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Stay Alert

Keith Parkins
May 10 · 6 min read
BoJo’s Woe Shoe 85/ Richard Milne @milneorchid
BoJo’s Woe Shoe 85/ Richard Milne @milneorchid
BoJo’s Woe Show 85 / Richard Milne
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Stay Alert

Stay Alert. Does anyone know what this meaningless expression means?

Stay Home was clear. Stay at home, do not go out, avoid other people.

But now we are told to stay alert.

Alert to what? An invisible virus for which we have no defences.

The app trialled in Isle of Wight, with association with Dominic Cummings and Cambridge Analytica, with tracing by dodgy outsourcing companies, only lists two symptoms of covdid-19, high fever or a persistent cough, but as we learn more of covid-19, there are at least half a dozen symptoms.

We have seen a break down of lockdown by people taking to the streets, ignoring social distancing. For this we have the gutter press to thank and off the record briefing by Dominic Cummings. If will not go on record, do not quote anonymous sources.

Stay Alert is so vague it will lead to more people on the streets, many more deaths.

I missed the first couple of minutes of what Boris Johnson had to say. On the whole reasonable, not the usual huff and puff and waffle we are used to, we go very very slowly on relaxation of lockdown, monitoring all the way, five alert levels.

But and a big but.

Encouraging workers back to work will be exploited by bad employers for example Wren Kitchens, J D Wetherspoon.

Lumping all hospitality together is wrong.

Pubs should not open until next year. Independent coffee shops, followed by restaurants could open soon, if they are able to spread out into the streets into squares, the norm in Athens, social distancing maintained, safeguards staff and clientele, improves the ambience of town centres, could be life or death for many businesses.

But when one coffee shop in Lincoln asked of Lincolnshire County Council they received an emphatic no.

Kick starting the local economy, improving the ambience, worthless council jobsworths don’t give a damn.

Our High Streets were dying before the covid-19 pandemic. The loss of Big Business, corporate chains, from the High Street is no great loss, it was destroying the High Street. If we are to recover it will be through small local independent businesses. That is why we must allow indie coffee shops, and only indie coffee shops not chains, next restaurants, to expand into the streets. Not pubs and bars as we do not want drunks on the streets.

Local businesses spreading into public space helps everyone, safeguarding staff and clientele through social distancing, improves the ambience of the locality, and for many local businesses it will mean life or death, the difference whether they survive or not.

Forcing people back to work not acceptable. Nor is encouraging car use.

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Stay Alert

Stay Alert meaningless. Lockdown and social distancing will be ignored. This will lead to a sharp rise in UK deaths.

I go out and use public transport. Not many people about. If lockdown breaks down, as it was already starting to breakdown over the weekend, I will not feel safe if I go out, nor will many others.

Nicola Sturgeon who is showing real leadership will not be relaxing lockdown anytime soon for Scotland. Her message remains as ever, Stay Home.

100 days ago on 31 January 2020 the UK left the EU. On the same day recorded its first cases of covid-19, two Chinese in York.

China bought us time, we squandered it. We saw what was happening in Italy and Spain, we sat back and did nothing.

It has been one scandal after another. Too late to implement lockdown, ban mass gathering and sporting events, close pubs bars clubs, close schools, lockdown London, implement mass testing, airports not closed, inbound flights from covid-19 hotspots, no screening of arrivals, pass through airport, hop onto public transport.

The UK was the first country in Europe to exceed 30,000 deaths, the highest number of deaths in Europe, second in the world to the US. Highest recorded daily death rate in Europe.

Stay Alert Parody
Stay Alert Parody
Stay Alert parody

The reaction to Stay Alert has been equally divided between those taking the piss and those highlighting it is meaningless.

A security guard can stay alert to intruders, but how do we stay alert to a virus?

Tory MPs have rushed out to explain it is clear. Clear as mud when in the next breath they fall over backwards to explain what it means. If you have to explain, then it is not clear.

Public transport has been running, albeit a very limited service, for key workers. Now workers are to be encouraged to get back to work, but not use public transport. An open invitation to exploitation by bad employers.

Can travel by car to exercise. If a weekend warm and sunny as was Friday and Saturday, coastal resorts like Skegness and Brighton will be overrun with visitors.

The only advice to follow is that being given in Scotland, Stay Home, with very limited exceptions, can go out to take exercise, garden centres with restrictions on numbers allowed to open.

There can be no relaxation of lockdown until

  • daily death rate measured in tens not hundreds
  • R less than 1 and can be maintained less that 1
  • mass testing and monitoring
  • an app to track and warn

The app being trialled in the Isle of Wight is not fit for purpose. It has associations with Dominic Cummings and Cambridge Analytica, tracing outsourced to dodgy companies, only functions on two symptoms, high temperature and persistent cough, when there are known to be several symptoms.

The South Korea app should be adapted or open source. The app would be disabled post-pandemic, the data collected anonymised and used for research.

Relaxation would be slowly slowly. Pause and reflect with monitoring at each stage.

If, for example, Lincoln showed rising number of cases, then Lincoln would not only revert to strict lockdown, people would not be permitted to travel to and from Lincoln.

But a word of caution. Germany and South Korea acted promptly, as did Greece. Germany and South Korea have eased lockdown, and immediately seen a rise in the number of reported cases. If Greece were to open to visitors with its proposed lax covid-19 protocol for the tourist sector, it too would see a rise in cases.

Light on a Dark Mountain

The machine is stuttering and the engineers are in panic.

Keith Parkins

Written by

Writer, thinker, deep ecologist, social commentator, activist, enjoys music, literature and good food.

Light on a Dark Mountain

The machine is stuttering and the engineers are in panic. They are wondering if perhaps they do not understand it as well as they imagined. They are wondering whether they are controlling it at all or whether, perhaps, it is controlling them.— The Dark Mountain Manifesto

Keith Parkins

Written by

Writer, thinker, deep ecologist, social commentator, activist, enjoys music, literature and good food.

Light on a Dark Mountain

The machine is stuttering and the engineers are in panic. They are wondering if perhaps they do not understand it as well as they imagined. They are wondering whether they are controlling it at all or whether, perhaps, it is controlling them.— The Dark Mountain Manifesto

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