the bright light was invigorating enough.

I was out a little later than yesterday, but most people seemed in good humour today too. Was it because it was Sunday, the blue sky and brilliant light, more obvious signs of spring, or the relative warmth? Or is Norwich just inhabited by good-natured pedestrians? Any or all of that might be true or false. The sample size is too small to verify the posited theories. The evidence too subjective.

The Great Clown has enjoyed a reduced presence in the media these past couple of days, which may be another reason why the populace of this fine city are in gentle humour. Who knows? I hope that the hospital teams are able to share in the elevated mood of the weekend.

The last report from Twitter on Friday was that around 600 people are being treated for Covid-19 in the county’s hospitals. The number of infected per 100,000 was recorded in the local newspaper as 628.9 for the past week for the city; now the highest in Norfolk The coronavirus needs host bodies to live in and this is the vicinity where there are potential host bodies in the greatest numbers.

The question now is whether the third lockdown will be sustained until infection rates are minuscule, or until the proportion of those vaccinated is such that we can start a revised social existence.

I understand that the Chinese government is vaccinating everyone up to the age of 50 years first, as these are the most economically active. In the UK it is the most aged and vulnerable groups first, as well as where possible, medical staff. The UK decision is based on cost-effective use of vaccines considering life’s saved per vaccination.

But are all lives equal in the UK?

The life of an 80 year old saved by vaccination provides +1.26 years of saved life.

The life of a 40 year old saved by vaccination would save +41.26 years of saved life, which is 32.75 times more saved life years than saving one 80 year old.

This assumes every one lives to 81.26 years of age, (the average life expectancy in the UK as of 2018 – which is falling apparently as a result of the decade of Tory cuts).

Like you, I am a little unsettled by considering these calculations, but these are the kinds of calculations that are being made to decide how to distribute the government funded vaccine.

Or might the vaccinations be distributed by employment categories? Of these which group would you vaccinate first? All the (low-paid) customer-contacting key workers? Yes! I say.

Another alternative might be to let the richest buy what they can afford and let everyone else enjoy the leftovers, which is how the “free” market works. This pandemic exposes the flaws in that system, I suggest.

Incidentally, this is what the richest countries are doing, leaving the world’s more impoverished nations to get to the back of the queue for vaccines, unless they magic up some of their own, or break the code and infringe the patents, as India had to do previously with other medications.

~

CLP 17/01/2021