Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Getting supplies. Good news stories and bad news stories.

So, it’s Wednesday again when usually I run to Uppermill market and then catch the bus back. But I am avoiding public transport and today I decided to get up and walk there so that I could carry my small rucksack. I am afraid I really hate to run with a rucksack joggling ablut on my back. And I needed my rucksack rather than a couple of cloth bags if I was planning to walk home as well.

The market was sparse: no fishman, just the veg man and the cheese and biscuit lady. The market stalls and all the shops in Uppermill were well organised. The co-op was working on a one-out-one-in system, limiting the numbers of people in the shop at any one time and making it more possible for the queue at the till to be properly spaced out. The small Italian greengrocery was only taking one customer at a time, the well spaced queue trailing up the road and round the corner. It was worth the wait though as they had tomatoes, which the co-op had a complete lack of, and decent oranges. Between there and the veg stall, also with a well-spaced queue, I now have supplies to last me for a good while.

There is still a dearth of loo roll around here, however. Why is this still happening? I have just spoken on vide-chat to my sister, the English one, and she tells me that they do not have this problem in Southport. Her local Aldi has plenty. She is unable to comment on the state of her local Tesco as the queue to get into the store was so long this morning that she gave up on it altogether.

I have just heard Ian McEwan talking on the radio - his wife is reading Defoe’s Plagues Journals and he is reading The Plague by Albert Camus. Okay! I hear a lot of people are reading literature related to plague and disaster situations. Personally I am choosing other stuff. I am 80% of the way through Vasily Grossman’s Stalingrad, still not a bundle of laughs but it does not involve illnesses, just other kinds of fatalities! I have Hilary Mantel’s latest oeuvre lined up as well, bought just before everything closed down. Now that is a huge read and I may well need to reread the previous two books as well.

Here’s a bit of good international news I came across:-

“In one of Italy’s darkest hours, they find they are not alone. Cuban doctors arrive in Italy with one mission, to save as many lives as they can.”

It’s nice to see some good cooperation going on. And that despite sanctions from hee and there.

Here in the UK on the other hand, I have found this bit of nastiness:-

“Hundreds of residents of the budget hotel chain Travelodge, including homeless families housed there by local councils, have been turned out on to the street after it closed its premises. The chain issued letters to all residents on Tuesday asking them to leave as soon as possible as they were “temporarily closing the hotels until further notice” in the light of the UK government’s extended coronavirus physical distancing guidelines issued on Monday.
This appeared to be in defiance of government guidance issued the same day that said that hotels looking after homeless families who had been placed in temporary accommodation at in hotels should not close.
The closure led to chaos and dismay among families and local authority homelessness workers.”

I had wondered about people who live in hotels, especially as I read about Spanish hotels being obliged to close. But somehow I was not aware of a problem like this one.

I can’t imagine being in an already desperate situation and then finding that they pull from under you the bit of support you have managed to find.

 Our society needs something of a rethink once this is all over and done with!

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