Thursday 7 May 2020

Three things I have missed most?

Don't get me wrong; my recognition of the birdemic fake crisis is not based on its having made much of a difference to my own life: it has not. I already led a very restricted life due to illness; so not that much has changed. Indeed the recent spell of fine, dry, spring weather, quiet roads (I live within a mile of the city centre) and the return of the song thrush have all (for example) been major personal enhancements. So, it's nothing personal.

What I have missed most are threefold:

1. Trips by car to walk in the countryside.
2. Going to a cafe in the morning for my reading, writing, meditation.
3. Cricket.


Matthew T said...

"Trips by car to walk in the countryside."

Sorry, I simply can't understand this. You're disallowed to drive to the countryside to go for a walk in a place where there's no one else? And if so, you think you'd get caught if you tried?

"Going to a cafe in the morning for my reading, writing, meditation."

I can't wait to be old enough to have time to do this.

Bruce Charlton said...

@MT - "You're disallowed to drive to the countryside to go for a walk in a place where there's no one else? "

You haven't been paying attention!

David Stanley said...

It's amazing what you can get away with it you don't feel the need to tell everyone on the internet that you are doing it.

Jacob Gittes said...

I always forget how much more of a totalitarian police state the UK is than here. Here in the USA, I've driven across multiple states to meet someone special, and totally disregard all the governor's so-called "orders." And the local police and most people simply don't care.

Andrew said...

I've noticed the same spirit in Canada and the UK. The fear and acceptance of totalitarianism (at least on Ontario) seemed similar in both places..

The US has been more reluctant in many places and more vocal about opposition. Can you imagine men carrying loaded rifles onto state property in the UK and protesting the shutdown? Sure the media in the US mocks them, calls them Nazis, etc. and even republicans say it's stupid and terrible, but it is permitted and the police tread carefully in controlling the protest.

Bruce Charlton said...

It is important to distinguish between what can be done by breaking the law (and in the face of mass public opinion) - and the actual new laws/ regulations/ recommendations (implemented with the force of law). That is missing the point in a big way.

I think it reasonable to assume we are just at the beginning of something, and that enforcement will incrementally be escalated. Otherwise, what is the point of the manufactured crisis? (Since obviously it has nothing to do with health or medicine.)

Those of you who have been fortunate enough to avoid mass media hate campaigns, perhaps underestimate what can be done even to people who are entirely within 'the law' in a specific area, or who have done nothing. Indeed anybody can be targeted and their livelihood and reputation destroyed (and their life put in acute danger) at any time; because all are in breach of some over-inclusive regulation or another ('hate' crimes, causing 'offense' or fear, -'phobia' etc).

Having said all that - the British have retained their docility to authority, and my observations are that the new rules are being overwhelmingly over-implemented rather than dodged or flouted. Clearly there is very little of anything going on, compared with usual.

Plus an amazingly high number of people have been so terrified by the imagainary threat and their own reluctance to think and observe, that they apparently want nothing more than to stay indoors alone forever.

Indeed, even among those brave souls who venture outside, there are some significant proportion who apparently believe that the birdemic can be transmitted by catching another person's eye, or by exchanging verbal greetings. The sheer venomous hostility to other humans, radiating from some (mostly middle aged or older) folk needs to be seen to be believed.

As usual, the birdemic brings things to a point and abolishes the middle ground.

Francis Berger said...

My father, who lives in Canada, visits us in Hungary every summer. He purchased a ticket for this summer's visit before the birdemic broke out. I very much doubt he will be able to come this year. That's something we will all definitely miss.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank. We certainly will miss visiting a close relative resident abroad, but as this was annual and the year isn't up yet, I can't really include that.

Francis Berger said...

OK. Fair enough. How about breathing properly? We were lockdowned for 7 weeks in Hungary. During that whole time, face masks were strictly optional.

The government relaxed the lockdown on Monday, but now all of the sudden everyone has been mandated to wear a mask when entering a store or other public place. Lockdown - no mask. No lock down - mask. Perfect birdemic logic. I had to put a mask on to go grocery shopping today. Not fun.

Bruce Charlton said...

Masks don't keep anybody 'safe' from a respiratory virus - they merely, at a group-average level (used properly) - slightly reduce the risk of infecting or getting infected today. Over several days, you will get infected and you will infect others.

To be safe from a respiratory virus would require the kind of total body with respirator PPE (personal protective equipment) that you can see used in Ebola (which is much *less* transmissable than the birdemic).

In other words, as long as there is a respiratory virus - then everybody will be exposed, sooner or later.

JWM said...

It's sunny and over 90 degrees today in So Cal. I just returned from a bicycle ride. Today, like every day since this mess began, I saw many people out walking alone, no one near them for hundreds of yards, yet they were masked up like they were visiting a plague ward. The mask has become the new Virtue Signal. It tells the world "I do what my TV tells me to do, and I'm proud to obey my orders. I'm helping!"


Howard Ramsey Sutherland said...

I've been inclined to respect Orban, but FB's no-lockdown/mask comment makes me wonder.
There appears to be a trend growing the United States and, I hope, Canada: Governments - by diktats of the governor/premier, not legislation - ban gatherings and criminalise participating. Then local officials - sheriffs and police chiefs - simply announce they will not enforce the ban. We'll see how those stand-offs play out.
My hope for the United Kingdom - especially for England, which seems not quite so far gone as the Celtic Fringe - is that local police will likewise increasingly decline to enforce the most outrageous infringements, no matter what that curious customer Cressida Dick may say.
Unlikely, perhaps, but I still live in hope that Albion will awaken.

Hari Seldon said...

@BC, do you find it remotely plausible that China has managed to contain the birdemic, as the country is reporting? Nobody would confuse me for an epidemiologist but it seems to me that a temporary "lockdown" of tens of millions of people - after hundreds of thousands of people were allowed to leave Hubei province - would not suffice to exterminate the virus, when there is no vaccine and no "herd immunity" in the population.

It would be pretty funny if the whole lockdowy strategy was medically pointless and that the majority of China's population have already been exposed to this (relatively harmless) virus - but if so, very sad that the West uncritically swallowed the triumphalist Chinese narrative.

Bruce Charlton said...

@HS - First, it's not about the birdemic, which is trivial (i.e. no worse than a bad flu year - this is for sure now); it's all about the global totalitarian takeover.

And, as such, China and the West are on the same side and collaborating.

This can be seen from the fact that China participated in the Event 201 scenario last year which modelled aspects of the current birdemic (and also provided prior warning of what They would do to Us - which is a thing that demonic evil seems to do).

The West is probably modelling our emerging totalitarian society on the Chinese Social Credit scheme; cash has already been de facto abolished in the UK (with the lying excuse that it transmits disease - which, even if it did, would be medically-trivial-cubed).

Hari Seldon said...

@BC - Very disturbing.

I'm also seeing a movement in the US to incorporate "social distancing" into every aspect of life - as if keeping restaurants at below 25% occupancy (or whatever) will somehow stop the spread of the virus. And people actually believe this - or pretend to!

It's like the climate change nonsense on steroids.