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.

The gospel according to Boris

So, our tousle-haired ruffian Prime Monster has given advice. It’s not compulsory, not yet, but some of it inevitably will become so.

Despite the frothing, hysterical demands from some that ‘The Government Must Do Something’, it seems to me he’s gone about this the right way.

This is not China. The people here are not conditioned to do as they are told by government. Most of us delight in doing exactly the opposite, and there is nothing the UK government can do about it… yet. Do these foaming loons really want Boris to turn this place into a China lookalike, where any deviation is punished and any criticism of the government results in disappearance? That’s what they are demanding after all. And yet, they’d be first!

Let’s have a cup of tea, chill, and look at it calmly.

There is much muttering about ‘oh it’s only flu’ and ‘flu kills many more so what’s the problem?’ and even some who don’t believe the virus exists at all. The truth is, it’s a new virus and the facts of it are not fully pinned down yet. I’ve retired from a microbiology career and I know it can take a long time to work out what a new species is capable of. When it’s a nasty one like this one all the stops are out but you still can’t fix it overnight.

It’s related to flu but it’s not plain old flu. It hasn’t killed as many as flu yet because it’s still in its first year. The symptoms look a lot like flu so some of those flu deaths could be this virus. China admitted to it in December but it had been around for a few months before that so it was already spreading around the world. Many people reported a bad flu over Christmas (my brother and his wife had it but they spend a lot more time with people than I do) which could well have been a first wave of this virus.

The big problem with this one is not the death rate. It’s higher than flu, but it’s still not the big problem. The issue is spread. You could be spreading the thing for anything up to two weeks before you even know you have it. That will cause a very rapid spike in infections and a massive surge in cases pretty much overnight. 80% of those cases only need to drink lots of fluids and lie around going ‘urgh’ for a while, but a high percentage will need hospitalisation. Higher than flu, and that already stretches the NHS. Remember, there are other diseases too.

With flu, only a small percentage need to go to hospital and it’s spread out over the winter. The new kid on the block is far more contagious than flu and sends a higher percentage to hospital. As we have seen in other countries, that spike can rapidly overwhelm the health service leading to doctors having to make horrible decisions over who would benefit from treatment and who they should just let die.

If you’re wondering how doctors sleep at night after making those decisions… they don’t.

So the advice is to avoid large gatherings, avoid interactions with people, only go out when it’s really necessary and generally become… me. I’ve been doing this most of my life. It’s great, you don’t even need to get dressed most days.

There are calls to shut all the schools. This is a good idea and a terrible idea. Children don’t seem to get this too bad but they can spread it. So one infected kid can, over the course of a few days, infect most of a school before that first kid even coughs. All those kids will take it home. Close the schools!

But wait. If the schools are closed, the parents have to stay home to look after them. Those parents include doctors, nurses, policemen, postmen, delivery drivers, shop staff… if every parent has to stop work because the schools are closed, where will you panic buy your toilet paper? Who will you turn to when the magic toilet paper cure doesn’t work? When the ferals come for your toilet paper hoard, who will you call?

Closing schools will happen but do it too soon and the whole country will fall apart.

Total lockdown? That’s been demanded. The Italians tried it and the death rate soared to 9%. If you’ve seen ‘Watchmen’ you’ll recall the scene in prison where Rorschach shouts ‘None of you seem to understand. I’m not locked in here with you. You’re locked in here with me’. Lockdown gives the virus a captive food supply. Nevertheless it will have to happen eventually.

Do it too soon though and you’ll have people looking around thinking ‘This is silly. Nothing is happening.’ Then they’ll break quarantine. The neighbours will see them break quarantine and think ‘Oh, it must be okay then’ and that is the end of the lockdown. You cannot have a lockdown too early or nobody will accept it. I repeat, this is not China. We do not simply do as we are told without a clear and visible reason.

Quarantining the over 70s. That is like herding cats. My mother is 78 and has been checking her flight to Aberdeen in April is still okay. That generation were born into and grew up through the second world war and aren’t scared of things they can see, never mind those they can’t. They grew up through the nasty flu pandemic of 1957 and are still here. They came through Harold Wilson unscathed, the three day week, the power cuts, the Winter of Discontent… you are not going to scare them into staying at home because of a virus.

At the other end are the Indestructibles, brought up to believe that everyone wins and nobody should ever be hurt, not even their feelings. They do not believe the measures they demand will apply to them, why would they think a virus applies to them? You see them online all the time, delighting in the death of the old through this new virus. They will not observe quarantine, they think they can spread it unharmed and kill off all the old people they disagree with. They will never accept that it can kill them too.

It does kill off the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions mostly, but those are averages. Recently an 84-year-old woman successfully recovered from infection and 30-year-olds have died of it. Pre-existing does not mean pre-diagnosed. You can have a heart condition in your twenties and you, nor anyone else, will know about it until your autopsy. Don’t laugh at this virus. It’s laughing at you.

All the measures Boris outlined are, for now, voluntary. He will need to force pub and restaraunt closures soon and ban all large gatherings such as sporting events and concerts. Here, the GP surgeries have closed and there is more to come. The suggestions will become rules. Because you won’t do it otherwise. Those measures… will they ever be reversed?

And so the no-physical-contact world of Panoptica becomes reality. I am up to 17 chapters on that one. I promised a chapter a week and we are about 12 weeks into the year so I’m taking that as a success so far, despite personal mitigating circumstances.. Those reading it will have noticed that the authorities need no permission to enter your home, they just come right in. That’s now being proposed in the real world.

I have to get back into working. My father’s ghost will be poking me in the back with his stick otherwise, he never had an idle day in his life. Even after two strokes. His funeral was epic though, there were people sat in the choir stalls because the church was full.

Best quote of the dark day was when the undertaker asked how many pall bearers we had. Four. My cousins. The undertaker said that for a man of my father’s size (he wasn’t fat) they usually used six. My brother just said. ‘You wait until you see them.’

They did a fantastic job. And they are all gentle giants.

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.

Hysteriavirus

Does anyone remember necrotising fasciitis? An absolutely horrible disease that runs, very fast, under your skin using the lymphatic system. The only hope you had was to be literally skinned alive and face months of skin grafts afterwards – and that’s only if you survived it. It killed in a matter of hours once it took off so very early diagnosis was absolutely essential.

That was a bacterium. Antibiotics would work but you just didn’t have time for tests. It would take a couple of days to work out the best antibiotic and you’d be dead by then. There were tales of people literally dissolving on train journeys. Which never happened, of course.

That disease was a rare one and killed a total of eight people one year. The media frenzy was astonishing. People genuinely believed they would melt on the way to work.

Then we had swine flu, Ebola, and so many others that were going to end the human race and somehow didn’t.

Now we have coronavirus. It’s a virus. Antibiotics will do nothing at all to it. Antibiotics work by messing up some aspect of cell metabolism and viruses have no metabolism. There’s also no vaccine because there are so many variants. Basically, if it gets in, you have an infection.

This latest one started in China. It’s now global. This, like all the other infections blamed on climate change, has nothing at all to do with climate change. It has everything to do with modern human mobility – and no, I definitely do not advocate us returning to the horse and cart mode of transport.

It’s even appeared in Scotland. I live in Scotland. Am I terrified? Nah. I’m a smoker and a drinker and if you believe the hype, those things each give me a 50% chance of dying from them so I’m doomed anyway. This latest coronavirus is killing 3% of those that catch it. It’s an amateur. Diptheria, typhoid fever, many other currently extant diseases are laughing at it.

Oh I know it’s cold comfort if you happen to be one of the 3% but you know, you’re much more likely to be one of the 97% who catch it and survive.

Even more likely to be one of the very many who never get it at all. Like all these terrible pandemics, it’s being hyped as the End of Humanity. I doubt any other species on the planet takes such delight in imagining themselves being eradicated from existence. Still, as a horror writer, it’s a useful trait to have in the audience.

There are many videos of people wearing dust masks in the streets. Viruses are not dust. Viruses are so small you can’t see them with a microscope because they are smaller than the wavelengths of visible light. A dust mask, to a virus, is like driving a truck into the mouth of a large volcano. It’s not even going to touch the sides. Those dust masks serve only one purpose – to make people think they are safe.

Of course, you can’t provide people with filter masks that could stop viruses. The holes in the filter would be so small you would have trouble breathing through them. What you need is a multi-layer filter which would still not be perfect but which would be a hell of a lot better. A fluted, deep multi-layer filter fitted into a rubber mask that covers your nose and mouth would be the best thing here.

You know. The sort of thing an ex-microbiologist who’s spent a career working with pathogens and who has recently closed his lab might have lying about in his shed 😉

It’s a little sobering to recall that I visited China almost 30 years ago. It was work, not a holiday, so I was treated to genuine backstreet Chinese restaurants. When I came back, after ten days, I had lost ten pounds in weight and was, for one of the few times in my life, actually pretty trim.

Was I sick from the food? No. The food was wonderful. Not at all like the Westernised junk we get here. I lost weight because of the Chinese way of eating. The food is on plates on a lazy-susan in the centre of the table and all you ever have on the tiny plate in front of you is what you are about to eat right now. You stop when you’ve had enough. There is no mound of food on a plate that you have to clear. You take a little bit at a time.

Okay, some of the food was a bit strange. I tried it all anyway, even dog. Yes, I had to take rabies shots before going to China and they were pointless. They’d eaten all the dogs.

Of course, dogs aren’t the only carriers of rabies. Bats are another potent source. But I didn’t get offered bat, fortunately. Nor was I offered live baby rat nor the still-writhing remains of a squid. I have eaten most things, even steak cheval (in France) but bats, rats and the still wriggling seafood would have been a challenge.

I did manage to disgust them by eating a raw garlic clove and telling them what was in haggis. Yes, I managed to eat something that made the Chinese go ‘Ewww!’ I should have that on my gravestone, I think.

Now we are regaled by images of a Chinese man eating live baby rats and the tale of a Chinese woman who ate a whole bat. I don’t know why that’s remarkable, bats aren’t generally all that big. This dietary regime, apparently, is the cause of all ills. Well, as a smoker, I’m happy to have a day off from that particular blame game. Let the foodies have it for a while.

The Chinese have always eaten this way. With that size of population you eat what you can get and that has been true for a very long time. It really isn’t the fault of the Chinese people that coronavirus mutated into a new form. It does that all the time, and it’s not the only virus to do it. Rhinovirus is especially adept at it, which is why there is no cure for the common cold (that, and the fact it’s hardly up there with the ’cause of death’ crowd).

So yes, this is a nasty virus and it spreads easily, just like colds and flu. It’s going to be a horrible experience to get it and there is a 3% chance it might kill you. There’s also a 97% chance it won’t.

Take simple precautions, just as you would when there’s a cold or flu going around, and chances are you’ll never catch it at all. Don’t put your trust in dust masks, they won’t help in the slightest.

I think it might be time to put out an anti-hysteria infection book, perhaps with ‘Don’t Panic’ in large, friendly letters on the cover.

Killing yourself to live

No competition this time. It’s a Black Sabbath song that should really be the theme song for the Extinction Rabble. They should play it at Davos every time the Doom Goblin takes the stage.

This planet is turning into a lake of toxic waste thanks to mining for the materials needed to make windmills and solar panels. All those trees lost to the wind farms and short-lived suncatchers… planting a few more isn’t going to bring them back.

(I cut out the original poster’s ID so they won’t get flak from the loonies)

I have even seen a ‘scientist’ declare that the phrase ‘CO2 is plant food’ is an ‘unsubstantiated claim’.

Really. That’s the level of intelligence running the show here. Biology so basic that no university lecturer feels the need to even mention it. If you didn’t learn that at school you really have no business in any biological science subject of any kind at all.

So they remove acre after acre of photosynthesising plants that are absorbing atmospheric CO2 and releasing oxygen, only to replace them with panels that absorb sunlight and turn it into electricity. Those panels neither remove CO2 nor produce oxygen. They only work in daytime, if they’re not dusty or covered in snow. After 20 years the panels, and all the toxic materials they contain, go into landfill. They cannot be recycled.

Neither can worn out blades from those windmills. They go into landfill too.

The windmills have a finite life. When they are scrapped, they leave behind several hundred tons of concrete in the ground. Well what did you think was holding them up? Those huge concrete blocks will be marvelled at by future archaeologists who will write papers entitled ‘How stupid were our ancestors?’

The windmills only work in the right amount of wind. Too little and they don’t move. Too much and they have to be stopped or they explode. If there’s no wind and it’s sunny, they use power to rotate them because differential heating can warp the blades. If the wind is perfect but nobody currently needs power it goes to battery storage. Hahaha! That last line is a lie. The windy millers get paid bucketloads of cash to shut them down when they aren’t needed.

We are told to panic over plastic straws and yes, I am absolutely in agreement that there is far too much plastic waste being dumped. But that is going to pale into insignificance against the toxins generated by the ‘green’ industry.

The Electric Spaceman, Elon Musk, is currently building a massive factory in Germany and is chopping down many, many trees to make room for it. I would have preferred he put it somewhere that was already treeless. In fact I would have thought that would make considerable economic sense. However, watching the ‘greens’ handwringing outrage over this, when they have destroyed massive tracts of forests for their silly lawn ornaments masquerading as ‘sustainable power’, is actually sickening.

The windmills kill birds. Certain styles of solar power, the ones that reflect sunlight to heat a central tower, have been filmed frying any flying wildlife that gets into the path of the beams.

Mass killing of wildlife is apparently okay when the Greens do it. Australia is about to kill thousands of wild camels because they give out the long-debunked ‘greenhouse gases’. Those camels, birds, all the animals that used to live in those forests, must be wondering who exactly the Greens are trying to save the planet for. It’s clearly not them.

It’s not the farm animals either. There is a big push on Veganosity this month, they call it Veganuary (also Dry January, Januhairy, and other things, all of which is childish silliness which I have ignored). Lots of nonsense about farm conditions (although some farms are shit and end up prosecuted, most are not).

Photos of pigs in restraining pens, with the story that they spend their entire lives in there. This is bollocks. The restraining pens are called ‘farrowing crates’ and the sow is in there so she doesn’t inadvertently lie on her piglets when they’re born. A full grown sow can reach 300 kg and she won’t even notice a 5 kg piglet under her arse when she takes a nap. The restraints give the piglets a fighting chance to get out of the way.

Once the piglets are weaned, the sow goes back to roaming around with the other sows. She isn’t in that pen forever.

‘Oh, but pigs wouldn’t do that to their own babies!’ I have personally rescued screaming piglets pinned against the side of a pen by an uncaring mother. She has so many at one time, she doesn’t worry about losing a few. Pigs are pretty smart but the adults are not cute. They are evil bastards, as a visiting electrician who left without a large chunk of his leg will attest. The Brick Top character in ‘Snatch’ wasn’t using fiction when describing what pigs can do to a human body. These buggers will eat you.

So, are you going to let them run wild? They can’t find food. They don’t know how. Food is brought to them every day. Even then they are not averse to taking a chunk out of you if they get the chance. Imagine a pack of them set loose. In a couple of days they’ll be really hungry. And they will eat absolutely anything.

Cows? Pretty placid most of the time. Take a dog near them – especially when they have calves – and well, your chances are not good at all. An angry cow is not something you want to be within a mile of.

So let’s suppose the whole of the UK went vegan tomorrow. What happens to the cows, chickens, pigs, sheep etc? They all get killed, butchered, frozen and shipped to other countries at bargain prices as farmers try to salvage what’s left of their lives. They are not going to be set free. They are all going to die.

You can argue that they don’t have a great life now, in most cases they actually do, but they have life. Vegans want to end that. Greens want to kill them all too because they fart the long-debunked ‘greenhouse gases’. At least we meat eaters let the animals have life before we kill and eat them. We don’t want them extinct.

Pets… dogs and cats are carnivores. They cannot survive on vegetarian, much less vegan diets. So they all die too.

Ah but we’d have loads of wildlife. Well, apart from the ones the solar and wind farms have displaced, minced or fried of course.

Large areas of this country are lousy for crop farming and I don’t mean the cities. There are huge areas that grow nothing but grass. Not even trees grow there. You can’t plant crops there. So, you need every square inch of arable land to have the slightest hope of feeding a vegan population and you cannot afford losses due to rabbits, crows, pheasant or anything else. They all have to go.

The Green idea of ‘saving the planet’ leads to a sterile world of no biodiversity at all. It leads to a deep-communist world where nothing that is not essential is allowed to survive. Where nobody can question the way of things and nobody wants to. It leads to Panoptica.

Where Panoptica leads is likely to become very clear by the end. It was 10538 Overture by ELO that started that story, but it was another, later, quasi-documentary that really brought it to life.

I’d better get back to it before it all comes true.