Weather report: apparently less cold but not by much as far as I can tell. Very dull and damp and still a bit slippy underfoot in places but the weathermen tell us that the worst of the cold spell is over. Well, I guess I’ll wait and see.
That’s here in Saddleworth. Meanwhile ...
I hear that four people have died in the snowstorm that hit central Spain. 1,500 people had to be rescued from their cars in the Madrid region. And police had to break up a large snowball fight after authorities appealed for people to stay at home for risk of accidents or spreading coronavirus. There’s something about unexpected snow that brings out a kind of madness in many of us and we feel the need to rush out and experience the extreme weather. But I always thought that in Spain, especially central Spain where the winters can be fiercer, you had to have chains to put on your tyres. Maybe people grew complacent. However, temperatures there are forecast to fall to -10C. Now, that is what I call cold.
For the time being, Madrid airport is closed, 20,000 kilometres of roads are affected and they are organising convoys to transport supplies of food and anti-covid vaccine.
As regards vaccination, I read that some frontline workers in the USA (up to 40% in LA country!) are refusing the vaccine, not because they are anti-vaxxers as such but because they say they don’t want to be guinea-pigs for a new vaccine. Don’t they know it’s been tested? Don’t they know that their refusal can mess up the whole vaccination programme? It’s another form of madness.
There’s a lot of madness about at the moment. There are the two people who were fined for driving to a reservoir to go for a walk. Not that they are mad, Rather the over-zealous policemen who stopped them. As if driving in their cars, in their own little protected bubble, was going to spread anything. And then, to add insult to injury, they were told that the coffees they were carrying counted as a picnic - another offence!!
Oh! boy! Out walking we see loads of people strolling along with those paper cups of coffee in their hands. I always wonder if they serve a double purpose: a drink and a hand-warmer! And I see quite a large number of groups of runners or what look like organised walking parties. They’re lucky our bridle paths and back streets are not patrolled by the Covid police!
In Brazil, where there is a very high Covid death rate, there’s a young man in his early 20s who is waging a war on social media against irresponsible party-goers. Here’s his story:-
“Fuelled by black coffee, yellow-tipped cigarettes and white, incandescent rage, the faceless sleuth lurks on social media poised to unmask his next target.
“It’s outrageous, bizarre, it’s horrifying – a collective genocide,” fumed the twentysomething activist who burns the midnight oil scouring the internet for footage of parties being thrown despite a rapidly deteriorating Covid crisis that has killed more than 200,000 Brazilians.
“I truly believe people have been infected with the stupidity virus,” added the amateur investigator who publishes images of the hedonism on a Twitter account called Brazil Covidfest.
The smartphone gumshoe, a journalist from the southern city of Curitiba who asked not to be named, is one of several Brazilian activists who have begun shaming unrepentant party people online as their country’s epidemic again spirals out of control.”
I don’t know how clear the rules and regulations are in Brazil but I rather get the impression that people are confused here in the UK. It’s as if the government has got really good at making baffling rules. We don’t completely know what we can and can’t do under the current lockdown and as for Brexit, importers and exporters seem to be in a state of bewildered chaos. And I keep hearing of individual small orders going haywire, like this one reported on social media above a photo of a “Led by Donkeys” hoarding:-
“I find it ironic that a present I bought my wife's Dad in Italy, Led by Donkeys (the book), for Christmas has been delayed by Brexit. I hope he see's the funny side when it finally arrives. He's Italian, into politics and learning English so thought it a useful present too.”
It’s all part of the general madness of the moment.
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!