A Journal of the Plague Year(1)

March 17th, 2020

The world has changed, probably for ever. Who would have thought that it could happen so quickly? Mother Nature is reminding us that we are part of the ecology of Earth, not something outside it. Perhaps it will lead to a reduction in the fantasies that we can control Nature, be it health, disease or the weather.

Our apartment building has its own website and listserv. Many people are posting hints and help, asking elderly tenants by phone or email if they need help in getting supplies. Our glorious swimming pool is closed for the foreseeable future. Our bridge games are on hold. However, to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven.

Perhaps this is one of those times, a time to rise above the pressures of the material world and look more to the social and spiritual ties that bind us all, rather than the endless concern with money and prestige. Time to read “War and Peace” as you promised yourself so long ago; time to really listen to all those Bach cantatas; time, indeed, to examine ourselves inwardly a little more.

I am one of the lucky ones who can work at home. Mrs Rebel Yell has no problem, drawing on an extensive experience of bush living in the wilds of Ontario before I met her. A picture of calm.

We had planned a trip to the West Coast for April, but cancelled around mid-February. Why? Having had professional experience in emergency response operations for some years, when I saw the events unfolding in Wuhan (at that time an unknown city on the other side of the world), and, knowing what an exponential curve is, and, knowing what a case fatality rate is, a little light turned on in my head. Surely, this cannot be, in the modern day of medical science? As soon as the odd cases started appearing in other countries around the world, that was it. It’s really going to happen.

Knowing that politicians would be too slow to act, that’s when I started stocking up supplies. Fortunately, President Trump was quick off the mark with a travel ban on China—for which he was excoriated by the stupid journalists in the Fake News Media. He’s been a bit too slow on other issues, but he has had nothing but trouble from the media in the US whose reaction and behavior has been utterly reprehensible—especially CNN and MSNBC.

The CDC in the US is another bureaucratic organization that needs thorough reform, perhaps a complete rebuild. President Trump is cutting through that. But not fast enough. The Federal bureaucracy needs to be cut drastically both in the US and in Canada.

In any real emergency, it’s the first responders, local people, and local governments that really know how to get things done at the ground level, not some airhead policy wonk in a think tank. Your local Fire Marshall, medical officer, hazmat director, police chief; any of these people know better than politicians. And never listen to journalists—a complete waste of space.

That’s it for today, I leave a few links for some excellent easily understandable medical and scientific info….

Dr John Campbell (PhD, Nursing) [here], a British doctor with a daily video. Excellent medical info and practical advice for ordinary folk.

And hourly plague stats from Johns Hopkins University, Center for Systems Science and Engineering …[here]

Rebel Yell