COVID-19

A week or so back, I was in a pub when a group began singing along, very loudly to music. Being aware of research which indicates that COVID-19 can be spread by singing, https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-09-unmasked-indoors-covid-aerosols.html , I became concerned and deliberately shifted my position so that my face was away from the singers.

My feelings regarding the above incident remain ambivalent. On the one hand, I believe that the singers behaved irresponsibly (there actions could have spread Corona), However, on the other hand we all need some joy in our lives and the measures introduced during the present pandemic do not spread happiness! In addition, I was sitting approximately 2 metres away from the singers, which put me at minimum risk. Also, I had entered the pub of my own volition and (despite my worries about the spread of the virus), I was pleased to see people enjoying themselves.

Had the police entered the premises, they would, I suspect have asked the singers to desist or, if they had refused to do so, issued a fine.

A society in which people can be fined for singing in pubs is not one which recommends itself to me, and I’m not in the business of reporting individuals who choose to exercise their lungs by singing.

I find it shocking that in some parts of the UK (much of the north-west of England for example) that it is against the law for different households to mix together. I’m equally disturbed that some politicians are actively encouraging members of the public to report on those breeching the rules on households mixing, (see https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-report-your-neighbours-to-police-if-they-break-rule-of-six-says-minister-12071678). Until very recently ratting on one’s neighbours in this manner would have been considered as something done in the Third Reich or the former German Democratic Republic (Communist East Germany), and wholeheartedly condemned by lovers of traditional English liberty.

I recommend this article for anyone who doubts the absurdity of the current muddle which constitutes COVID-19 regulations, https://capx.co/in-the-age-of-covid-the-law-is-a-thug/.

People talk of “the science”. Whilst COVID-19 is a real problem and those who deny it’s existence (conspiracy theorists) are barking mad, there is no scientific consensus on how to deal with the pandemic. See, for example this article about scientists opposed to lockdown (with which I have some sympathy), https://news.sky.com/story/scientists-and-politicians-split-over-how-to-tackle-rising-covid-infections-as-northern-leaders-say-restrictions-are-not-working-12096597.

8 thoughts on “COVID-19

  1. blindzanygirl

    Kevin I feel very strongly about these issues and want to respnd more fully but have to go out. I get where you are coming from and hope to be able to resond better later. Sometimes human need has to be put before rules. But I do understand the need for certain rules. Best, Lorraine

    Reply
    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for commenting Lorraine. I agree with you that there do need to be some rules (for example someone deliberately spreading the virus should be stopped and punished for doing so). However I am, on the whole more in favour of an approach based on explaining possible risks/educating the public, rather than banning things. I look forward to hearing more fully from you later. Best wishes. Kevin

      Reply
  2. V.M.Sang

    The problem as I see it, Kevin, is that people in general do not have what is known as ‘common sense.’ Like the singers in your pub. One band, giving a concert said they were deliberately not going to play their best known songs in case people started singing. Also, with singing, as with whistling and shouting, the droplets travel farther. Playing wind instruments is another hazardous occupation if you play in a group of people.
    One of my neighbours died of Covid-19 early on in the pandemic. He was taken ill just before lockdown. He played in a jazz band.
    People seem to have forgotten all about social distancing except where they have to, like in queues. Yesterday, I stepped into a gate to allow an elderly lady to pass on a footpath of just under 1 metre. She paused to have a few words, and in the meantime, three people passed her. None of them stepped off the footpath, thus coming well within 1 meter of her.
    People have been crowding onto beaches and in country parks. My nephew who lives in North Wales said that at one point you couldn’t find anywhere to park in Snowdonia. The same in the Lake District.
    And at the end of August we walked a bit of the Pennine Way in Derbyshire. This bit, at the beginning of the footpath, was paved with stones of about 3/4 metre wide. The path was busy with people going in both directions. No one moved off this narrow path when passing someone else.
    I sympathise with your viewpoint, and would heartily agree if I had confidence that people would have enough sense to just be sensible!

    Reply
    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for your comments, Vivienne.

      I am very sorry to hear about the sad death of your neighbour due to COVID-19. A few months back a neighbour of mine also sadly died. I didn’t know her well, but it was especially sad as she left several young daughters.

      Despite being visually impaired I do, whenever possible try to give people space by stepping aside and many people have shown the same courtesy to me. However, whilst people should give each other space, if one is simply passing someone in the open air (without pausing to chat for a prolonged period) the risk is, I understand very slim as regards passing on the virus. But, obviously the risk heightens if the infected person coughs or sneezes in close proximity to others.

      I comply with the rule as regards wearing a mask when entering pubs and restaurants (only taking it off when seated in compliance with the rules). However it is my understanding that one has to be in close proximity to a person for around 15 minutes to spread the virus (unless one coughs or sneezes), so someone quickly passing to and from the toilet in a pub or restaurant having to wear a mask does not make sense to me, and I don’t believe the government has explained this at all well.

      I worry about the breakdown of social bonds if we turn into a nation of sneaks reporting on one another. Eventually the virus will be reduced in potency by the use of vaccines and/or better treatments, but the growth of the habit of reporting on neighbours Etc will, I think be harder to get rid of. So, in the longer term I’m more worried about the adverse impact on individual liberty of restrictions than I am of the virus.

      People talk of “protecting the community”. Of course no one is going to disagree with this, just as no one is going to disagree with “motherhood and apple pie”. But there are many communities or “little platoons” as Burke put it, from which people derive nourishment. Individuals gain pleasure and a sense of belonging from being a regular at their local pub, playing games with friends Etc. Some COVID regulations undermine these small communities which are, of course part of the bigger community. Friendship groups and other small communities are also precious and one should, in my view be very wary of sacrificing them on the altar of the wider community as, in the final analysis the wider community only possesses meaning if understood as a complex web of smaller communities composed of individuals.

      Thanks again for commenting.

      Best wishes. Kevin

      Reply
  3. Victoria Zigler (@VictoriaZigler)

    I agree there need to be some rules, and understand the fear, especially given how little is still known about the virus. However, I think some of them are going too far. I especially think asking us to report our neighbours is a bad thing. We should be banding together (in spirit, not physically, of course) to support each other through the pandemic, and not turning against our friends and neighbours. I will not report any of my neighbours, and will not support anyone else in their quest to do so. There is enough fear from the virus itself, and already way too much animosity among people to do with masks and the like (along with all the things causing issues between people before the virus came along). We don’t need to add to that by spreading fear and mistrust among neighbours who otherwise might enjoy a cordial relationship, and I will not be a part of that.

    Reply
    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for commenting, Tori. I agree with everything you say. I suspect that there are many decent people (like your good self) who would never dream of reporting their neighbours. But there are, sadly some who would. Best wishes. Kevin

      Reply

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