Friday, 1 April 2022

Burglars. And bunglers! Multi-tasking and mishandling!

The Beckhams were burgled at the end of February. I don’t normally take a great interest in the lives of the rich and famous. Indeed, as a rule I only ever read celebrity scandal when I go to the hairdresser’s. And since Covid arrived, even after everything opened up enough for me to risk going into Manchester to get my hair done, their supply of gossip magazines mostly disappeared, being regarded as yet another possible source of infection. However, my attention was attracted to this item by the fact that a sub-headline said that they had been at home when the burglary happened. 

The idea of somebody breaking into your home has always horrified me. It has never happened to me, fortunately. Years ago, my sister’s flat in Spain was broken in to while she was visiting family back in England. Unlike the Beckhams, who are said to have had thousands of pounds worth of stuff stolen, my sister lost very little, mostly because she didn’t have a lot for anyone to steal. But the evidence that someone had rummaged through her drawers, presumably in search of hidden valuables, left her feeling sullied, even violated, and she felt the need to wash all her clothing before she could wear it again. I would feel just the same!

But that someone could break in while you are actually at home is extra frightening. The Beckhams, though, were unaware that anything had happened until their 17 year old son returned home late in the evening and discovered a broken window. Imagine having a home large enough for someone to be ransacking rooms without you hearing a thing! Mind you, that is probably for the best as challenging a burglar could lead to a violent outcome.

The radio news tells me that cases of Coronavirus are rising, and this at a time when people are perhaps not testing or not reporting if they test positive. But the numbers of people in hospital with the virus are also going up. They’re discussing how we should respond to future pandemics. Well, experts are discussing it but I doubt that our government is really doing so. 

Meanwhile it seems that a certain Professor Lucy Easthope has written a book called “When the Dust Settles” in which she says that the UK "acted too late" in its response to the coronavirus pandemic. One of the factors affecting this was … wait for it! … Brexit. Apparently she said disaster experts were told "we couldn't plan for Brexit and a pandemic at the same time, it was too ridiculous to think of both happening at the same time". Isn’t that what government has different departments for? It’s not really possible to make problems come along one at a time. 

Someone else commented: 

“Once the pandemic happened any sane government would have postponed Brexit. Being unable to travel in the critical months before the end of the transition period meant that the opportunity to mitigate many of the issues was lost. For many companies the ‘double whammy’ was fatal.”

As I see it, nobody expected the Coronavirus crisis to go on so long. We all expected it to be over in a matter of months. I know that we did, putting on hold our intention to clear out the flat we rented in Vigo, leaving behind stuff that couldn’t just be thrown out if we gave notice remotely, confident that by the summer of 2000 we’d be back organising things! 

But it’s one thing for such an attitude to be there on a personal level; running a country is a different matter. And surely even the most die-hard “leavers” would have understood the need to postpone Brexit. It’s a bit late to alter that now but future investigation will make interesting reading!

Meanwhile, we’ll wait and see what happens in the short term. Will small businesses survive Brexit? Will there be another virus variation to cope with? Only time will tell!

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone! 

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