Well that escalated quickly.
I am writing this post in the first week of national lockdown in the United Kingdom, due to the emergence of a global coronavirus pandemic called Covid-19 which is spreading throughout the world with devastating consequences.
The virus came to attention in January when a doctor in Wuhan, China alerted the world to cases of a pulmonary viral infection that was causing serious illness and deaths. By February it had started spreading, with cruise ships being quarantined due to suspected cases and new incidences occurring in other Asian countries.
We watched the news, slightly concerned, but it all seemed like it was a problem that would not reach our shores. We’d seen SARS, Ebola, Avian Flu, Swine Flu beforehand and the spread was largely contained.
But by the beginning of March, it didn’t seem like it was going away. Flights were not being stopped. Cases began to appear in more and more countries.
Then they reached Italy. Then the UK.
I have now been working from home since Tuesday, schools are shutting down tomorrow, people are panic buying food and things like toilet paper and hand soap. People are losing their jobs, businesses are weeks away from running out of money.
It’s bloody mental
This first post won’t be elegant or coherent, but that’s the point. This is like some kind of surreal nightmare, and it seems like nobody was prepared for this scenario despite many smart people worrying and predicting the next global pandemic.
Is anyone to blame? The secretive Chinese government? Wet markets? The WHO for failing to be ready for this, or to have enough power to force lockdowns and rapid testing and tracing of infection sources? The UK Government that failed to act quickly enough to stop traffic into the country from abroad? The strategy they decided to go with and have now changed tack?
I don’t have any answers, all I know is that we’re all in possible lock down for a few months, with no clear contingency for this scenario. We must all try to cope as best we can and hope the tide turns, and that this is when the world takes note of the very real existential risks to humanity and starts to act decisively to protect our futures.