The signs have been apparent since the beginning of the year, now the writing is on the wall. The COVID 19 virus is not simply going to vanish with wishful thinking. It’s here and it is out of control. A virus like this has a life of its’ own; like a stealth weapon it can infect an individual without them realising, for 24 hours or more.
The NHS, buckling under the regular as clockwork domestic winter flu crisis has no room in the inn, already resources are at full stretch. We are playing catch up - hand washing and masks will make no difference. The incubation period is silent and without detection.
We pick up news notifications from Italy, France and America. The reporting is dramatically different to ours. The French Minister of Health updates daily, the Italians imposed a lockdown very quickly, including halting transnational trains. Italy on lockdown here.
What is going to happen ? Supply chains for a host of products are going to be affected. £152 billion wiped off markets in a matter of days. Schools and businesses are closing. Parliament will cease; the courts will close, sporting venues closed, cinemas, theatres, music venues. What the French refer to as les lieux publiques. The way it was in Wuhan will be how it is about to be in Winchester, Wolverhampton and Westminster.
We think we are going to see a global reboot - economic, cultural and societal; a correction to the markets greater than the 2008 financial crisis. Everything must come to a juddering halt. Staying at home will be the new going out.
We will find ourselves back to the essentials. Food, water, energy. The Government needs to work very quickly to assist farmers and fishermen, logistics and supermarkets. Every business will need to prepare as best they can for people to work remotely from home.
This is an opportunity- to read, relax, write, correspond and do a lot of home cooking. Store cupboard style, as if on a war footing. Something we have never seen before.
Recipe numero uno, with thanks to Nigel Slater, here.
Take good care. In Victoria’s Luddite view this one of the few times tech has any redeeming value. Stay in touch.