On Kafka’s furrowed brow

Kafka could not have written this reality. Even he would shake his head in confusion at this.

Boris is still reciting his mantra of ‘you can visit family as long as you only meet in the garden and stay six feet apart and you can’t use the toilet in the house’ while thousands of protestors mob city centres all over the world. From the 15th June we are all to wear masks on public transport, which won’t affect me at all since we don’t have any of that around here. It will have no meaningful effect on anyone else either. Meanwhile tens of thousands have travelled all over the country to attend protests, pick up a viral souvenir and take it home.

In Scotland, the Chief Goblin of the Spiteful Nannying Party has declared we can’t travel more than five miles. Well, sod that. A five mile radius around me is farms and fields, the nearest supermarket is 15 miles, even the nearest pharmacy is 7 miles and the doctor’s surgery is another five miles further on. A five mile radius might get you everything you want in Glasgow or Edinburgh but out here it gets you farms and fields.

Boris has a new trick too. He wants to boost the Green God’s new Church of Climatology. Well, Boris, it is now the sixth of June. Two weeks to midsummer’s day. It is currently 7 degC outside and in the daytime tomorrow it is forecast to reach the giddy heights of 12 degC. This, you tousle-haired arse impressionist, is not warming. Twenty years ago I’d have had every window open by now.

I thought Boris or at least his carer, Demonic Cummings, had some sense. This new obeisance to the Green God has blown that out of the water. The sun is dimming, it’s at the bottom of three cycles at the same time. It’s getting colder. Shutting down your power stations and replacing them with shiny suncatchers and spinning lawn ornaments is exactly the wrong thing to do now. You want to cut emissions without killing large swathes of the population? Nuclear is the way. Lots of small plants rather than a few big ones. Small ones have less risk of meltdown and if one does go wrong, it wouldn’t contaminate the entire country and while it’s closed, the rest of the stations can take up the slack.

Chopping down every CO2-absorbing tree and replacing them with concrete and steel and fibreglass blades and toxic waste is suicide. You won’t be able to power anything at all on a windless night.

Then there is the alleged vaccine for the new Flu Manchu. Well, scientists are concerned…

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Scientists are worried that the virus might disappear before they have a vaccine for it. This, apparently, is bad news. Really. It’s only bad news if you were expecting to make a fortune from a vaccine that nobody now needs. It’s also bad news for those who delight in ultimate control of the population (yes, Wee Nippy, I’m looking at you). For the rest of us, it’s good news.

Flu Manchu is dying, but the restrictions are increasing. The rioting over a career criminal being killed by a dirty cop is on the wane. Only the daftest of the Woke are now kneeling, their replacement displacement activity from clapping on their doorsteps, and it’s time for something new.

Or, perhaps, the resurgence of an already established fearmongering scam.

Yes, we are back to the imaginary ‘global warming’. It’ll do, until the Chinese release another virus.

Waiting for King Charles

That’s all it needs now. King Charles III will preside over much the same mess as the first two. We might need to be saved by another William. Like last time. Fortunately we have one ready to go, and this one isn’t orange.

At least this time we get to skip the James part.

Well, we have all been under pretty vicious restrictions for months. CStM and I can’t shop together and I can’t be trusted to go on my own (trolley full of just the essentials, whisky, power tools and baccy) so we’re getting used to having the shopping delivered. It’s working well so far.

However, nobody can visit a dentist or optician, nobody can get a haircut (none of these bother me all that much) and anyone with a mysterious new lump dare not go to hospital to get it checked. I managed to get the part to fix my car from United Arab Emirates in under a week, the dealership 50 miles away couldn’t get one for a month. And then they wanted me to collect it. It’s the transmission cable, I can’t come and collect it unless I have one. Idiots.

In the face of mounting evidence that hydroxychloroquine is an effective antiviral, the WHO denies it. In the face of mounting evidence that nicotine has a protective effect, the WHO denies it. The WHO also claimed the virus wasn’t a big deal at the start of this, now they inist their vaccine must be mandatory.

Well, now we know that China owns the WHO, it all makes sense.

The pointless protests all over the world make any vaccine irrelevant. In the coming weeks we will know whether the virus is a serious danger or whether it’s all been overblown hype. There are mass gatherings, everywhere, of those who are most likely to be killed by it. If they start dropping like flies then it’s too late for a vaccine. If they don’t then there’s no need for one. The vaccine story is dead in the water.

We can also forget the whole ‘track and trace’ thing. Mass protests make it impossible. How the hell is anyone going to figure out who they came in contact with in all those mass protests? Track and trace is dead in the water.

We now have rules that state you cannot meet your partner indoors if you don’t live together and cannot have sex with anyone who lives outside your home. I wouldn’t do that anyway, she’d kill me. So there are likely to be a few six fingered banjo players in the future. And yet you can go on a rampage and loot a store called Target (not the best choice of name) and that’s all fine and dandy.

People have not been able to be with dying family members in their last moments, nor attend funerals. Couples have been separated for months. These restrictions still apply and yet mass demonstrations, vandalism and violence are allowed. It’s almost as if it’s a deliberate design to provoke uncontrollable fury.

Against who? Let’s not dwell on it. Let’s have an imaginary scenario instead.

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Pure fiction follows. I just made it up.

An experimental bioweapon escapes a lab in China. The Chinese government try to hush it up at first but then realise they can make use of it. So they stop travel between the infected region and the rest of China, but not between the region and the rest of the world. Let it spread awhile.

Their pet WHO plays it down at first, but then the game ramps up. Videos of Chinese people being sealed into their homes. Videos of people just dropping dead in the street. Huge hospitals built in days. Reports of mass cremations.

The West is, naturally, scared shitless and starts getting ready. Huge hospitals built and never used. Nobody dying in the streets. Absolute lockdowns that have made no detectable difference. Economies destroyed. Everyone out clapping like performing seals, wearing pointless masks and now kneeling like trained dogs. Everyone scared of everyone else.

Neighbours snitching like East German Stasi. Police arresting people for sitting on a bench. Supermarkets using customers as chess pieces on the Board of Shame. The virus is dying, it can’t spread. The Plague has failed.

And then, suddenly… mass protests and violence. Over one bad cop in America, one bad cop with a history of being a right arse and getting away with it. No other country can do anything about this and the cop has already been arrested and charged anyway.

It’s not an isolated nor unusual incident. Police violence has been the norm in many countries, including European ones, for a long time. Ask the Gilet Jaunes (who do not loot) in France. Or the protestors (who have never looted anything) in Hong Kong. It is not, and has never been, the norm in the UK. Police stupidity is rife but violence isn’t.

So, you have a bioweapon, released accidentally but you want to make use of it anyway. What do you do?

Stage massive precautions and terror in your own country for the press. Let the rest of the world destroy their livelihoods by following suit. Let them live in terror.

Ah, but the Plague is failing. It’s not spreading any more. What to do?

Pick an incident, any racial incident, and blow it into International Outrage. That will get your targets to mass together and spread the plague once more.

The target? Consider. China has been extremely unpleasant to Muslims. They round them up and put them in camps and ship them around as slave labour. They have also been exceptionally nasty to black people. The virus hits BAME people a lot harder than anyone else. White people are hit less hard but are more likely to be spreaders. The demonstrations are mostly BAME people and their lefty white servants. I’m sure it must be all a coincidence.

By the end of this month we will know one of two things.

Either the virus is deadly, especially to non-whites and they’re all wiped out or…

The virus is all hype and the government’s lockdown and restrictions were all pointless bollocks.

Either way, vaccines and track and trace are pointless now. Lockdown is pointless now. Either way, the governments of the West do not come out looking good.

Either way, China wins this.

Lockdown collapses

I see the press are still trying to take down Demonic Cummings over his trip to Durham, in which he might or might not have met someone else. Meanwhile they seem unfazed by the huge crowds in London protesting about a man killed in a part of the world our government has absolutely no jurisdiction over. The same thing is happening in Berlin, in Copenhagen and other places too. What do they expect their governments to do about it?

Have they fallen for the ‘EU is everything and controls the world’ mantra? Nobody outside the EU gives a flying fuck what the EU thinks and, increasingly, neither do those inside it.

Even Donnie Trumpton has no say over the US police. That’s down to individual states. As far as I know he doesn’t control the FBI or CIA either. Police matters seem to be controlled by state governors, even by city mayors. Like in London. Saddo Khan controls the metropolitan police. People blame Boris when the Met do stupid things but he’s not in charge of them. The mayor is.

So what can anyone in the UK do about a police force in another, faraway country, where even the president has no power over them? Not a damn thing.

Italy, naturally, is different. They are currently having big protests over something else entirely. Something their government actually can do something about. Something ours is supposed to be doing something about.

Richard Burgergone, the noisy lump of overpaid MP, has been on Twitter complaining about kids going back to school. It’ll be a disaster! The Plague will kill them all! I haven’t seen a word out of him over gatherings of hundreds of people shouting slogans and presumably spouting potentially infected spittle by the bucketload. Perhaps he’s okay with all that. The BBC seem to be. So do the rest of what passes for news these days.

So am I, really. It’s very nice of these people to act as coal mine canaries for the rest of us. Is it safe to gather in groups of more than six now? Is it safe to hang around with a huge mass of strangers, like in, say, pubs? Is it safe to travel the country to attend a mass protest and then travel back again? There’s only one way to find out and these people are kindly doing it for us.

If, two weeks from now, the bodies haven’t started piling up in the streets, then there’s no more danger and everything can go back to normal. If they do pile up, it’ll only be these lunatics and nobody needs them around anyway.

One thing these protests have done for sure. If there is a resurgence of the virus when lockdown eases and they try to blame Boris, all he has to do is point to video of those crowds. There’s where the blame lies, and that’s the funniest part. In trying to bring down Boris they have given him an easy way out of lockdown. He could cite those crowds as a reason to just drop all restrictions and any second wave of virus won’t be his fault. It’s the fault of the loony Left.

It will never cease to amaze me how they manage to backfire every single time.

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In other news, Leg Iron Books is still holding eBook prices at 99 cents (US, the price in other countries will vary because it depends on the exchange rate and local VAT) until lockdown is over. Then they will go back up to sensible prices. The eBook anthologies might stay at 99 cents because well, they make no money anyway. They are there to advertise the authors and Leg Iron Books as a whole.

It’s also time for quarterly royalty payments and this time, everyone has at least one sale. Including me, at last! Okay, the amounts will be tiny because of the bargain prices on the eBooks but the authors are getting that little bit better known. Financially, it’s not great but in terms of promotion it’s done quite well.

Soon though, I’ll have to put the novel/single author prices back into a decent payback for those authors. They can’t all stay cheap forever.

Stop that. It’s silly

Some may remember Graham Chapman’s ‘colonel’ character from Monty Python. Another comedy team that wouldn’t be allowed near the airwaves in this time of political correctness, in which people get offended by tea.

He would have had to shout his line ‘Stop that, it’s silly’ until his throat was raw. The human race has, indeed, descended into a pit of stupidity it might never climb out of. Forget about diseases or crashing economies or wars. Humanity is heading into a race of drooling idiots who are offended by the mere presence of all the drooling idiots around them, never noticing the drool on their own chins.

I was in Local Shop on Saturday. My first visit for a month. I had to post a mug and pick up some minor essentials. This little shop has toilet paper, pasta and flour again. Any kind of flour you want. I can’t remember the last time I saw a not-empty flour shelf in any shop. Somewhere there are people with stacks of flour, pasta and toilet paper, all just waiting for the mice, mould and flies of summer to ruin the lot. We didn’t stock up with anything and didn’t run out of anything – but then we live far away from civilisation so tend to have a few weeks’ worth anyway.

You would think that people, especially the British, would now look at those immense stacks of pointless stocks and think ‘Well, we have been a bit silly. Let’s calm down and try not to do it again’.

No. Now they are arguing over masks. One side says nobody should wear a mask ever, the other says everyone has to wear one all the time. Which side is right? As is always the case, neither. Oh, and there are regular spam emails trying to sell overpriced cloth masks that won’t do a damn thing.

Actually that’s not true. Wearing a cloth mask all day virtually guarantees a repiratory infection. Medical masks have a hydrophobic layer because every exhalation carries a load of water vapour. The hydrophobic layer means the condensation resulting from that breath does not leave you with a damp mask over your face. Also, medics do not keep the mask on all day and they don’t put the same one on all the time.

A cloth mask will gradually get damp as you breathe through it. It won’t stop a virus. You might as well wear a sieve. What it will do is provide a damp environment, warmed by your face, that will delight any airborne bacteria or fungal spores that land on it. Keep that on for hours, let the populations grow, and inhale all those lovely infections. You’re going to feel a bit silly when you’re stuck in hospital with a fungal or bacterial infection caused by your futile attempt to stop a virus.

Those masks are to make you feel better about having other people around. That is all they achieve. They also achieve increased CO2 rebreathing, restricted oxygen intake, and a risk of other kinds of infection. All while doing sod all to stop a virus.

Okay, getting hold of proper medical masks isn’t going to be easy. If everyone stocked up we’d have the flour, pasta and toilet roll situation all over again (which I fully expect is happeneing now). Even the medical masks won’t stop a virus, which is why everyone wants an N95 mask.

However, N95 masks have to be properly fitted and they are, due to their fine pore size, hellish hard to breathe through. Keep that on all day and you’re going to pass out from CO2 toxicity long before you have to worry about any kind of infection.

Right, so let’s say a cloth mask is all you can get. You must get more than one and they must be washable. Minimum 60C wash. Forget about the bloody virus, the detergent will kill that at 30C. What you are trying to kill are the bacteria and fungi that your mask has been collecting while you wear it and you need at least a 60C wash for that. So no masks made of fleece that won’t survive a 60C wash.

Only wear it when you are around other people – and not the people you live with, it’s too late to worry about that now. Take it off whenever you are alone. Do not wear a mask of any kind when driving, there is a real danger of wooziness due to rebreathing CO2 which means you can’t concentrate. The virus cannot penetrate your windshield, trust me on that one.

If I am forced to wear a mask in a shop I will put it on when I go in and it’ll be straight off when I come out. Not that I’m likely to be visiting many shops, since CStM and I cannot shop together at the moment and we’re quite enjoying having the shopping delivered. Supermarkets are not likely to be much fun for a long time yet either.

Put the mask in the wash after ONE day of use. No, it is not okay to use it for three days in a row, those bacteria and fungi are still growing while it’s hung on a hook in your centrally heated home. Next day’s outing will add more. You need at least two masks so you can have one washed and drying and the other ready in case you want to go to the shops again.

If you are in a car alone or with members of your household you do not need a mask. The driver absolutely must not have one on. If you are cycling or running about in the countryside, well away from everyone, you do not need a mask and should not wear one. If you pass out, who’s going to find you?

Look at your memories of being in hospital. Admittedly I don’t have many of those but in the few I do have, none of the medical staff wore masks. Not the doctors, not the nurses and certainly not the patients. Masks were for surgery, and their purpose was to avoid contamination of an open wound by anything breathed out by the surgeon.

Suddenly everyone in hospital is wearing them. There was never any ‘PPE shortage’. Hospitals were stocked on the basis of normal use, not on the basis of every bugger in there wanting one. Stocks were not low. They were depleted rapidly because of a surge in demand. Restocking was hampered by that surge in demand happening in a hundred countries at the same time.

I could make a virus-stopping mask but I’m not really seeing the point any more. Well, I’m a special case I suppose, I have never really interacted with people very much and live where they can’t find me. If you live in a big city you can’t avoid that interaction. You also cannot escape the virus. Many of you have already had it, it can range from a cold to a really bad flu, but not many of you needed hospital treatment.

Not wearing a mask is about to become the New Smoking. They will point and scream at you, some shops will refuse entry, you’ll get nagged and harassed every chance they get, they will try to shame you because you are not one of the herd. You will need one, but do not wear it all the time. Especially if you have asthma or any kind of lung condition or have just recovered from any lung infection of any kind. That mask will restrict your breathing no matter what it’s made of and if your lungs are already struggling it will make that worse.

The mask is futile. Even N95, if you aren’t trained in its use. I note that all the mask wearers wear no eye protection even though we have known from the outset that this virus can get in that way. Yet it’s all about the mask.

There is no mention of taking supplemental vitamins C and D and zinc supplements. Watch it with the zinc, extended use can lead to anaemia but taking it for a few months while this nonsense rages won’t harm you. Vitamin D is cheap, and an orange a day will get you nicely loaded with vitamin C. Oh, I might get some Haliborange. I remember that from childhood, it was the only medicine that tasted like sweets. All these things help against a wide range of viruses and other ailments. As does being a miserable antisocial swine, but that’s just me.

Hydroxychloroquine… well, there are almost no lupus sufferers in the hospitals. That’s the drug routinely used to treat lupus. It does work although I’d only take it under medical supervision. For most people it’s fine but some do get an allergic reaction to it. You can get some quinine into you with a small daily glass of tonic water. Proper tonic water, not this modern trendy ‘no quinine’ shite. That’s why tonic water exists – gin and tonic was originally designed to get quinine into the Brits who had moved in on countries where malaria was endemic.

However, the mask is the new polarisation. Some see it as an oppressive thing, others see it as the only thing that will save humanity. It is neither. It is a fad, a sop to the terrified, a feel good farce. It will not protect you and will not protect anyone around you. And yet, if you are seen without one you will be treated as smokers have been treated for years.

The amusing part is that smokers, like lupus sufferers, are hugely underrepresented in hospitalisations from Flu Manchu. Nicotine is also protective and you don’t even have to smoke it. Several places are trialling nicotine patches as a treatment. I find this hilarious because it’s rather like this…

Smokers are excluded from most places now, places where everyone else gathers to spread their diseases. It’s just the icing on the cake to find that nicotine is the preventative they will all refuse to take.

If I have to go somewhere where masks are compulsory I will wear one, but it will not be a standard medical mask. I have a plague doctor mask and several ‘Are you my mummy?‘ style gas masks. I will only wear one where it is compulsory. While I could potentially make a virus-proof mask I no longer see the need. The virus has turned out to be far less dangerous than it’s been hyped up to be, although it could still be an issue in highly populated cities. It’s all about the percentages. If, say, ten percent need to go to hospital, then ten percent out here is a lot less than ten percent of London.

But still, if I have to wear a mask, it will not be a medical one, it will be outrageous. It will be scary and yes, I will have to hype up the scariness. Can’t help it, it’s what I do. I might even put a pointless posy in that plague doctor mask, just as in the old days. What the hell, they’re already primed for a scare. I just can’t let that pass.

There is no point telling people they are being silly. They are too scared to accept it. They have to be shown just how silly it all is and they have to realise it for themselves. Before it’s too late, before they hand their lives over to total control because there will be no way back from that.

How silly has it all become? Well, this is a modern baptism…

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I think it needs a clay pigeon launcher. The priest gets one shot and if he misses, the child belongs to Satan. If you’re going to be scared, let’s take it all the way, eh?

The Mask

I have sourced a replacement transmission cable for my car. It’s in United Arab Emirates. There were a couple that were closer – in Lithuania – but they were second hand parts. I’d use them in a pinch but I don’t have very good past experiences with second hand parts – and this is a critical part. The car has been absolutely immobilised for over three weeks.

So the cable is on the way from UAE. I have a friend also trying to get one in Wales and there is still the possibility that the local dealership will come through, although that seems increasingly unlikely. If I end up with three I’ll sell one and keep the other in case it ever happens again.

Of course, the UAE one could end up in a catch-22. There are bound to be import duties, I’ll probably get a card telling me where to go to pay and collect it, and then I’ll have to try to explain why I can’t come and collect it until they bring it here. Hopefully I’ll be able to pay those import duties online, otherwise I have to wait until one of the other two channels come through before I can collect the part I need to fix the car so I can collect the part.

This is normal life for me, it doesn’t even raise an eyebrow any more.

Anyway, masks.

Everyone wants N95 masks because they are fine enough to stop the virus. You need training and fitting to wear one of those masks properly. They seal around your face so the only air you breathe is coming in through the mask. No doubt you’ll have seen pictures of the nurses who have been wearing them on long shifts, day after day. They chafe your face.

They are also very difficult to breathe through. Any mask will be, but these especially so. Most of the air you exhale into the mask fails to leave the mask and you breathe it back in. Some new air, sure, but you’re also breathing back the CO2 you just exhaled. Keep it on for too long and your blood oxygen is going steadily down while your blood CO2 is going up. Eventually you’ll pass out and if nobody nearby thinks to take your mask off (I guarantee they won’t because they’ll think you have the virus) you might die of asphyxiation. Those trained in the proper use of the masks know to watch for the early signs in themselves and others, but the general public do not.

Any mask of any kind will have the same effect, the finer the pores the worse the effect will be – but then too open and it won’t stop the virus. Flu or asphyxiation, make your choice.

Masks with exhalation valves are better for you but these are not going to stop someone with the virus from breathing it out. And that is what the mask is supposed to achieve. It’s not to protect you, it’s to protect those around you.

Doctors and nurses are trained in the use of these masks. They know not to keep them on all day. Get to a safe area and take off the mask, get yourself oxygenated and then put the mask back on. The general public are not trained. They will have masks on all day (I even hear of people driving alone, wearing a mask) and some will even have them on at home. That is when you get people suddenly collapsing in the street, as in all those Chinese videos.

It’s called hypercapnia.

So, should you refuse masks? Well, no. You do not need N95. If you don’t know how to fit them properly you might as well wear a standard dust mask. A badly fitted N95 mask is an expensive waste of time.

A mask made of a salted layer and a HEPA layer cut from a vacuum cleaner bag will do, but don’t even wear that all the time. Do not wear at home or when driving (both pointless) but masks will help in places like supermarkets or on busy streets. You don’t need a mask if you’re hiking up a mountain and there isn’t a single person within sight. In this idiotic age, I fully expect a police drone to order you to put one on and I am counting the days until someone smashes one of those things. It’s bound to happen.

Really, you shouldn’t wear any kind of mask if running or otherwise doing any kind of strenuous exercise. CO2 at 10% is enough to kill you (yeah, it takes a lot more than parts per million but let’s not spoil the Church of Climatology’s beliefs with facts) and you can definitely get the level high enough to make you sick with any kind of mask. Especially if you are breathing heavily or already have asthma or any respiratory condition.

So, should you wear a mask? Only when absolutely necessary. Never at home. Absolutely never when driving since passing out at the wheel means you won’t have to worry about any virus killing you. Not while doing any form of strenuous exercise (have one handy in case a jobsworth wants to insist you wear it and take it off when the jobsworth is around the corner). Alternatively wrap a loose scarf around your face, so you can still breathe. It won’t stop the virus but that’s far from the only risk in this situation now.

Soon we will hear Boris’s plans for the current lockdown. I hope he doesn’t do what the Miniature Scots Idiot has done and extend it, because people will simply not listen any more. Surely Boris has known this from the start, lockdown has a limited compliance span and it is already starting to fail.

I can see why, especially in London. Some years back I lived in the highest flat in a small town. Very nice flat but it was four rooms and up three flights of stairs. Then I moved out to this big farmhouse with a huge garden – at cheaper rent but isolated. If I had been in that flat during lockdown I would have been stir crazy by now. Especially if every time I crossed the street to the shop there were jobsworths demanding to know if my 40-yard journey was ‘essential’. I’d be getting very close to decking one of them by now. Many people have less patience than I do. At least five.

People in flats with no gardens are having a really hard time of it, and they are out of work too. The stress I am under is as nothing compared to theirs (to be honest, apart from the difficulty sourcing car parts, life hasn’t changed much) and of course they can only stand it for so long. That time is up now. Lockdown cannot be maintained. Sturgeon is going to find out the hard way. I hope Boris has enough sense to take the easy way.

It’s not going to affect those who want to live in eternal lockdown. They still can. It’s likely to cause a surge in cases and the inevitable ‘I told you so’ but those who want to be totally safe will still be safe. Voluntarily. Social distancing will continue for quite some time; the fear instilled by the government and media isn’t going to just vanish.

Of course, CStM and I will still be in lockdown even if Wee Nippy comes to her senses and relaxes it. Involuntarily, until the cable I need to fix the car arrives.

Even if they abolish it completely, we’re going nowhere any time soon.

Viral smokiness

I’m seeing a lot of reports that smokers and vapers are very under-represented in cases of the new virus. I haven’t seen solid studies yet, just admissions/deaths numbers but then there really hasn’t been time to study mechanisms in detail.

There are a lot of possible mechanisms. It seems regular intake of nicotine represses a protein called ACE2. I’m not going to bore you with biochemistry, suffice to say that this is a cell surface protein that has a few jobs to do, but it’s also the one Flu Manchu attaches to when attacking cells. So, cells that have a lot of this protein are highly susceptible to the virus.

If it is reduced in nicotine users then those using nicotine patches and gum long term should also show a protective effect. I haven’t seen any data at all on that though. If it does turn out that patches and gum have an effect then nonsmokers don’t need to take up smoking. During flu season, slap on a nicotine patch.

Of course, that route has been effectively blocked by Public Health, who have spent years convincing the gullible that nicotine is harmful, carcinogenic and addictive. It is none of those things but the public won’t believe that now and I have long given up arguing with the indoctrinated. ‘Harmful’ and ‘carcinogenic’ can be applied to other chemicals in smoke just as well as they can be applied to the chemicals in vehicle exhausts. Nicotine plays no role in any of those things.

There are, of course, other, potentially simpler reasons why smokers are under-represented in the current Mao Tse Lung outbreak. Smokers, long term ones anyway, tend to cough quite a bit. Often with phlegm, which will make it harder for a virus to get in. Viruses can’t swim, they have no motive power at all, they just go where the wind takes them. If they get stuck in mucus and coughed back out, they can’t get you. Also, an infected cell releasing new viruses into a layer of phlegm will slow the infection of neighbouring cells and give the immune system a better chance of dealing with it.

Then there is the whole social isolation thing. Smokers have been ostracised harder and harder for many years and really, a lot of people stay well away from us anyway due to the ridiculous fearmongering around second and third and nine hundredth hand smoke. Our social lives have been so curtailed that we must surely be at far lower risk of catching anything at all.

Incidentally, Amnesty International have been on social media to declare that calling it ‘the Chinese virus’ is racist. I’m sure they won’t like the names I’ve been calling it. However, having now seen multiple instances of black people in China being evicted, turned away from shops, turned away from hospitals when in labour, and not a peep from the Champions of Anti-Racism, Amnesty can go in the same bin as the WHO, UN and Public Health. They have all proved themselves as useless as the EU in this outbreak. Just nannying and virtue signalling and pushing agendas. ‘Never mind the sick people, this is our chance to get what we want.’

Quite a few organisations are showing their true faces now. The Masque of the Red Death (I’d make it a competition but can’t get to a post office anyway) did that too, and the title seems appropriate here.

There has been a sudden switch from ‘Ban all face coverings’ to ‘Cover all faces’, hasn’t there? I need a mask with a cigarette sized hole in it, is that allowed? I doubt it. Anyway, if you have to make your own masks, get some hoover bags. The HEPA ones, they look like white cloth, are best although the paper ones will do at a pinch. Cut those up to make a layer in the mask, they are not quite as good as N95 but pretty close. Oh and don’t forget the salt-encrusted cloth layer. It’s in several earlier posts.

If you have a gas mask or spray paint mask or one of those rubber dust masks with filters in it, you can replace the filters with the HEPA layer and salt layer. Make sure there are no gaps.

Oh, and getting back to racism because ma, papa, we’re all racists now (that would have been too easy for a competition), the Mayor of London, Napoleon something, has declared that because BAME people are disproportionally represented in infection rates, there must be something racist going on. It can’t just be that they are ignoring lockdown and social distancing rules, someone has to be to blame. Someone white and male, naturally. Well, viruses have no gender and since they are smaller than the wavelength of visible light, they have no colour either. Good luck accusing them of racism.

Maybe it’s those BAME gatherings that are behind their enhanced infection rate.

Or maybe they just didn’t smoke enough.

None of you seem to understand

I’m not locked in here with you. You’re locked in here with me.

Rorschach’s best line from ‘Watchmen’, a good film but a much better graphic novel. You want to hear it in real life, with the rage dial turned up to 11? Take away the tobacco or vape from the smoker/vaper you’re self quarantining with. Take away all alcohol from that heavy (or even moderate but regular) drinker you’re locked in with. Force your somewhat rotund family member to diet.

That’s what the Nannies want you to do. They want to lock you in with people who have nowhere to drive and nothing to do and they want you to take away the last of the things that alleviate their boredom. Does that sound like a good idea to you? Oh they might be a little bit healthier but you’re locked in with them while they go through a forced withdrawal and have nothing to replace it. Better sleep with one eye open and hide all the sharp things.

Actually they won’t be healthier. Their stress levels will increase massively if you remove the booze and smokes/vapes controlling their stress at this time. Same goes for the overweight – try to force them to diet now and you will not only increase their stress but they might well get so angry they lash out.

And I wouldn’t blame them. Not one bit. The link between overweight and coronavirus is tenuous at best. There is no link at all between smoking or vaping or drinking and coronavirus, whether susceptibility to catching it or severity of symptoms. The major risk is underlying conditions, especially diabetes, cancer and heart problems. Those are the ones suffering the worst and dying the most. And you can’t fix those things with rules.

In fact, smokers are under-represented in coronavirus cases in ICU. I have no data to hand on vapers or boozers, which is a pity since I partake in all three hobbies. Nobody, as far as I know, has even mentioned heat-not-burn.

Sudden lifestyle changes, especially when forced upon someone rather than letting them do it by their own choice, is extremely stressful. Stress reduces your immune response. At this time, do you think it’s a good idea to do that? Stress puts pressure on your heart. At this time, do you think it’s a good idea to do that? Having one stressed-out person in a locked-in household will stress everyone else too. Is that a good idea?

Of course not, but then Public Health are hardly famed for having good ideas. In the midst of the biggest threat to public health in a hundred years, they have no ideas at all. Just more nannying.

Donnie Trumpton, Great Orange King of the Oompa-Loompas, has ideas. He is using this to wipe out his opponents’ voter base. By telling them the truth. It’s despicable, it’s evil, he knows what he’s doing, but it’s something even Ian Fleming didn’t think of in a villain.

He mentions chloroquine. Long known to have antiviral properties, long used in treatment of malaria, lupus and other things, very cheap, no side effects worth worrying about with proper dosage. Trump knows nothing of this, he spent his life in business, not medicine nor science. Someone advised him.

The anti-trumpers invent all kinds of side effects and demonise this common and easily obtainable drug. They will not touch it.

Today he mentioned zinc. Again, he won’t know about this from his own past. Someone advised him. Zinc oxide cream is the wound healer of choice for minor wounds, zinc sulphate is the internal version, helps the immune system and can break the cytokine storm that could kill you with this virus. Twitter is full of people calling it shamanism,idiocy, betting he has just bought shares in zinc, relating side effects (from overdose,they don’t mention that part) and generally inducing Trump-haters to have nothing to do with it.

His methods are so evil even I couldn’t have written it. But they are remarkably effective. Trump supporters will be on zinc sulphate supplements, and more, already, while his opponents will scoff at the idea. So if they get the virus, his supporters are already primed for treatment. His opponents are not.

All you need do is read the label and don’t overdose. You can in fact half-dose and increase to full dose when (if) you get sick. Probably best, you don’t want to be on these things long term.

Trump sounds like a bumbling idiot when he speaks. Some of that is because he doesn’t really understand the science he’s been told, some of it is, I think, an act. He (or his advisers) know that his opponents think he’s a complete idiot and he’s playing to that. Tell them the solution and watch them ignore it, even ridicule it.

I think he’ll tell them next that forced respiration is a bad idea and it’s better if patients lie on their stomachs for a while each day. It’s turning out to be true, but they’ll say it’s because he doesn’t want to buy respirators. And they will refuse to do it if they get sick. They will demand forced respiration and refuse to touch Trump’s shamanistic drug regime.

There are some things he will never tell them. Smoking reduces cell surface proteins the virus uses to attach, and gives the smoker a regular dose of virus-killing nitric oxide. There is emerging evidence that propylene glycol, used in vapes, is also antiviral. Trump will never mention those things because he is a rabid antismoker and has recently shown his antivaping credentials.

The alcohol? No idea yet but there is nothing to say it will make things worse.

So I think I’ll have another.

Cheers.

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.