Well, here we are again, it’s always such a pleasure. The clattering train of state, reacting with surprise that winter is a thing, is set to place us under another “lockdown”.

I’m not going to go into my feelings about this in detail here, because it has become a bit of a hot button issue – a shibboleth – taking on an almost religious dimension. For some, it’s almost as if Covid restrictions have become this strange fetish, with the word Lockdown spoken with reverence, fear, and slight sexual overtones.

Suffice it to say I think we are catastrophising, if not outright fetishising, the virus.

I think that the “only covid” tunnel vision we have at the moment is ignoring a great deal of other stuff that is going on, which is potentially more serious, if not as exciting.

I also think that the government has no right in a free society to insert itself via ministerial fiat into people’s private lives, no matter what the threat. Its claim to authority in these matters is illegitimate, and I fear we will be dealing with repercussions of inviting that particular vampire into our houses for generations to come.

But, it is what it is.

2020 has been a year on pause. For me, virtually everything I enjoy has been deemed pretty much illegal – I can’t train, I can’t travel, and while some of my friends haven’t let the Coof put them off meeting up, others have.

It has been a lonely experience, even for an introvert like me.

Your belief in the virus measures, and the narrative surrounding them, has become an article of faith for some – if you stay afraid, if you beg for more restrictions, you are Good. Moral. If you even question it, let alone point out where the Emperor has no clothes, then you are Immoral. Unclean. That is Haram.

My rather mild views on the matter have been deemed immoral and wrong, and worthy of ostracism, even by those I considered (and still do consider) friends.

It’s been really strange, and jarring. For some, anything less than full throated support is immoral. It is not simply enough to grudgingly comply with the ever changing rules… you have to believe.

It’s not enough to go about your day, living without fear, and allow other people to hide in their homes if they choose (only emerging to anxiously scurry to the shops and back, or the government authorised daily exercise)…. you have to be afraid too.

“You must affirm what I believe!”

Still, I can’t complain too much.

I can work comfortably in my home office, in a comfortable apartment. I have plenty of food. My income is, in as much as anything can be, secure. Covid hasn’t yet threatened my position in Maslow’s hierarchy.

So, I’m doing better than a lot of people in this country… as small businesses are forced to close, dreams shattered and livelihoods destroyed.

Nobody seriously believes that this is only going to be for 4 weeks. The last lockdown, “three weeks to flatten the curve”, lasted 4 months. I place bets that we won’t be out of this one until spring, and then what?

The virus isn’t going anywhere. It’s just leaning up against a lamp post smoking a cigarette, waiting for us to emerge from our bunkers. Sooner or later we are going to have to find a way to live with yet another thing on this planet that people, tragically, die from.

I wonder how many people will die of undiagnosed cancers, of heart disease, of despair, in the meantime? What will the unemployment figures will look like on the other side of this?… and yes, the economy matters. The economy is how hospitals get their drugs, and how people stay out of poverty… which is a thing that kills as assuredly as any virus.

Will it all be worth it?

Will the cure kill more than the disease?

Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, stay afraid. Because questions are Haram.

I imagine that many of you out there reading this are in the same position as me, under de facto house arrest to delay the spread of the Chinese Coronavirus, COVID-19.

As states and entire countries place their citizens under “lockdown”, we are all force to put our entire lives on hold, and weather the storm of the pandemic.

As the initial concern transforms into a slouching and mundane routine, we are all forced to consider how our lives have all changed.

I consider myself very fortunate.

For the moment, myself and everyone I care about is still healthy (and long may I hope this continues). I read the winds accurately (and am always thinking of contingencies by way of an intellectual exercise) so I had stocked up on food (and yes, even toilet paper) months before this kicked off properly.

I also work in IT, so I am able to stay in the cocooned bubble that is my home and earn a living, safely, as the world convulses outside.

So far, all my problems are distinctly first world.

I’m not on the front lines in the medical profession, police or military. I’m not even one of those poor under appreciated shlubs risking their health, on minimum wage, to sell me my food, or ship me my deliveries.

No, the worst thing so far that I have to deal with is working out what to do, now that everything I want to do has been cancelled, and all the goals that I was working towards have been put on hold for the next year or two.

Got to do what you can, and if you really look at your plans, you can still do something. You can still do some training, even if you can’t go to the gym. You can still outline plans that you can put in motion as soon as circumstances permit.

Practice your stoicism. Explore new hobbies, or get back to old ones.

Or, just do fuck all.

Edit: Youtube video link corrected to the correct author – HT Mitch Benn, go check him out!

As the world is griped by the global pandemic of the Covid-19 Coronavirus, I, like many around the world, have been ordered to work from home until further notice. Things are changing quickly, and I fully expect mandatory quarantine to follow in a few days, and with stores running short on supplies, rationing to follow shortly after.

I’m in a fortunate position in that until about a year ago, this was my day to day, and so for me this is largely a return to normal. Others in other industries are not so fortunate, and we’re already seeing the first of many likely business collapses and layoffs.

As we learn more about just how badly we are screwed, it is clear that societies around the world are going to have to change.

Restrictions placed on travel, association, going into offices and the large scale quarantining of whole populations are likely to go on for years (especially since it is now becoming evident that you can get the damn thing again, even after you’ve had it).

Thousands of us are going to die over the coming months, in every country in the world.

Every one of us will be affected.

The age of globalism is over

The quick spread of this disease has exposed the fragility of our global supply chain. Countries like Russia, which shut its borders early on, have faired much better so far than those that continued to allow unrestricted free movement of people.

At the very least I imagine that medical history checks will now be a routine part of travel going forward, together with routine shutdowns in outbreak areas.

Furthermore, with China now using its position as “Factory of the world” as a political weapon and threatening to limit supplies of life saving equipment and medical supplies, I fully expect more strategically important manufacturing to be moved back within national borders. Trade will of course continue, but it has proven foolish to depend overly on others for things necessary for your own survival.

Corona has made it clear that being entirely dependant on an Authoritarian Communist dictatorship for pretty much all such materiel is … probably a bad idea.

The world has no more time for your bullshit

Health services and supply chains, even in the developed west, will be pushed beyond breaking point. Rationing of care and supplies will likely become a factor of our lives for the next year or so at least.

Hard times are ahead, and if you’ve been used to relying (as we all have been to some extent) on the fact that we’re all so safe and pampered in the west, there’s a shock in store.

With healthcare systems being overwhelmed, and battlefield levels of triage being put in place, we are all going to have to be responsible for ourselves. We must rely on our own independence and resources, and each other.

Nobody is coming to save you.

As a result, nobody has the luxury to care about your made up mental illness, or that the only thing you’ve got going on in your life is that you’re part of [Insert Identity Group Here]. We’re out of patience as a society, and we no longer have the resources to coddle you.

Nobody has time or patience to shield you from your actions, and if you choose to endanger yourself, then that’s your own lookout. If your actions endanger others, for example, if you come into work when you have symptoms or generally go about your day exposing vulnerable people, then you deserve the harshest punishments.

We have more pressing matters to deal with as a society right now than your bullshit.

Chequered flag waved in the Rat Race

All rather bleak, but maybe there’s a silver lining if you squint at it…

With many of us in white collar jobs being forced to work from home, and offices shutting for the foreseeable future. How long will it be before people become used to this?

How long will it take for people to realise that the vast majority of white collar jobs in the modern economy simply don’t need to be done in an office?

Imagine, no more wasting your life commuting on packed trains. No more traffic jams.

No more expensive rents, and paying through the nose for a shoebox within commuting distance of work. Instead, you could live anywhere there’s an internet connection, and where the standard of living is high and the housing is cheap!

How long before people realise that office life really is a relic of a bygone age?

When this crisis is over, how many of us will refuse to go back? Many, I hope.

The same promise of freedom also beckons our young people forward into the light. With schools and universities around the world being shuttered, how long before they too realise that these institutions are entirely unnecessary for providing an “education” in the 21st century?

You can learn just about anything on the internet, and what’s more, you can do it for free. Everything I use to earn a living I taught myself outside of school, and this was in the days before the internet. I made more advancements in training on my frequent sick days than I ever did in the classroom, where I was forced to watch some Education “professional” fail to keep order, and attempting to concentrate while dodging thrown chairs and other projectiles.

Every day I would pray for some disaster to shut the schools so I could actually learn something. To this day I’m annoyed by my forced false imprisonment, and to think about how much further I’d be in my career were I not forced to go.

University was a little better, in that I actually learnt something (and the disruptive kids were generally too dumb to make the entrance requirements).

But, it was also expensive.

Not as expensive as it is now of course, and certainly not as expensive as in the United States, but still massively over priced and over valued.

There are other ways to get certified for future employment, and lets be clear, this is all a degree is right now – a certification of basic competence that future employers can look at in order to determine whether or not to give you an entry level position, nothing more.

Anyway.

I seem to remember that there’s a language where the word for “crisis” was written using the symbols for “danger” and “opportunity”.

It may have been Chinese.