• neil

Day 98 (23 June): Making waves

Toes in the water

If you read yesterday's blog you will know my house flooded during the night of Sunday to Monday due to a burst pipe. I recall now my conversation with the plumber.

Plumber:That was an accident just waiting to happen. That threaded flanged ooglyboogly joint should never have been used. You were really lucky it didn't happen before!

Neil: Indeed. Lucky me! Last night was a great time for this to happen. Let us open a bottle!

Plumber: And the piping leading to your water pump is real cowboy work.

Neil: Yes. When he came in wearing chaps and a stetson I should have been more wary.

Plumber: It is a shame you didn't take a photo of the piping before it burst.

Neil: I normally put in an hour a day photographing piping, wiring, electronic devices -everything that comes into the house- in case bits fall off later.

I didn't really say any of that. So I'm saying it now.

But why is only the workmen before the present workman who get things wrong?

And why is it that he talks to me as if I am an idiot (he cannot know this - we only just met) because my plumbing knowledge is rudimentary? I would like to see him look after guinea pigs.

Catching a wave

It is an odd but not entirely surprising situation. Wherever I go there seems to be a mix of 'devil-may-care-we-only-live-oncers' and 'put-on-a-mask-and-keep-your-distancers' with most of us somewhere between the two.

I never thought I would write that Brexit was straightforward but, whether or not you had the foggiest idea what it was about, you knew where you stood. For or against.

But in our present situation we all seem to be working out our own idiosyncratic compromises with Covid. Mask everywhere? Never wear one? Gloves? Keep two meters apart but share a crowded lift? We are supposed to have contact only with members of our 'bubbles' but the bubbles seem to be expanding and remarkably flexible.

Twenty or thirty years ago, in the event of emergencies of whatever nature, people took their lead from national governments and the information disseminated by those governments in newspapers or a handful of national television stations. Now people can pick and mix their confinement advice and we can find out what everybody else is doing within seconds.

The Swedes are doing this but the Germans are doing that. The U.S. federal government is pushing for this but individual states are doing something more nuanced.

The disease itself is, of course, pretty much the same wherever it pops up. But with so many varied and often conflicting reactions to the problem, each backed up by its own medical experts and senior politicians, it is not surprising to find that friends and acquaintances have adopted widely varying ways of getting by.

My sister and brother in law still remain vigilant and essentially isolate themselves; if you go to their house you will be treated as a biohazard. They only open the door if you agree to sanitise your hands in the microwave.

On the other hand many people are now out and about living life little differently than before the whole business began.

This leaves me with some sympathy for governments. Short of introducing draconian measures and thus shortening their own life expectancy there is little any government can do to clamp down on populations which are becoming less risk averse, or less believing in the risk, and more determined to get back on with living.

If there is to be a second wave I cannot imagine that the strict measures imposed at the beginning of the first wave will be reimposed. The cat seems to be slipping inexorably from the bag and I just hope it has brought the vaccine with it.

Have a pleasant evening!



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