in the arsehole of diogenes

NEO-HERACLITUS_____________Qweir Notions in the arsehole of Diogenes: weBlog of a septuagenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Tuesday, 10 March 2020

In celebration of self-isolation.

(Today, for the first time, I looked in Twitter
after reading about this guy.
This is not a recommendation.)


Brian Bilston
@brian_bilston

March 6th 2020
PRECAUTIONS

Coronavirus for me
holds few fears:
I’ve been self-isolating now
for twenty-five years.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a little dense, so I am kindly asking you to clarify this for me:

Are you not recommending looking in twitter or not recommending to lock oneself up at home?

Also, this was your first time on twitter in your entire life? :O

Wofl said...

To clarify:

I signed up to Twitter years ago (@NophoneAuban), but liked it even less than Facebook, and never used it until yesterday when I was pointed towards the frothy verse of Mr Bilson.

I certainly do recommend self-isolation. But many people in the USA could find themselves starving as a result, since not only do you lack an integrated and free healthcare system over there, but 'sick pay' is only for the few (for a short time) and the rich. When your (uninsured) underclass becomes (inevitably) infected, there's no knowing what will happen! A lot of people will be charging about with their guns asserting their right to freedom of movement.

I learned yesterday that the cost of one day in hospital in the USA averages $4,000 ! And a Covid-19 test up to $2,000. I wonder how much hospital cleaners (probably the most vital link in the hospital system) are paid ?

In the French village where I live, the Plague (bubonic and/or pneumonic and/or the third kind) swept through 5 times after the Black Death of the 1340s. Street markets will continue to function here, I think, as they are doing even in Italy.

Recommended reading during isolation : The Brothers Karamazov; The Plague (La Peste); Station 11; Solzhenitsyn's Red Wheel Trilogy (a thousand pages each); the complete Rougon-Macquart series by Zola...

Anonymous said...

Well, if we can believe this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/03/world/europe/coronavirus-health-workers-uk.html and generalise from it, it's not just the U.S. having issues like that.

At least the tests are supposedly covered by the US insurance companies. That is, if you have one. :)

Thanks for your lengthy list of recommendations!
Have you ever read through the entirety of the long book series by both Zola and Balzac?

Wofl said...

I have read quite a few of the Zola series, and (of course) not in the right order, but only three or four of the Balzacs. I forgot to mention the superlative Maupassant Even in translation they are gripping. I think it is because of them that I have avoided Dickens and most 19th century English authors apart from George Eliot and Thomas Hardy.

The NYT piece highlighted a big problem everywhere: cleaners are underpaid and undervalued. When Britain's NHS started to be privatised in the 1980s eruption of the plague of Reaganomics, essential ancillary parts were 'outsourced' to the lowest bidders. I don't know whether or not cleaners and other 'lowly' staff are unionised (they were before they were handed over to private firms), but they certainly should be.

Following measures announced yesterday, sick pay will be paid on day one of self-isolation, but I don't know whether or not this includes cleaners and other essential people in the 'hygiene sector'.

The announcement of a travel ban from the EU to the USA - but not from the UK - means that people in Dublin can take the bus or train 100 miles north to Belfast and fly from there, if airlines could get their act together to do so !

Isn't madness fun ?

Another reading recommendation: the complete Bernie Gunther novels of Philip Kerr. All but the last two are brilliant. They are not written sequentially, but they are about the life and times of a policeman in Germany from 1932 to 1945 and his wanderings in Europe after World War Two. They are wonderfully researched. Check them out on goodreads.com

Anonymous said...

So much for the street markets:

"Les marchés où on va chercher à manger doivent pouvoir continuer de fournir de la nourriture aux personnes", a-t-il d'abord tenu à préciser, mais en revanche "ceux où l'on voit des foules, les marchés qui ont beaucoup d'étals, les marchés où il y a autre chose que de l'alimentaire sont amenés à fermer".

Wofl said...

Yes, the madness is getting worse.
All the talk about "the vulnerable" - as far as I can see the most vulnerable are the people operating checkouts. I had to leave my buddy to Toulouse today (only main-line, heavily-infected inter-city trains running) for the last flight out to Dublin before the airport closed down. (There were only 8 passengers on the Ryanair flight, including an Iranian who claimed political asylum after touch-down.)

On my way back I called in a couple of supermarkets (Leader Price for some of their excellent cheap wine, where I saw whole stacks of half-price toilet-rolls; and Super-U for paraffin/kerosene/petrole) and saw the cashiers' vulnerability : nose to fingers to product to latex-covered finger to nose would quite possible during a shift. Not to mention virus-laden money...

But specialist shops in which there are rarely more than one or two customers (and often none at all) are closed, whereas small, cramped newsagents/tobacconists remain open...

The roads were delightfully empty, and I took the highly-picturesque route back home via the Aveyron Gorges.