2007 - 2020

20 Things the Virus is Telling Us

  1. The people you thought were awful selfish greedy bastards are far far worse than you had possibly imagined.
  2. Penne Pasta is overrated.
  3. We live in a virtually leaderless society. The politicians are useless, religious leaders are nowhere and the royal family are in hiding. Having ASDA in charge isn’t very inspiring.
  4. Some people matter more than others.
  5. BBC Scotland was 96% football.
  6. The Magic Money Tree does exist.
  7. Having constant access to a torrent of information isn’t as great as we thought.
  8. Having undermined any shred of what is collective and common probably wasn’t such a great idea after all.
  9. The dark irony that the politicians who spent four years obsessing about isolating Britain from the rest of the world are spectacularly useless at organising our actual isolation when we need it, isn’t funny at all.
  10. The idea that we need to “get back to normal” is THE LAST THING WE NEED TO DO.
  11. Most of the feuds you had been cultivating for the last decade now seem really stupid.
  12. Broadband Communism was probably a good idea.
  13. Your children have been training for this on Fortnite and Halo for years. Being plunged into a post-apocalyptic dystopia is how they play. That’s why they’re not bothered.
  14. Your commitment to a Steiner-based curriculum of structured learning-though-play and challenging home-made chemistry experiments lasted a morning.
  15. Loo-roll as the new currency of Scotland came as a surprise Plan B.
  16. Everyone looks terrible on Zoom.
  17. All of the problems that we haven’t attended to will still be there when we are well again.
  18. The range of edible dishes you can cook that the rest of the random group of people you are incarcerated with is much smaller than you, or they, would like.
  19. Most jobs aren’t very essential.
  20. The lockdown is more likely to result in an obesity epidemic than a baby-boom.

Comments (33)

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  1. Mark Bevis says:

    Yes indeed, nice one. You could add:
    21. Just-in-time globalised supply systems are a really bad idea.
    https://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2020/03/26/liebigs-law-writ-large/

  2. Daniel Raphael says:

    Now that the Clueless One has been diagnosed with the virus, we have also been reminded of the secret pleasure of schadenfreude.

  3. Jell says:

    Following on from this and other good thoughtful work (pace Geo. Kerevin) there will come a time when an ‘agenda for change and action’ will have to be devised. As I inferred to one academic friend ( who was happy leading in Zoom yesterday) – There is no room for sickening privilege in Scotland and plenty of room for people of principle. (To take action)

  4. Bruce McQuillan says:

    We’re screwed, not as much as the Americans, but were screwed.

    We have had people like Tim “Tim, far-right but dim” Martin leading the agenda on Brexit and where is he now ? Paying his workers and suppliers ? I think not. B@stard.

    We have people like Mike Ashley leading the agenda on business and where is he now ? Desperately trying to defend his own stupidity in putting his staff and customers at risk for a quick buck. B@stard.

    What about our beloved Royal Family ? The future heir to the throne is in Balmoral. A wee trip up north with coronavirus to his country pad with “one’s servants” just in case anywhere rural hasn’t quite been affected yet. Sheep-shaggin’ b@stard.

    The country is being fed by all those uber eats and just eat delivery drivers who have no protection for their earnings other than “taking the risk”.

    The country is being held together by our NHS, the only real glue thats left in our society who have no protection for their faces when virus patients cough on them queuing for a ventilator.

    If we don’t learn from this then when will we ? We may be a captive audience just now but we need to vote with our feet when this is all over. Who was part of the problem and who the solution ? What kind of world do we want to live in ? If we get to live.

    1. Ken Dornan says:

      Excellent reply, thanks.

  5. Gordon Peters says:

    Nice one, Mike

  6. SleepingDog says:

    2) try fusilli (I doubt if there is a converter, despite any fake-food Youtube video claims)
    6) typo: exi(s)t? (indeed)
    11) I will not ask which feuds have withstood the COVID-19 test
    13) certainly, a large section of the game-playing, science-fiction-consuming public will be ahead of the game here. However, the dystopia levels go a few notches upwards from those examples. Even my sunny nature found it difficult to sustain enough optimism to play This War of Mine for a couple of hours (possibly a fine game, not recommended).

    I guess we might find out more about addictions. And we are descending into Sherlock Holmes’ nightmare zone for domestic abuse.

    So what happens with households with live-in servants/slaves/human furniture? Are the pyramid-toppers really going to be left to fend and wipe for themselves?

    1. 2) not really a serious point
      6) oops yes, possibly going mad
      11) few
      13) agreed there are far more violent games than these, it was tho a semi-serious point observing my young kids playing these games

      1. Dandyhurl says:

        While appreciating that No.2 wasn’t altogether serious, it’s also true that, suddenly, making food has become a more important part of the day, especially making the most of what’s in the larder.
        So allow me to suggest the following:
        • Penne are basically oversized macaroni and like all pasta they shouldn’t be overcooked to the point where they tend towards mush. “Al dente” being the idea.
        • Maccaroni and cheese (with bechamel) is a culinary aberration and insanely stodgy!
        • A tomato-based sauce flavoured with oregano and basil is one simple way to cheer them up (and much better for you).
        • They’ll be livelier still if you add a chilli pepper to the sauce.
        Just saying.
        Oh aye, and I agree with all the rest!

        1. Thanks Dandyhurl, good tips. Your right cooking for ourselves has become so much more important. I’m also getting hyper-conscious of food waste and trying to re-use leftovers.

  7. Arboreal Agenda says:

    22. Working from home is shit

    1. grafter says:

      Especially if you’re a joiner or plumber.

      1. Arboreal Agenda says:

        You’re right. I’m lucky to still be working.

  8. Boiledpuke says:

    What a load of boiled puke.

    1. Thanks for your input. Great response.

  9. Wul says:

    ” 16) Everyone looks terrible on Zoom.”

    Agreed, but there’s a button you can click; “Prettify” or “Smooth my crevices” or something. It makes your skin look like pink plastic. Like a film star.

  10. Wul says:

    23. In the three years your child has been away at university, you have become a curmudgeonly, heavily-routined obsessive, who now finds a different approach to filling a dishwasher, or using a butter dish, an unbearable assault on domestic life.

  11. Jon Lisle-Summers says:

    Thanks for some (sometimes) dark laughs. The lack of adequate leaders has exposed seriously shocking shortcomings, raising the questions “what exactly are we paying for?” and “aren’t we doing much better without them?” and finally “why don’t we stop paying them because, y’know, Austerity?”

  12. Mike T says:

    21. The virus is young, eventually it will realize it is committing suicide, evolve and stop killing the host YOU, and will become less virulent thus preserve the host in order to preserve itself, that’s the optimistic theory anyway, I am sure the common flu started in the same manner.

  13. Morag Williams says:

    Things my toddlers learned from a trip to the beach with their mother.
    1. If you have a bucket of water the water stays in the bucket (the virus is isolated).
    2. If the bucket has a leak the water gets out and the surrounding sand gets wet (infection is transmitted, but remains localised).
    3. If the leaking bucket is moved some of the near-by sand will remain dry but sand further away will get wet (infection is no longer localised).
    4. Pandemonium breaks out if the water from the leaky bucket lands on someone’s sandcastle (pandemic).
    5. A bucket made from lego is only as good as the seals (economic models can be impressive but not required to explain a ruined sandcastle).
    6. Interesting bed-time story discussing how anybody then everybody then somebody could have but nobody did anything (Royal Commission).
    6. Dad said it was best to close the beaches.

    bucket is taken a distance away
    3. If the bucket is knocked over by your brother you may complain to your mother (seek justice).
    3. Mother will ask questions to establish who(establish cause, motive. . .)
    repercussions)
    4. Mothehave difficulty working out if the tipping over was a mistake or
    You can complain to your mother about

    Two things anyone and everyone should have learned in

    1. Sure Elaine – I was meaning more in the UK – Ive been unaware of their presence. It might be my not noticing or the general absence in our lives, not sure, and happy to be proved wrong.

      1. Elaine Fraser says:

        Also very much depends on who you consider a “religious leader”? Many parishes increasingly have ordinary people who have taken on a lot of the tasks traditionally done by priests ,vicars, ministers. To my understanding the majority of parishes, if they have a priest at all, have one who is elderly and frail but still ( until now) visiting daily the sick , housebound and the dying. During winter period it would not be unusual for a priest to have 5 or more funerals a week. In a next door parish where the old priest died a young priest from Nigeria has been a breath of fresh air. However, following a recent visit home to see his family , he has experienced visa problems and so far has not returned to UK. This week alone I have seen the Pope on TV twice and the current and former Archbishop of Canterbury. I fully expect leaders and members of other faith groups to be doing their best at this time and no one expects or demands any clapping in the streets or on Bella for that matter.

        1. Thanks Elaine.

          A friend tells me the Urbi et Orbi was powerful.

  14. The Stroller says:

    The lack of preparedness in the UK and EU us I think shocking… All the things they are doing now in terms of procurement could have been weeks ago and even months ago…

    I think we are seeing another example of the “sorpasso” of Asia over Europe…. Our leaders have been SLEEPING. The Asians have been alert, decisive and quick to act.

    As for Johnson, the man is simply an idiot, shaking hands with people in hospital, swearing he would never go for lockdown, his dad off to the pub just days before social distancing… a posh idiot like from the fields of Eaton, like Cameron…

    Wait till the end of this when we count the bodies and add up the cost in terms of jobs, businesses gone bust, not to mention nervous breakdowns and well-being issues after confinement.

    I think we could be talking the biggest political fck up in modern times….

  15. The Stroller says:

    Half the Cabinet coughing and shivering in bed by now probably….

    ….if it wasn’t so serious it would be funny….

    But let’s be honest. We all saw what was happening in China, and many of us automatically supposed it could never happen here. Because we are the centre of civilization not China or Asia, and we have the best health service (a lie they also tell in Spain) and we know how to snuff out these things….these things like Covid 19 happen to them but not to us etc….

    Well, all the numbers suggest the Asians are much better with a massive public health crisis than anybody in Europe is.. .

    What a disaster. This crisis could bring down the Euro, among other things. Italy and Spain and Greece and Portugal were just getting back to where their economies were in 2007 before the banking meltdown and the sequel known as the Euro debt crisis…..

    There are close to 3000 deaths in Madrid alone…..

    1. The Stroller says:

      To get the Madrid figure into perspective, there were 220 killed by the Atocha bombs….

      …there are at present almost 1500 people in intensive care in Madrid hospitals which has no precedent outside wartime. This is the scale of the disaster we may be facing a few weeks from now.

      As for last week’s bailout, all well and good if you’re included, unfortunately having just moved back here, I am not. But what if this goes on, with peaks and troughs for a year or even 18 months? Does anybody think they’re going to keep picking up 80% of the tab of payrolls?

      If I were an Asian observer I would be inclined to see a continent which has been naval gazing since the brexit vote, immersed in petty in-fighting, and blind to a disaster coming down the road which started in December….

      And there is no sign of that pettiness ending, with the Dutch and Germans refusing to discuss coronabonds at last week’s EU summit

      1. The Stroller says:

        Presidente Sanchez in Spain has just announced all non-essential workers are to stay at home from Monday 30th onwards…
        He specifically mentioned construction workers as one of the grups who now are not to leave the house…
        Our construction workers are still working, and the sooner all non-essential workers are ordered home in the UK too, then surely the sooner we get to grips with this…
        All this pussy-footing about is just going to add to the pain, the death toll, and the confinement period….

  16. The Over Extended Phenotype says:

    There are more non-human cells than human cells in/on the human body. So ‘you’ are less ‘you’ than ‘you’ think ‘you’ are.

  17. C. E. Ayr says:

    Ah Mike,
    At last, something to laugh about.
    Yes, I know it’s serious, here in France we have been in lockdown for two full weeks, but you did throw some humour at the situation.
    Chapeau, as we say here!

  18. rob johnson says:

    You write it ias it is in it`s ”sad but true” tense.
    It is time to eliminate by whatever means the political structure that exists and replace it with a Board of common sense leaders with brains and no family heir looms to fall-back on.As for the evil chinese and north korean satanic forces we should not engage financially, ban all travel to these places and use the Daleks to ”exterminate ”

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