Tag Archives: covid19

Forbidden Pleasures

Dark horses.
Overstretched police forces.
Unenforceable measures.
Household’s secret pleasures.
Criminals run amok.
Police on doors knock
(Probably not),
To enforce
What,
Of course
Can not
Be enforced.

The Pubs Are All Closed

Girls in short clothes
Still go by.
But, the pubs are all closed
And I
Feel the unreal, steal
Over England.

One should not
Shake a hand.
But the weather is hot
And girls in short clothes
Go by.
But the pubs are closed
And I
Voice the unspoken,
“How many little communities will reopen?
And how many die?”.

The pub is part
(And sometimes the heart)
Of local society.
How much variety
Will we lose?
Its not merely booze
But birds of diverse feather
Coming together,
Through diversity in unity.

I have the park.
But thoughts dark
Come to me.
Girls in short clothes
Still go by
But the pubs are closed
And variety
Can, so easily die.

Crackpot Conspiracy Theories Have Consequences

On Wednesday evening, I received a telephone call from an acquaintence. Having asked how I was, she proceeded to relate how she’d watched a video which explained that COVID-19 (the Corona Virus) is a hoax and is, in point of fact caused by radiation generated from mobile telephone masts.

I responded that the persons promulgating such theories are “nutters” and conspiracy theorists and that such ideas are highly dangerous as they mislead people into believing fraudulent claims and by so doing actually help to spread not only the Corona Virus, but also the virus of misinformation. Eventually the conversation ended leaving me seething inwardly.

Lies/conspiracy theories have consequences as exemplified by the attacks which have taken place not only on mobile telephone masts but also on engineers tasked with maintaining them. See, for example this article in “Wired”, https://www.wired.co.uk/article/5g-coronavirus-conspiracy-theory-attacks.

One of the instances sighted in the “Wired” article concerns an engineer who was spat upon by a conspiracy theorist. The engineer subsequently developed Corona as a consequence of the incident.

I am not, of course arguing that all followers of the (wholly eroneous) theory that 5G is responsible for Corona destroy masts or attack individuals. Most people holding such crackpot views do not engage in criminal activity. However anyone who perpetuates such myths is helping to spread untruths and thereby contributing to a climate of unreason in which attacks on masts (and individuals) are made more likely.

The conspiracy theory that 5G is the cause of the current epidemic (rather than the Corona Virus), lies in a long line of dangerous ideas. Back in medieval times it was believed that Jews poisoned wells and horrific acts of cruelty where committed against them owing to this wholly irrational belief, (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Well_poisoning#Medieval_accusations_against_Jews).

Antisemitic conspiracy theories manifested themselves in their most extreme form in the Nazi “Final Solution” (the Third Reich’s attempt to exterminate European jewry, (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Solution).

I am not suggesting that those who believe the present conspiracy theory regarding 5G are antisemitic (although some of them may well be). Rather I am arguing that (as with antisemitism) the present crackpot theory is based on unreason and is highly dangerous. So next time you receive a message on Watsap (or via some other form of social media) regarding an outlandish theory, please think very carefully before forwarding it on to others.

Kevin

The World After the Corona Lockdown

I have been thinking a lot recently about the effect of COVID19 (the Corona Virus) on society and, in particular on human relationships.

To state a truism, we humans are social animals, and, with a few exceptions we all crave company from time to time. Even in this increasingly technologically driven society, individuals still enjoy face-to-face interactions, whether that be a meal in a restaurant, a drink with friends in the pub, or intimate time spent with a lover.

Today’s World at 1 on BBC Radio 4, https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000h8gg, contains discussions regarding whether face masks should be adopted by everyone as a means of ending the lockdown currently in place in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. The view expressed by the scientists/doctors was that masks should be reserved for health service professionals in the first instance then, once shops start to re-open for those professions where close contact can not be avoided, for example the hairdressing profession. In the longer-term it was argued that everyone might need to wear masks in public, at least until a vaccine is made available.

My thoughts on this are as follows:

1. I don’t at all relish the prospect of walking through the woods, parks etc and not being able to properly appreciate the scents of nature owing to the presence of a face mask. The wind on one’s face and the scent of new mown grass is one of life’s pleasures.

2. How exactly would face masks operate in settings such as restaurants and pubs/clubs? So far as I know, its impossible (or extremely difficult) to eat and drink whilst wearing a face mask. I haven’t tried doing this, so stand to be corrected. However, even if it is possible, I can imagine getting food, drink etc on the mask thereby impairing it’s effectiveness, not to mention making the wearer look rather messy!

3. Related to 2 above, Even if “social distancing” is maintained, I assume that friends, family members etc will be able to sit together, otherwise one of the greatest pleasures of eating out (convivial company) is thrown away. Also, in smaller establishments, its difficult to imagine how tables could be kept sufficiently apart to comply with the 2 metre “Social distancing” rule. Likewise (in the case of clubs where people dance) just, how exactly will “social distancing” be practiced and/or enforced? Will people dance with one another in masks, then use hand sanatiser once they have finished their dance? And what happens if (as frequently occurs) a couple decide to go home together? In the latter case “social distancing” goes out the window …

4. Leading on from 3 above, what happens to dating? Apart from the pleasure derived from relationships (whether long-term or otherwise), sex is necessary to perpetuate the species.

This article, https://www.dw.com/en/love-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-covid-19-changes-the-game-for-online-dating/a-52933001, indicates that the dating game is alive and well at the time of the Lockdown. However many people appear to be interacting online, but not meeting. One assumes that serious relationships will develop and individuals will meet when COVID19 is, so far as is possible beaten or contained.

5. I was not surprised to learn that escorts are continuing to ply their trade despite the lockdown, as exemplified in this article, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8188793/Manchester-City-star-Kyle-Walker-hosted-sex-party-two-escorts-coronavirus-lockdown.html. I shall refrain from any comment on this particular story.

On a personal level, I am looking forward to sharing a few pints (and a nice meal) in a restaurant once the Lockdown is over.

Kevin

Strolling Through the Graveyard in Early April

Strolling through the graveyard in early April,
I enjoy the warm sunshine.
I am not sure of the divine.
Still,
A man may take pleasure
Whilst not knowing whether
Mother Nature, or the Creator
Causes the sun to shine.

Both are divine.
And a minuscule
Virus does wait,
Unseen by the eyes,
To seal the fate
Of the fool
And the wise,
For it does not discriminate.

An Opportunity for Poets to Have their Work Aired

I have received the below notification regarding an opportunity for poets to have their work aired:

“Dear friends and fellow poets,

We are sending you all our very best wishes for your good health and continued safety and would like to invite you to join in a brand new adventure while
all of us are in confinement of one kind or another.

We have had the following interesting idea shared with us and we want to invite you all to contribute.  

If you have written, or would like to write, about your present situation or want to reflect on the experiences of people around you in these strange Coronavirus
times then read on – start writing – and send your poems directly to David Vickery.  

kindest thoughts to you all

Caroline and Angela x

YourPoemaDay 

I’m no poet but I can read poetry and with my track record as an actor, announcer and voice-over artist in broadcast and non-broadcast work over the past
40 years, I know I can sit in front of a camera and read other people’s verse.

So, if you, or your friends would like to write a poem in response to Coronavirus, the lockdown, or any aspect of the current situation that is of interest
to them, then I’d like to read it out on a Facebook site I am setting up.  One thing – I am looking for poems that will cheer us up, not take us down.
Think positive.

The site will be promoted via Twitter and Instagram and I anticipate there will be an early  boost to numbers coming to the site as I have a television
entertainment friend in San Francisco who says he’ll happily talk about this on-air.

I can’t guarantee a poem EVERY  single day but certainly most days – and I obviously can’t GUARANTEE  to read out every poem sent to me but will try! Also
the inclusion of a little bit of background information about the poet to add some colour and texture to the content would be appreciated. There is no
set length to the poem or any other parameters beyond those stated.  The “on-air” environment will reflect a certain cheekiness. We have to smile our way
through these days.

One final thing – a small legal bit. There needs to be confirmation from anyone who submits a poem that they grant me usage to show and distribute their
poem. And that’s about it.

I have a busy working week ahead at the BBC, so my guess is that this will be up and running by the end of next week (15/16 April?). Enough time to write
a poem, or two?

Replies should be to 
davidvickery@me.com 

Here’s where you can find out about me 
http://www.davidvickery.co.uk
 .  Although I find them embarrassing to watch these days there are plenty of TVS Late Night Late videos to be found on YouTube from 30 years ago 

 but my approach will be somewhat similar. 

For anyone who is interested, THANK YOU so much! Let’s have some fun.

Best Wishes from South London

David”.

At a Time of Social Distancing

Sunscreen on skin
Is no sin.
The birds sing
For it is spring.
One may go outside
But woe betide
The man who offers resistance
To the concept of social distance.

They say that couples are okay
To enjoy the weather together.
But how do you
Distinguish lovers true
From those simply out for fun
In this beautiful spring sun?

One may stroll, alone.
The phone,
And the internet
Are fine. As is wine
(but no alcohol or grub
Down the local pub)!

You may walk your pet
And hear the birds sing
(for it is spring),
And it is not yet
A crime, to indulge in rhyme.

At A Time of Lockdown

At a time of lockdown
Some drown
Their sorrows, in beer or gin.
Yet alcohol is not
The only form of sin.

True, some may lose themselves in art.
But others grow hot.
Drink and art
Can not suffice.
Thoughts turn to vice.

Anticipation of pleasure,
For the coming warm weather
Will bring
(In summer and spring)
Roses into bloom.
And, despite the lockdown
Some men will not resist the perfume
Of roses.

The poet composes
And thinks “the woodland path
Along which I pass
Has no flowers in bloom,
But soon
Their scent will delight
Both day and night.
And I shall pass by
With a sigh.

Yet the woodland path
Is not wide
And when, on each side
There are such sweet blooms,
‘Tis not easy to pass,
And some may stray
From the narrow way …”.

He Stood to the Side of the Path

He stood to the side of the path
So that I might in safety pass.
I turned my face away
On a beautiful, spring day.
But thanked him with a smile, while
Pondering on what constitutes a safe distance,
And the persistence
Of common courtesy.
And what did he
Think of me
As I turned my face away?
I can not say,
But suspect he understood
As we did pass
Along that tranquil, woodland path.

Oh Creature of Night

Oh creature of night,
Who flits, in dark
And by moonlight,
Why did you cry,
In the park
On a sunlit afternoon in Spring?

‘Twas a strange thing
To hear.
Yet I
felt no fear,
But pondered on your incongruous cry,
And a virus, invisible to the eye.