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The pressure ramps up

We may all be going a bit nuts at the moment this far into the lockdown but – when I rose for my day-shift this morning and fired up my computer – it seemed as if somehow in the period between 8.45pm last night and the present the world had suddenly shot forward about four days, such was the volume of media stories of new developments around the world.

Unusually I went for my walk before lunch yesterday. At first it seemed this might be a good wheeze because there were fewer people ‘out and about’ than at my normal expedition time of between 3.45pm and 4.15pm.

Yet, when watching the world from my terrace mid-afternoon, there seemed to a greater steady stream of traffic and bicycles going by than for several days. Perhaps people are becoming set in their routines, or maybe they’re getting complacent – possibly both.

Yesterday’s developments were many.

The Government came under increasing pressure over claims that supplies of PPE kit on the front line are low or non-existent and its ‘non-existent’ imminent arrival of 400,000 bits of PPE kit from Turkey over the weekend, especially when the Daily Telegraph suddenly broke the news that a British firm was simultaneously dispatching 700,000 pieces of kit in three lorries to Italy that the Government had apparently not been interested in taking.

The pack of “Where’s the common sense gone?” critics duly had a field day.

The death numbers have soared.

Every sector of the economy is complaining it hasn’t had enough help from the Chancellor.

Charities are complaining that they’re under exponentially growing pressure at a time when their incoming donations have been decimated.

Social care has been neglected. Those concerned with mental health are warning of troubles ahead.

Suddenly it seems that the UK population wants “Big Brother” Government to take decisive action on everything and look after it unless and until “things return to normal” – which, many are saying, they now never will … with about 50% saying this will be a positive thing (lower air pollution, more people working from home, climate change advantages, a general greater “community” feel) whilst the other 50% feel it will be terrible.

Overnight the World Health Authority has warned that “early exits from lockdown” – as have occurred, or are about to happen, in about a dozen countries – are dangerous (potentially to the point of catastrophe) because the coronavirus crisis is going to get far worse before it gets better.

The UN Economic Commission for Africa has estimated that at least 300,000 people are going to die on the continent of Africa and millions will be plunged into poverty – or should that be “millions more” will be?

Richard Branson wants Virgin Atlantic to get a £500 million bail-out.

Associated British Foods, owner of Primark, has announced that Primark’s sales have dropped from £650 million to zero and has furloughed 68,000 staff.

Ah well – amidst all this chaos at least it’s good to know that at least that some of our key issues are proceeding as normal.

Or maybe not – see here for Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett’s piece on the supposed outrage that is the lack of female representation on University Challenge, as appears today upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN



About Lavinia Thompson

A university lecturer for many years, both at home and abroad, Lavinia Thompson retired in 2008 and has since taken up freelance journalism. She is currently studying for a distant learning degree in geo-political science and lives in Norwich with her partner. More Posts