Coronavirus – Day #12

One of the interesting things about the current crisis is how quickly things have changed. Only a couple of weeks ago we were wondering whether travel would be affected. Now conventions as far out as August are being cancelled. And you can get caught out. I’ve been watching a documentary series about British Rivers on Channel 5. It is basically an excuse to do some local history of the back of the region that a major river flows through. The latest episode I watched was on the Warwickshire Avon. (There are lots of rivers called Avon in England because afon is Welsh for river, and the English are stupid.) This is the one that flows through Stratford, but it is also known for Rugby and its sport, Warwick for its castle, Leamington for its spa and several other things. The river is also prone to flooding. At the start of the show the narrator said that 2020 would be remembered as the year of terrible floods on the Avon. Ha, no mate. Nice try.

Keeping up with the pace of change has been hard for some organisations. Today I got email from Tesco to say that they have finally implemented a queuing system (with enforced separation) for getting into stores, and at checkouts, plus a rigorous cleaning regime. They’ve also cut down on the range of products they stock to make sure they have enough basic necessities. I’m not going to risk heading out there for a while though. Goodness only knows how people will be behaving.

What does seem to be working is the Internet. Today I had a long video chat with my friend Otto in Helsinki. That sort of thing is easy. Also Disney+ seems to have got through its UK launch with no capacity issues. But utility systems are complicated. We still have power, water, and connectivity, but what happens if things go wrong? I’ve just had email from my internet provider, Zen, who have been great, but they don’t own vans. If something were to go wrong on the network out in the country somewhere, it is a company called Openreach that would send an engineer to fix it. They have just announced that they can no longer keep to their advertised service level. If your internet goes down, and you are not a priority industry, then you are screwed. In theory I still have the mobile phone, but hopefully I won’t need it.

Without the Internet, of course, I would be completely cut off. I think I would probably still be OK for a while. I’m slightly boggled at the people who are getting cabin fever after a day or two of working from home. Obviously I don’t have kids, which helps a lot, but I’m used to this. I’ve been working for myself, mostly from home, since 2003. What’s more, as a trans person, I’m used to going 2 to 3 weeks over Christmas with no in-person social contact every year. In effect I have been training for this for a long time.

2 thoughts on “Coronavirus – Day #12

  1. The big news here as of last night are: all restaurants must close from Saturday and Uusimaa, the region I live in and where Helsinki is, will close for all non-essential out-of-the-region-travel from Friday. THAT was somehow unexpected, at least for me. Very Under the Dome-feeling right now.

    In the lines at the supermarkets middle-age men still crowd me and people are not great at the safety distance. So I am quite happy to mostly just stay home. I have realized that with homeschooling, work, knitting and reading my days are actually more full than they normally are (that’s the homeschooling playing in) and I never have time to do everything I want in a day (there is more housework too with all the extra cooking when everyone needs a lunch as well as a dinner). That’s a nice change for me – sometimes I have had the problem that my days have felt a bit empty (having a hermit nature has its downsides too). Apart from worrying about people in the risk groups and about the state of the world in general we are still fine, going about our routines as usual.

    1. Yeah, Otto mentioned the sealing off of Helsinki when I spoke to him yesterday. If the rest of the country is clear then it makes sense. But do they know that? Have they tested people?

      Presumably no one is using those vast underground shelters, because cramming people together would be a Very Bad Idea.

      My days are at least as full, if not more.

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