Friday, 19 February 2021

Mud and consequences. Global warming and consequences. Getting the vaccine.

The muddy state of our footpaths and bridle ways even earned comment from Evan Davies on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme yesterday afternoon. The expert on footpaths and things outdoorsy he interviewed says we should all try to stick to the middle of the footpath regardless of the muddy puddles. As more people are out walking and we have mostly been well trained in social distancing we tend to step to the side to pass each other. This causes trampling of the edge of the path, gradual widening of the path itself and almost inevitably, more mud! I have already commented on this gradual widening, by the way - perhaps I could be a footpaths and things outdoorsy expert! 

What we should do when faced with other footpath users coming in the opposite direction, recommends the expert, is have one party stand to one side, but not trampling the growth at the side of the path, looking away from the path and the oncoming people while the other party should continue down the middle of the path. This is easy to say but less easy to put into practice. How do you decide who continues to walk and who stands aside? We end up doing a kind of polite dance. People walking three abreast on a path are often reluctant to go into single file - goodness knows why as it just seems logical to me - forcing the other party right off the path. Some just don’t notice that other people use the path at all. 

Apparently one consequence of the footpath widening phenomenon is that spring flowers like primula and primrose which tend to grow along the edges of established paths rather than deep in the undergrowth, are being inadvertently trampled and simply won’t grow. Another one of those odd ways in which we quietly spoil our environment!

We probably should never have been given a planet to look after. Is this what happened to Mars? Let’s see if the latest Mars mission gives us any more information. And let’s hope we don’t just clutter space up a little more with our exploration debris. We really need to find a way to look after our planet properly. According to this article global warming has led to forest fires in places where they never used to have the half a century ago. In some cases this has been exacerbated by the planting of eucalyptus trees which burn very easily. It seems we have gone round “improving” things for human industry but really making a big mess of the only planet we have. Mars exploration is all well and good but I don’t see us moving away from earth in the next few years. 

Meanwhile, people are posting pictures of places like Crete, and Athens covered in snow. And in Texas they are still suffering power cuts and a lack of drinking water because of the freak weather conditions. And now their Senator Ted Cruz seems to have run off to Cancún, Mexico - one way to avoid a problem. I’m sure I’ve heard of other politicians buzzing off on holiday in crisis time. He maintains he was just accompanying his daughters there so that they could have a holiday and that he was flying right back to be in Texas if needed. Isn’t there a Mrs Cruz to go with the daughters? Just asking!

Travel doesn’t seem to be a problem for Americans. It almost seems as though many are just disregarding the virus problem. Some Americans, however, are going to great lengths to get themselves vaccinated:-

“Two Florida women aged 34 and 44 dressed up as “grannies” – wearing bonnets and gloves – in a failed attempt to pass as old enough to be eligible for coronavirus jabs, according to local media reports.

WFTV, an ABC-affiliated TV station in Orlando, reported that the pair had valid vaccine cards after having their first shots, but were denied their second ones.

It quoted the Orange County health officer Dr Raul Pino as saying: “I don’t know how they escaped [detection] for the first time, but they came with the gloves, the glasses, the whole thing, and they are probably in their 20s.”

Their real ages emerged later, a WFTV reporter said. According to the station, the two women were turned over to police. Officers said they were asked to issue trespass warnings and no other action was taken.”

So now we know what grannies wear: bonnets and gloves!! That sounds like a bit of a stereotype to me!

Here vaccination still seems a bit hit and miss, a matter of luck, maybe depending on where you live. My sister-in-law in her mid-fifties has been given an appointment but as far as I know my co-mother-in-law in her mid-sixties has not. Her son, my daughter’s partner, in his early forties, on the other hand, received his first dose the other day. My daughter, although pleased that he is protected, commented on the irony this: her partner works from home and only goes out to exercise or to go to the supermarket; she on the other hand faces a dozen or more children four days every week but does not qualify yet for vaccination. We decided her partner was bumped up the scale on two factors: his ethnicity - Chinese - and his health - asthmatic.  

Roll on the day when it’s all sorted out all over the world.

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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