Going Viral… it’s what they do

So, this virus is still pissing everyone off. If only we could make tiny hammers to smash the little buggers, eh?

Right, so what do we actually know? Not much, as it goes. It’s a new one, it’ll take a long time to figure out what it can and cannot do and by then, one or other of us will be dead. Of course, if the virus kills us, it’s dead too. It cannot reproduce without a host.

It is the way of viruses to gradually mutate into less deadly versions. If they don’t, if they wipe out their host species, they die too. There are viruses that have perfected this. They are in us all now, reproducing slowly, doing no real harm, parasitising with nobody noticing. That takes a long time but I suspect they all get there in the end.

It’s the boisterous new kid on the block that always causes most damage. The thug virus, in Burberry and drugged to the eyes, not yet realising it depends for its very existence on those it is trying to kill. It will calm down, eventually, but it will kill a lot of people before it does.

Okay, what do we have? Most of it is unproven and some of it is just hearsay but we have to go with what we have for now.

First, it is not a hoax. Some are still saying this. I have noticed though, that a couple of days ago Twitter was full of sneering ‘Does anyone know anyone who has even had this virus?’ and today it’s full of ‘family member dead or on a ventilator’ tweets. It has changed very quickly. Not surprising since the death toll is doubling every three days.

Some of them are fake. Clearly. But some of them are real. I now personally know a few people who have tested positive.

Second, testing. There are howls to test everyone, so all those testing negative can get back to work. Testing does not confer immunity. If you test negative it merely shows that you haven’t caught it yet. You could catch it between the time of the test and getting the result. It means nothing. There is an antibody test in development that will show if you had it and have developed immunity but even when it’s widely available, it takes 28 days after infection before it can be deemed accurate. I hope you like your living room wallpaper, you’re going to be staring at it for a while yet.

Third, who is most at risk? The elderly, obviously. Those with underlying conditions whether or not they have been diagnosed. This is important. There have been many, many cases in the past of apparently fit and healthy people in their twenties suddenly dropping dead from a heart or other problem nobody even suspected they had. It happens. It’s not nice but it does happen. Just because you feel fine, live the Health Dream and have a body that would make Charles Atlas green does not mean you are safe. Do not chance it.

Some are more at risk than others. It seems the virus kills more men than women. It seems to target blood group A and Rhesus negative particularly. It seems to not like smokers so much. All this is connected with cell surface antigens that the virus uses for attachment and I’m not getting into a lecture now. I haven’t seen absolute proof of any of these things (there hasn’t been enough time for research) so it’s all speculation or preliminary studies at this point.

Fourth, is it a bioweapon? I don’t know. It might be but it doesn’t need to be. Nasty new viruses can arise by pure chance. This one might have been created by a lab or by sheer bad luck. There are very few genes in a virus so adding or taking away one makes a hell of a difference to what it does. A simple transcription error in a SARS virus could have made this one.

Bioweapons are really no use in the modern world unless you want to attack the entire world. Lobbing plague infested corpses into beseiged castles in the 14th century, fine. It’s contained. Now, you could let loose a bioweapon in, say, London, and it will cover the whole damn planet in 24 hours. You cannot contain it. No matter where in the world you let out your bioweapon, it is coming home and might get home before you do. So I don’t think it was a deliberate bioweapon attack. Accidental release, maybe.

Although the Billy Gates Gruff was suspiciously fast at bringing in his vaccine with free bonus microchip. So I’ll leave the bioweapon thing open for now. That guy is the one who wanted to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide to zero. He is a dangerous idiot.

Fifth, is it really more dangerous than the flu? After all, more people die of the flu than from this. Well, it’s not about the death rate. It’s the infection rate. With flu, you get infected, 2 or 3 days later you’re in bed wishing for Death’s release. A couple of weeks later you’re okay, you might be infectious for a day or two after but you won’t cause too many new cases.

With this one, you can be infectious for two weeks before you even know you have it. There is some evidence you can still be infectious for a while after recovery. The kill rate isn’t that high but the infection method means you could see a massive spike in cases all at once. ‘Only’ 20% need hospital treatment but unlike those flu cases, the hospital ones aren’t spread out over months. The cases could spike over days. And then you have the Italy situation where doctors have to choose who gets the ventilator.

It does not kill more than the flu. What it can do is cause a spike in cases over days rather than months, and then people die because they can’t get treatment. Not just from the virus, from everything else too, because the hospitals are overloaded. This new virus has not made all the other diseases go away, you know.

Finally, is it all the government’s fault? What do you want, your government to seal all borders, allow nobody in or out, and keep you under home arrest 24/7? No, it is not the government’s fault. Look at the faces of those in government now. They are knackered. Boris looks like he should be home in bed with a hot water bottle and he is still working. Making political mileage out of this is just sick.

No government on the planet could have foreseen this, no government could possibly have been ready, no politician anywhere understands how a virus works and sure, they have scientific advisers but no scientist has ever seen this virus before. Vaccines and treatments are not something we scientists pull out of our arse on command, you know. It took me three years to find a treatment for Clostridium difficile and prove that it worked. That bacterium has been causing problems for a very long time. Now you want a cure for a brand new virus in days? 14 days incubation and spread before symptoms? Nobody has seen that before and nobody has a plan in place to deal with it. Why would they? It has only just come into existence.

Instead of attacking health workers and pharmacists, instead of demanding the government do something about a thing nobody has experienced before, why not try looking after yourselves for once?

If this thing keeps going, sooner or later you’ll have no choice.

Myths and facts and tinfoil hats

Lots of wild information about at the moment. Very little of it is sensible.

First, it is likely that chloroquine will prove to be an effective treatment for Kung Flu. I mean pharmaceutical grade chloroquine, not the stuff in fishtank cleaner that’s mixed with a lot of other chemicals, many of them toxic and corrosive. Unless you have a chemistry lab on hand that’s capable of isolating and purifying the chloroquine, fishtank cleaner is likely to kill you.

It is true that bleach kills the virus. Bleach kills pretty much anything, which is why you should never let it get into a septic tank. It works because the free chlorine wrecks protein structures. It’s indiscriminate, it destroys any protein. You are made of protein. Your throat is made of protein. It is true that bleach will kill the virus but if you drink it, it will kill you too. With much more certainty than any viral infection. You think Ebola’s 50% kill rate is pretty high? Bleach: Pfft. Amateur.

Drinking hot drinks will not work. Yes, heat will kill the virus but the story circulating that it will die at 27C is clearly utter bollocks. Human body temperature is 37C so if it died at ten degrees below your body temperature, nobody would ever get infected. It is killed in a 60C wash and if you add a little bit of Dettol to the fabric softener tray, that will make damn sure. Forget the hot drinks. Cold, especially ice cream, will soothe your sore throat. It won’t kill anything but it feels good.

You do not need antibacterial handwash. Soap works by disrupting the lipid layer of the virus outer coat. Basically, it falls apart. Its attachment proteins will still stick to your cells but they have no virus, no RNA to inject. So it cannot infect. Any soap will do the same thing. Including laundry soap. And cheap bar soap.

Much is made of the death rate compared to flu. That is not what matters. What matters is the ‘cold’ period where someone could be infecting others for up to 14 days before they even know they have it. That is what could cause a massive spike in infections and that is what could overwhelm the hospitals. About 20% of cases need hospitalisation. 20% of a thousand cases is 200. No problem. 20% of a hundred thousand cases… big problem. You will soon get to the situation in Italy and Spain where doctors are having to decide who to treat and who to watch die.

We have stayed mostly at home for almost two weeks since we came back from Wales. Laundry is of little concern, we haven’t even bothered getting dressed most days. We don’t go out much at this time of year anyway, it’s cold and unpleasant out there. We have gone out to visit friends and family in the past – especially the granddaughter – but not since we came back from Wales.

We have no symptoms but we did have to stop at a lot of service stations on the way back. All of which were busy. It was a Sunday – I never realised a family day out could be taking the kids to MacDonald’s at a service station, but a lot seemed to be doing that. So we weren’t planning to visit anyone for two weeks anyway, and now we can’t.

So many people don’t take this disease seriously. It’s not the kill rate of Flu Manchu you have to worry about. It’s that potential massive spike in infections. Let’s say we weren’t both utterly antisocail swines here and we actually visited the neighbours. We don’t have any symptoms but it has not yet been a full two weeks since visiting all those service stations, so we cannot be sure. If we were sociable we could have infected hundreds by now. And most of them wouldn’t know for a week or two. How many could they have infected? Who also wouldn’t know for a week or two…

Everyone is so worked up about this new virus they forget that all the other diseases have not gone away. If hospitals are overwhelmed with Flu Manchu, what happens if you have a stroke or heart attack? You can’t get in. There are no beds. They don’t want you in hospital in case you get infected too and in your lowered health state, you’re likely to get a bad case.

What if you break an arm or a leg, or end up impaled on railings after a car crash? There are no doctors to spare, no ambulances to collect you, no beds, no treatment… it goes so very far beyond this ‘just the flu’ narrative.

And if you really want a good reason to take it seriously, consider this. If you die of this disease, you die alone. If your mother or father die of it, they die alone. No visitors. No saying goodbye. No last hand-hold before the forever sleep. You will die among masked strangers who dare not touch you. Alone. You will pass from this world with no family nor friends around you. If it’s your parent or child, the last you will see of them is when they are loaded into the ambulance. You might not even be allowed to have a funeral. You just get a box of ashes from a mass cremation.

Just imagine that for a moment and consider whether you still want to have a mass prayer session in the street. You are not going to get special treatment in this one, guys. You know who you are.

It’s happening in China and beginning in Italy and Spain now. Even in the UK, if you are in hospital for any reason – no visitors. None. Whatever you are in for. If you die of anything in there now, you die alone. Because of this virus. Still want to fob it off as ‘just the flu’?

There are those taking advantage. Tiny Blur and the Brown Gorgon are demanding their wet dream of One World Government be implemented right now. The antidrinkers are demanding booze controls. The antismokers/antivapers are pretending (on zero evidence and in spite of evidence to the contrary) that smokers and vapers will suffer more. All utter bollocks but they can’t let a crisis go to waste.

Tha Climatologists have claimed from day one that it is all due to climate change. If it was getting warmer, how is a heat-sensitive virus plaguing the world? It is killed, as with most microbes, by UV light so a warmer sunnier world is not the best place for it.

Anti-Brexit morons have claimed we must stop Brexit because being in the EU makes us safer. Yeah, ask Italy about that. They asked the EU for help. The EU imposed a fine that increased by 80,000 euros a day on Italy, and sent no help. They have sent a few million to help Iran though. They have also done nothing to help Greece, faced with a migrant army on its border. The EU is an utter waste of money. There must be no delay, in fact we’d be better off out of it now.

The tinfoil hatters (who have turned out to be right a lot of the time lately) say that Bill Gates wants to impose a chip on us so that we can be certified free of this virus and thereby be allowed to travel. I would scoff, but Bill Gates has actually said it himself. He has also said that ‘we can cut the world population by ten percent through the use of vaccines’. Direct quote from his TED talk.

CStM and I were in Aldi and Tesco tonight. No toilet roll, tinned beans or tomatoes or flour and little pasta but most of the rest was there. What was striking though was not the shelves. It was the people.

They are terrified. Not of the virus. Of each other. I felt like the Dark Lord of The Horrible Thing walking through there and watching them all shy away. It was fun but also scary.

When Billy Gates Gruff offers his vaccine with an added chip so you can be scanned as ‘safe’, do you think he will have to force people to get it? You can’t travel without it, and it marks you as safe to interact with.

They will fight to be first, won’t they? And they will never ask that important question about the implanted chip.

What else does it do?

Let them die

So the police moved on a few widely-spaced people from a London park, but ignored hordes of Muslims praying in the street. This is normal.

Someone was handed a warning by police because they drove to a park where they could walk their dog without meeting anyone. This is now normal too. Not legal, not remotely sensible, but normal.

Muslim Imams in the UK are telling their congregations that the virus only affects non Muslims and they are going to be saved. Yeah, okay, tell that to Iran. Tell it to UAE or Saudi Arabia. It’s almost as if those Imams are planted there to wipe out British Muslims. Nobody human is immune to this thing. It’s new, no immune system has seen it before and that ‘mild’ version is pretty damn horrible. Poking essential oils up your arse will not help, no matter what the Ayatollahs say. You are all going to die and your Imams made it happen and they will say it’s Allah’s will and you will believe it just like Christians did in the Black Plague of the 1600s. You are, basically, fucked. And you will still follow the ones who did it.

I don’t care any more. I can’t. I was in Local Shop yesterday picking up some bits and pieces and posting some mugs. A woman of maybe 30 was telling the counter guy (looked about 20) how she had just seen the film of ‘War of the Worlds’. Their conversation hinged on whether it started as a film or a computer game and whether someone should make it a book. I nearly bit right through my lip, but I said nothing. There is no point any more.

How did H.G. Wells disappear from the collective mind so fast, even as his books were made into films and radio shows? The education in this world is finished, the restart is coming, get your wooden clubs and animal skin clothing ready and find the best caves now. Oh and relearn how to make fire, that thing they are all so terrified of right now. You can do it without matches or a lighter. Never mind stocking up on arsepaper and pasta, find out how to make fire. Now.

On Twitter, I posted a response to a comment about people ignoring quarantine with ‘If they be wont to die, they had better do so, and decrease the surplus population’ and offered a Leg Iron Books mug to the first one who could tell me character, book and author for that quote. I have a few left and probably won’t be able to send any anywhere soon so I’ll offer another one here. One rule – the same person can’t have both. Nor can anyone who already has one. Two rules. No hoarders here. Leave this for someone else. Three rules. There are three rules.

I’ll send it anywhere in the world but remember it could currently take months to get there. No problem really, it won’t go off. You’d just have to drink your tea or coffee from one of those plain ordinary mugs in the meantime.

Tomorrow I will have to get dressed. Again. That’s twice this week. They say a mask and gloves is enough to go to the shops but it’s still pretty damn cold here. I’ll be dressed up like the Michelin Man.

We are going to visit Tesco and find out whether they have things on shelves or have given up and are just selling shelves now. We have a list of stuff and if we get half of it then it’s a good trip. We do not go out daily. The shopping trip is once a week.

I can’t get the chimney sweep out here now. I’m not even going to ask. Chimney sweeping is an essential service and he won’t be getting paid while on lockdown but nobody seems to care. A soot filled flue is a hell of a fire risk. Meanwhile, bicycle shops will still be open as essential services even though we aren’t supposed to be going anywhere.

Vape shops are being closed in many countries but off licences are still open. You can get booze in supermarkets but they have limited options for vapers. Proper fags are, of course, unaffected. This is not about essential services. This is about maximising a reduced tax intake.

In London they will shout at you if there are three of you in one place even though you arrived in London on a tube train that makes a sardine can look like social distancing. If ever there was a case for another Great Fire, this is it. Any bakers operating in Pudding Lane now? Go for it, it worked last time.

Croatia is intercepting aid to Italy. France is intercepting aid to the UK. Italy just intercepted aid for Greece. The EU is sending aid to… Iran. And fining Italy for trying to stay solvent.

So many say the EU has prevented war in Europe since before it existed. What will they be saying when it causes war?

We live in interesting times. As the Chinese curse said we would.

What a coincidence.

Hoarding

I ventured out to Local Shop today. Had to get some milk, a few things, and post some Leg Iron Books mugs. Still waiting to hear back from one winner. Best be quick before the lockdown is total and we are sent our daily ration automatically (already covered that in Panoptica, it’s coming). I’ll try resending the email.

Local Shop was not as well stocked as usual but they had the basics. Didn’t see any toilet roll but wasn’t looking for any as we bought a 24-pack just before the madness started. It will last us 6 to 8 weeks, longer if we use both sides. No bogroll panic here yet. We can wait for the restock.

They had milk – in the old style glass bottles with foil caps. Haven’t seen those for many years. The ones you rinse out and take back when empty. I would really like to see that continue, it would do a lot to cut down on plastic waste. I know, logistically it’s a pain to use glass instead of plastic but perhaps we’ll get back to pre-supermarket days, when milk was shipped to the shops from a local dairy rather than a supermarket’s central warehouse. Dairy farms are everywhere. Milk doesn’t really need to go all that far in most cases. Especially in rural places – and if you need the plastic bottles for cities, fine, even just cutting back on them for rural areas reduces waste.

The streets – well, the street – was busy. I counted four people! Never seen it so packed. Needless to say I stayed well clear especially because one had a plague packet in a pushchair. Children seem to only get trivial symptoms but they can spread it just like real people. I will not be able to visit my granddaughter for a while, and my mother cannot see her grandkids. I mean, we love the kids, but they are not worth unneccesarily dying for. And imagine growing up knowing it was you who finished off your grandparents? That’s not something you want on any kid’s conscience.

The Scottish Health Idiot was out saying that 80% only get the ‘mild’ version. ‘Mild’ means you don’t have to go to hospital. It does not mean you get a bit of the sniffles. The ‘mild’ version is bloody vicious. It’s called ‘mild’ because it probably won’t kill you but it can permanently damage your lungs. This is not something to be pissed about with.

So I will continue the social distancing measures I have kept going for about 40 years now. With an added bonus – no combing of hair or ironing or giving the slightest shit what I look like because nobody is going to see much of me for months. Regular showers though. I am locked in here with CStM after all. I might even get a blue rinse and a hairnet to see how much I now resemble my grandmother. I think I have mastered the scowl.

Here, we have not hoarded. We have enough trouble with mice as it is, loading the place up with mouse treats would be a stupid idea. The effects of the hoarders are starting to be felt.

Councils are reporting a surge in food waste. Much of it still in its packaging, out of date. This will continue because the cretins doing it will go out and buy more bin fodder and watch it rot.

In fact it will get worse. I saw on Twitter that one bragging hoarder had three plastic boxes full of apples with a bunch of bananas on top. In a week they’ll have three boxes of hairy brown mush. There is a correct way to store apples long term and that, by a very wide margin, isn’t it.

So, you have hoarded three month’s worth of food, most of which will be rotten in three weeks? Good for you. You don’t need to go to the shops now. The rest of us have to go to the shops every other day because you idiots have left us with nothing. So, when you come out of your bunker into the bright blue skies of summer and head to Aldi and the food waste dump, you will find the zombie apocalypse has arrived because we have now all infected each other by visiting the shops daily. We would eat your brains, but we’re not on a diet.

I’d recommend getting some mouse traps and bait boxes while they are cheap whether you need them or not. Also get the bait for the boxes. You might not be hoarding but if your neighbour is, you might be sharing their mice or even rats. And don’t imagine there are no mice or rats in the cities. There always have been, and always will be. The trick is not to attract them.

The morons stacking up packs of rice, pasta and flour now are going to be panic buying mousetraps within a fortnight. Prices will go up, a lot, as with those suicidal corner shop businesses currently ripping people off.

Oh, purely coincidentally, China has a new deadly virus for export. Spread by rats.

And you morons have houses full of rat treats…

Phase 2.

House arrest

Bit of a bugger if they do let the prisoners out only to find they are all then under house arrest, isn’t it?

Still, as someone who has only ever gone out when absolutely neccessary and who hasn’t even bothered to get dressed for the last four days, this isn’t a big thing. It does mean I cannot visit my children and granddaughter for a while, which is a pain, but as we stopped at several service stations on the way back from Wales last Sunday I wasn’t planning to visit for another week anyway. I didn’t know families used service stations as a weekend treat for the kids before, but apparently they do.

This could last for months. It will affect different people in different ways. For me it’s a minor anoyance – the lockdown period will cover both my own and my son’s upcoming birthdays but the pubs and restaurants are all shut so we couldn’t go out anywhere anyway. We’ll just have official birthdays later in the year, like Mrs. Queen does.

I have ordered whisky from Amazon and baccy from Smoke King so the essentials are covered. I will visit Local Shop tomorrow to post some mugs, the post office is in the same shop so I can do it all in one go (unless the zombie horde have cleaned it out). No point driving all the way to Tesco tomorrow, the Toilet Paper Eaters will have already cleared the shelves. Give it a week or so more.

CStM and I bought one pack of 24 rolls of arsepaper before all the madness started. Living out here you do tend to have some stock, especially as we only venture to the Big Town (haha, Londoners and many others will be horrified at how tiny Big Town is, you could walk its perimeter in less than 3 hours) about once a week. That pack will last 6 to 8 weeks, by which time all the hoarders will be panic buying mousetraps, cockroach motels and rat poison. That’s okay, we already have ours. Although there are no rats on this farm. The farmer employs people who make damn sure of that.

The beer shelves are now being cleared (except Corona beer) because the pubs are shut. The meat shelves are also cleared, this will continue for a little while but not long. Shops do not have much meat in the stockroom because it has a very short shelf life. Get the delivery, put it on the shelf, try to sell it all before it goes out of date. The next night another delivery arrives. Same for bread and milk and any other perishables. It’s easy to make bread, I was doing it as a student. Give it a go – if you can find any flour the mouse-feeders haven’t stocked up with.

I heard today about idiots getting sick and dying from swallowing chloroquine sulphate. Fish tank cleaner. Really. They didn’t have coronavirus. Chloroquine is a treatment not a preventative. Chloroquine sulphate is a cleaning agent, not a medicine. If this pandemic does one good thing, it will raise the average IQ of the entire planet. Labour must be terrified.

So now we are in lockdown. There will be people who will ignore it and it will then progress to curfew and then strays being shot on sight. It’s not that Boris is totalitarian, he’s not. It’s that these utter planks are giving him no other choice.

Schools closed last Friday. Idiots thought it was holiday time and decided to self isolate in enormous gangs on beaches and holiday spots. They are trying to hide in Wales and the Highlands of Scotland (tip if you’re thinking about it – it’s still sub zero most nights up here and the Highlands still have snow so if coronavirus doesn’t get you, hypothermia will, and no, you don’t get to share the locals’ houses). Again, this will achieve an increase in the average IQ.

Also, everything is closed here too. It’s really not going to be much of a holiday confined to your caravan or camper van with your screaming groin fruits bored out of their minds. But, if you want to freeze your nuts off so you don’t produce any more idiots, feel free to come. We’ll chip your corpses out of the ice at some point and make pies out of them to sell to other idiots.

I have a feeling I might need that crossbow and that handy woodland before this is over. There was no need for any of this, all it took was a bit of common sense and not thinking ‘I am not listening to a Tory government’ or ‘It’s only killing the old, like my mum, so I don’t care’.

It is not only killing the old. Recently it killed a 14 year old. Still feel indestructible?

There are still people saying it’s all fake. Ask Italy about that. I know, you are all so used to fake news and rubbish ‘science’ that you think it’s all fake now. I can understand that. I can also understand that this latest generation has been brought up to believe they can simply self-identify as immune. Well, you are not immune. It’s a new virus. Nobody is immune. You are going to die.

There are still so many calling the lockdown an overreaction. It is not. It is a reaction to those who are too dim to realise how serious it is. If they had paid attention and taken it seriously we would not have to be here now. The kill rate is way higher than flu but that’s still not the biggest issue.

The biggest issue is spread. It’s very, very fast, very, very easy to catch and you could be spreading it for two weeks before you even know you have it. We haven’t seen that kind of spread before. It means that unlike flu, where cases build up over time, this one can present a massive boost of cases all at once, and then doctors have to decide who to treat because they can’t treat everyone. You want to make that decision? You want to tell your mum or grandma that she’s not on the treatment list? Really?

Oh it’s so easy to just blame Boris and the ‘eeevil Tories’ but he’s not spreading this thing. You are. Boris is not killing your mum and your aunties and your brothers and sisters and children. You are doing that. Tories are not ‘committing genocide’. You are.

This is not politics. This is nature red in tooth and claw. This is reality. You, me, all of us, are part of nature and nature does not regard us as anything more than another species it created. Nature does not regard us any higher than the virus currently killing us. Nature deals in absolute equality. Absolute. We win, or the virus wins. Nature does not care which.

It’s up to you.

Cleanliness

(Couple of mug competitions in here. If you already have one you can’t enter. No stockpiling!)

I once wrote a very nasty short story called ‘The Cleaners’. I don’t think I ever put it online anywhere. It was vicious. I mean, I’ve been told ‘The Sweet Man’ was pretty brutal but that was nothing compared to the Cleaners. In the current climate it might come true, maybe I’ll post it one day.

Maybe my last Boss is now wishing she still had a cleaner with a background in microbiology. I bet she won’t get another one. It wouldn’t help anyway, most of the shop managers have no sense at all. They insist staff work while sick – in food shops.

Today we went to Aldi and Tesco. A cleaner’s dream, empty shelves. No need to wait for the shop to close and the staff to clear the shelves, there were cleaners in Aldi working on totally empty meat shelves at 7 pm. The shops might have no food but damn, are they clean!

‘Best cheese shop in the district, sir’.

‘And what, pray, leads you to that conclusion?’

“Well it’s so clean.’

‘It’s certainly uncontaminated by cheese’.

(Leg Iron Books mug to the first one to tell me where that’s from).

No toilet paper. They aren’t all hoarding it just because they are anal about their anus. Many are loading it into their own shops and selling at five times the price. There are Arsepaper Street Markets now, run by, well, I don’t really need to say, do I? Trading Standards have begun prosecutions and hopefully, when this is over, the supermarkets will undercut them so hard on everything that the whole damn lot will fold.

In wartime, looters and profiteers are summarily shot. No time or resources for lengthy trials. The Cleaners might well have been somewhat prophetic.

Speaking of trials, I have to go to court in June. I’m a witness, as was CStM and her aunt, to a nasty car crash. It was all caught on the dashcam and we gave the file to the police. I guess the driver survived and is being prosecuted for driving as if he was capable of controlling a car at Warp Factor 5 but since it’s all on film I don’t know what I’m expected to say. I could just tell them the silly sod crashed in the way and forced us to detour, but that might come across as a bit callous.

But he did crash in the way. Twat. I’m delighted to be appearing for the prosecution.

Back to the point, if there is one.

Tesco and Aldi had no pasta but loads of pasta sauces. No bread and not much butter. Very little in the way of meat. Plenty of vegan food so that tiny minority is covered. Okay for sugar so brewing is good. Beers mostly cleaned out (except Corona) but I seem to be the only one stockpiling whisky so that’s okay. Well, if you end up in two weeks quarantine you can’t drive anywhere so…

No beans. But the toilet cleaner shelf was untouched. If you’re locked in on a diet of beans and plain pasta and you have no toilet cleaner, you’re going to create the Bog of Eternal Stench (Another mug on offer for that one – where’s it from and who was King?).

Another thing that was untouched was a shelf of reduced-price Nurofen. Really. We bought some, it could prove rather more useful than beans.

Tesco has limited every product line to three per customer. Including cigarettes. I wanted five packs so I won’t have to go back to the shop too often. I can’t buy three single packs but I can buy a sealed pack of five packs as one item. So if I want single packs I can only have three. If I buy the sealed five-box pack I can have fifteen. Nothing in between. I have to shift entirely (except for driving) to the IQOS because that’s £5 for 20. The budget boosted the price of proper fags again and Denmark has sealed its borders so I can’t get the £4 packs of the real thing for a while.

My mother had planned to visit in April. She’s 78 and was still determined to come anyway. It would probably be a useless trip even if she did come, we’d be stuck in the house by then so couldn’t visit my children or grandchild. We couldn’t even go out for my birthday, everything will be closed by April. That’s inevitable.

Quarantining the over 70s is a good idea. They are the ones most likely to end up in intensive care. We have about 4000 intensive care beds in the UK and 5.4 million people over 70. No way those numbers can fit together if they all get infected at once.

So what are our caring Lefties doing now? Well, they are busy slating anyone who calls this thing ‘Chinese virus’ or ‘Wuhan flu’ or ‘Kung Flu’ or ‘Flu Manchu’ as racists. That’s all they do. Everything, to them, is a chance to shout ‘Racist-Nazi-Bigot’. They have nothing else. It started in China, and the Chinese government’s attempts to cover it up made it worse. Get over it. Oh, and Jerry Cordite, who is 70, is refusing to self isolate because he’s too important. Even though several MPS have tested positive so the green benches are likely to be coated with the stuff. I doubt the virus will strike him down. The bitter taste will deter it. His followers will do the same and Darwin wins again.

Many places are reporting the salad shelves empty. That stuff lasts a few days if you’re lucky. You can’t freeze it, it’ll turn to mush. Fortunately in Scotland nobody bothers much with the salad shelves so the Fat Hamster gets his treats. I have heard that sometimes, people actually eat this shit.

Gloom Dog has been ill. Something she picked up in kennels in Wales. She has pooed out more than her body weight by now and is on enough vet drugs to keep her permanently stoned. She’s getting better though. She tried to pick a fight with a labrador today and I’ve never seen a labrador look more surprised. Gloom Dog weighs 7 kg.

The vet is in Category 3 lockdown. You go there for an appointment and call them from the car park to tell them you’ve arrived. They then come out to see if it’s safe to let you inside. I have not told them I’m a retired microbiologist with a career in infectious disease behind me because then I’d have to tell them their precautions will do nothing. They wear no masks at all and infected people can look perfectly fine for up to two weeks. The receptionist looked terrified.

Local garage, the staff are all wearing plastic gloves. No masks. Local shop, they don’t give a shit. They are sold out of bread and milk and they don’t mind. If it doesn’t sell it gets chucked out anyway. The idiots who paid for it can chuck it out when it goes bad. They’ll have more tomorrow.

The ‘wash your hands’ thing sounds ridiculous but so many haven’t been doing that. I have to say, as a microbiologist with a career iin infectious diseases behind me, I do get a bit anal about cleaning. It’s why Boss repeatedly asked me to come back when I left the janitor job. Tonight I cleaned a glass dish used for lasagne. Not one speck left. Because I like things to be clean, because I can not only describe things that grow on contamination, I can name them, because living in the country means mice and you don’t want to leave them even a snack, but mostly because ‘there is perfect and there is wrong’.

Yes, I am an insufferable arse a lot of the time. But not one of my M.Sc or Ph.D. students ever failed. And none of them died even though most of them worked with nasties. Microbiologists wash their hands before they go to the toilet.

‘Wash your hands before and after, during if it’s long’.

That’s a hard one but Mug 3 goes to the one who identifies it.

We can’t get hand sanitiser. Pfft. I have a garage full of stuff from the lab. Several litres of bleach, and medical grade alcohol wipes. Sanitisers? Hold my virus.

I’m not selling any of it. No price gouging here, we are likely to need it ourselves. Also the masks, with an added layer of cloth soaked in 30% salt solution and then dried. None of which is likely to matter much since in the 5 years we’ve been here we haven’t met the neighbours yet. We really are that unsociable.

The world might be left with just people like me, you know. Grumpy buggers who never talk to anyone.

I think I’d like that.

Wipe!

There is no toilet paper shortage.

I spent four years as a janitor in retail shops so I’ve seen a few stockrooms. They are, always, much smaller than the retail floor space. Almost all the stock in the shop is on the shelves.

The stockroom is loaded with the nonperishable, high profit items and those things that sell fast. Booze, dry foods with long shelf lives, that kind of thing. Fresh food has to be sold fast or they end up throwing it away. That’s generally replenished with the daily deliveries and not stored for very long before it’s out on the shelves.

Toilet paper is a low cost and very bulky item. It doesn’t get priority in the stockroom. They only have as much as they expect to sell over, say, a week.

Almost all the shop’s stock of arsewipes is out there on sale. Sudden lunatic panic buying will wipe out their entire stock in minutes.

Next day, in some shops overnight, a truck full of bumpaper will arrive. Almost all goes straight on the shelves, a small reserve goes in the stockroom.

Next morning, the Botty Brigade empty the shelves again and the small reserve is gone too.

The stockroom is limited in size. The shop cannot allocate more space to poo tickets, the packs are bulky and getting more in there means they’d have less space for the other things.

So, once again, empty shelves until the next delivery.

Empty shelves make it look like a shortage but it really isn’t. They’ll keep being restocked. What’s happening is that idiots are buying at a rate way above the shop’s capacity for stock.

What will happen once the lunacy is over is that the shelves will be full again and there’ll be a couple of dusty packs in the stockroom – because the idiots all have attics full to the brim with a mountain of fire hazard paper and won’t need to buy any more for years. Although, since they are also panic buying beans, it might not last that long.

The rumour that started this seems to be that the cardboard tubes are made in China so they might have to be taken away in case they’re contaminated with the Wuhan virus. These idiots have filled their houses with the only high risk thing in the shops.

It isn’t really all that risky. Cardboard has a drying effect – you should see the cracked hands of some of the stockroom workers, who handle cardboard boxes all day. The virus won’t survive long on it, and the cardboard tube factory might not even be in an infected area.

Also, you should really be washing your hands after taking a dump anyway. Bog paper is not bacteria – proof, its pores are big enough to let them through. Viruses have no problem getting through it. This new virus isn’t the only thing you can catch and spread with shitty fingers.

Al the shortages are illusion. Nothing is running out. People are simply buying beyond the shop’s ability to hold stock. It’s all refilled with the next delivery.

The shops, and manufacturers of the idiot magnets, must be loving this.

Next time China reports a new virus, I’m buying shares in Andrex.