Saturday, 5 September 2020

Frustration. Ageeeing with POTUS - or not. Hotspots. Testing. And loonies.

 Day three of wrestling with the new interface on blogger. I am wasting an inordinate amount of time trying to put right odd changes that occur in the process of publishing: the font is changed, but not for the whole post, just a section; the font size is changed, again for just a section; even the text colour is changed! I discover a typo and try to go back and correct it but discover I cannot actually reach that bit of text. I try to see a preview of a post, the system says it is loading a preview and nothing happens. Extremely frustrating!

Practically as frustrating and odd as discovering that I almost agree with President Trump:-

“President Donald Trump said the United States must look “very seriously” into the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, but that his administration had not yet seen any proof.

“I think we have to look at it very seriously, if it’s the case,” he said, “I don’t know exactly what happened. It’s tragic. It’s terrible, it shouldn’t happen. We haven’t had any proof yet, but I will take a look.

“It is interesting that everybody’s always mentioning Russia … but I think probably China at this point is a nation that you should be talking about much more so than Russia.”

Well, he’s right that we have no proof about what happened to Navalny but I doubt the Chinese had much to do with it.

While accusations are flying around, including Mr Trump calling Coronavirus the Chinese virus, here is a link to an article about an Austrian ski resort called Ischgi, dubbed ‘Ibiza on ice’, not far from the border with Northern Italy. 

Some 6,000 people apparently think they caught Coronavirus there. Others imply that it contributed to the spread of the virus throughout much of Europe and beyond. Amazing!

Getting back to Mr Trump, I read that he has directed the Office of Management and Budget to crack down on federal agencies’ antiracism training sessions, calling them “divisive, anti-American propaganda”. That sounds like an enlightened view of things!

Meanwhile a new report tracking political violence suggests that 93% of Black Lives Matter protests have been peaceful. From the media we have the impression that it has all been huge violent confrontations. And there have been those, of course, and very frightening and worrying they are too. The report also said that the US government has taken a “heavy-handed approach” to the demonstrations, with authorities using force “more often than not” when they are present. And so violence is answered with violence. And all of that makes for much more lively television news reporting than a peaceful demonstration. And there is probably not time to report all demonstrations. However, we need to be reminded to keep things in perspective.

Back here in the UK, Greater Manchester is being released from enhanced lockdown restrictions. Well, most of Greater Manchester, anyway. The Manchester Evening News tells me:

“More business will be allowed to reopen in parts of Greater Manchester following the latest lockdown announcement from the Department of Health and Social Care.

Casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, exhibition halls, conference centres, and indoor play areas will be able to reopen from next Tuesday in all of Greater Manchester apart from Bolton.

Meanwhile tighter restrictions in Oldham that prevent households from mixing indoors and outdoors will remain in place.

The Department of Health also said the rate infection is “still too high” to lift the restrictions on gatherings.”

So it goes, but the children will still go back to school.

And testing continues to cause problems, with the North East of England running out of testing kits. It seems that government officials said it was necessary to ration tests to divert capacity towards infection hotspots, such as Greater Manchester, and that it would soon open a new laboratory enabling it to double its swab-testing capacity, to 500,000 a day, by the end of October. By then, of course, children will have been back in school for half a term. Hmmm!

And that is where the loonies come back into the game. Letters are circulating on social media, letters that it is suggested parents should send to schools, threatening legal action if their offspring are “made to wear masks in school”. Here are some examples of content:

“I am deeply concerned at the potential for detrimental health issues from mask wearing, and I serve this Notice of Liability on you to inform you I DO NOT CONSENT to my child being compelled to wear a mask at school and will, if any harm or injury arises from same, hold you personally liable for damages and or injury.”

“There are powers within the Coronavirus Act 2020 to detain and take away anyone deemed to be infected and I say again, I DO NOT CONSENT to this abuse of unlawful power.”

“I would like to make you aware that some hand sanitisers through excessive use can contribute to eczema, dermatitis and the active chemicals can be absorbed in through the skin and adversely affect health in the long term.”

Teachers’s unions and lawyers have had to get involved. Every crisis brings out the crazies.

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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