The Coronavirus diaries continued…
Whilst life continues much as normal for us, there’s a sense of discomfort everywhere we go. We went out for dinner today and people in the bathroom were singing happy birthday whilst washing hands and avoiding all eye contact. In the supermarket there were queues, empty shelves and much jostling. Everyday items, not just toilet roll and hand sanitizer but also things like pasta and long life items are gone from the shelves. Parents we know cannot buy formula milk or nappies. Our Ocado delivery was dropped at the door without so much as a knock to let us know it was there. Apparently this is normal protocol now.
On Friday, (24 hours ago) Boris announced we were to continue much as normal. No social distancing, no school closures – just sensible protective hygiene measures and a new request for us to self-isolate for at least seven days should we get a temp of 37.8+ or a persistent cough. They also said they would no longer be testing and tracking each case of Coronavirus because, essentially there are too many.
Almost immediately the WHO did a press conference contradicting this and saying social distancing, tracking and testing should ALL be used to keep on top of the virus.
The Premier League, women’s football, golf tournaments, F1 and London & Manchester Marathon took matters into they own hands to say they were being stopped or postponed. I’m sure there are many more instances of this but it’s happening so quickly and so frequently that’s it’s impossible to keep track.
Today, there’s been noise and reporting to suggest that next week social distancing would be enforced after all (no word on school closures) and gatherings of 500+ would be banned.
Eton college, the UKs most prestigious private school closed its doors regardless. As did Liverpool university. Hard to imagine a situation now where other schools and establishments won’t follow suit in the coming days.
It’s been suggested that the wording Boris used in press conference that loved ones will sadly die before their time, is in fact a use of the nudge theory, a psychological tactic to scare people into behaving in the right way without having to mandate it. Who knows if that’s the case but I can say with certainty as a communications professional, that his words have been carefully chosen and scrutinised before delivery (and not by him).
People seem confused and frightened right now as we have watched Iran create mass burial graves for their Coronavirus victims and we acknowledge that the global figures of sick people cannot be accurate at this point.
It’s hard to know what to believe or do but it feels very much like anything can happen in a 24hour time period as we see countries close borders, care homes prevent visiting, shops with bare shelves, elderly people cut off from communities, events cancelled, international travel banned and of course worst of all, death tolls rise across the globe.
As I write the Coronavirus diaries today, I was just informed that police in the U.K. will be given the power to detain anyone suspected of having Coronavirus.
U.K. deaths: 21.
Global deaths estimated: 5400.
U.K. estimated infected: 1100.
Global estimated infected: 145,000.